Poets, Poetry, and Film

Poetic expression often thrives in times of upheaval, as a means of mastering hardship and mustering hope. With that in mind, why not have a look at two library-curated collections of films available through hoopla that observe poets and poems doing just that: 2020 APL Poets, Poetry, & Film and 2020 APL Poets, Poetry, & TV? While poetry and film may seem to be unlikely bedfellows, you might well be amazed by how potent their artistic partnership can be!

History, culture, and sociopolitical issues often find expression in the poetic. Documentaries like O Captain, My Captain: Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln, and the Civil War remind us that the tragedies of war and the consolations of poetry have always coexisted. Certain poets can come to embody historical eras, as is the case with the 12th-century polymath Hildegard von Bingen (Vision) and, more familiarly, Allen Ginsberg and the Beat movement in Howl. Themes of societal trauma and incarceration surface in Voices Beyond The Wall: Twelve Love Poems from The Murder Capital of The World and A Place to Stand.

Not surprisingly, a number of the films we’ve curated live at the intersections of poetry with biography or romance. Get to know the elusive Emily Dickinson in My Letter to the World or the larger-than-life Byron in a biopic starring Jonny Lee Miller. Explore relationships through a poetic lens with the suicidal lovers of Amour Fou or with former lovers awkwardly reunited in The Song of Lunch. Or just curl up and savor the romantic romp through iambic pentameter that is Shakespeare in Love.

This is just a sampling of the poetry-infused film collection available to explore on hoopla–we hope you’ll celebrate National Poetry Month with us there!


Stay Connected Through Poetry

April is National Poetry Month! As we distance ourselves from each other during this difficult time, what better way to keep us connected than with the powerful words of poetry? 

Poets.org is dedicated to providing all there is to know about this wonderful literary celebration. Search the biographies and works of over 3,000 classic and contemporary poets, find virtual poetry readings, explore different poetry activities to do at home, and so much more. Would you like to receive a Poem-a-Day?! Sign up here.

Want more poetry? Check out the titles offered to all ages through Overdrive/The Libby app and hoopla, featuring both classic and contemporary poetry, including the following:

On Overdrive/Libby:

The Poetry of Emily Dickinson 
Devotions by Mary Oliver
Poisoned Apples: Poems for Your, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann
Shake Loose My Skin by Sonia Sanchez

On hoopla:

101 Great American Poems by American Poetry & Literacy Project
Blood Dazzler by Patricia Smith
I Could Pee On This and Other Poems by Cats by Francesco Marciuliano
Live or Die by Anne Sexton

On Overdrive/Libby and hoopla: 

Dante’s Divine Comedy: Inferno by Dante Alighieri
ebook on hoopla and audiobook on Overdrive/Libby

The Road Not Taken and Other Poems by Robert Frost
on Overdrive and hoopla

The Lunatic by Charles Simic
on Overdrive and hoopla

Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong
on Overdrive and hoopla