United States of Poetry

Originally aired in 1996 as a five part series on PBS, “The United States of Poetry” is an excellent presentation of twentieth century poetry. This two-part series includes a wide variety of poets, such as Czeslaw Milosz, Rita Dove, and Allen Ginsberg, alongside actors and musicians such as Johnny Depp (reading Jack Kerouac) and Lou Reed. Former President Jimmy Carter also makes an appearance, reading his own work. The series has been praised for its inventive and artistic camera work and its refusal to be boring: “USOP tosses aside the textbook approach to poetry and drags it, kicking and screaming… into this wired world… it’s poetry as you’ve never experienced it”