Artwork for Essential American Poets

Essential American Poets

Poetry Foundation
EducationPerforming ArtsArts

Listen to Donald Hall's selection of classic American poets reading from their work. These recordings are being made available as the result of a collaboration between US and UK poet laureates Donald Hall and Andrew Motion.


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Latest Episodes

Recordings of poet Lorine Niedecker with an introduction to her life and work. Recorded at home in 1970. Recording courtesy of PennSound.

10 years ago

Recordings of poet Gertrude Stein, with an introduction to her life and work. Recorded in 1934. Recording courtesy of PennSound.

10 years ago

Recordings of former poet laureate Charles Simic, with an introduction to his life and work. Recorded 2003, Key West, FL.

10 years ago


4.3 out of 5 stars from 83 ratings
  • Schlacht

    Robert Shiplett
    2 years ago
  • What a gift

    to have a lot of the upper echelon poetry by the some of the masters at our fingertips. William Stafford, being able to hear him read his own beautiful work was amazing.

    Apple Podcasts
    United States3 years ago
  • Great

    A poetic travelling pleasure!

    Apple Podcasts
    Switzerland3 years ago
  • Excellent

    Excellent way to hear poetry the way the poet intended.

    Apple Podcasts
    JD Blore
    Australia3 years ago
  • Good Luck in Cracked Italian

    I listen to these shows like lullabies, like lilting lectures from a friend. I love the narrator’s voice, and the structure of the episodes: short bio of the poet followed by archival recordings of the poet reading their own work. My favorite podcast ever

    Apple Podcasts
    madam ripstitch
    United States4 years ago

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Essential American Poets published 79 episodes to date. You can find more information about this podcast including rankings, audience demographics and engagement in our podcast database.

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