Ours Poetica, a new tri-weekly video series from The Poetry Foundation and Complexly

Poetry Foundation Library Building in Chicago courtesy of Alanscottwalker under CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

“With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion.”  Edgar Allan Poe

The Poetry Foundation and Complexly announce Ours Poetica, a new tri-weekly video series that will capture the intimacy and physicality of holding a book while engaging with a poem read by a distinctive voice. Poet Paige Lewis, author of Space Struck, curates the series, and author, YouTube pioneer, and Complexly co-founder John Green, and creator, curator, and host of The Art Assignment, Sarah Urist Green, produce the new poetry-centric series. The series will launch with a live screening and discussion at the Poetry Foundation on September 12.

If you are reading this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely have to link through to the site to view this video trailer about Ours Poetica.

Ours Poetica, publishing at YouTube.com/OursPoetica every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, will provide an approachable entry point to poetry through a familiar format. The series will feature poets, writers, artists—and sometimes unexpected guests—who have an interest in poetry. Guests including Ashley C. Ford, Shailene Woodley, Erika L. Sanchez, Jacqueline Woodson, and Ilya Kaminsky will make poetry personal by reading a poem that is meaningful to them, and discussing their connection to it, or inspiration for it. Poems come first in Ours Poetica, as the videos will focus on the readers’ hands and the book or notepad from which they’re reading. This emphasis on the words and their placement on the page create an intimate space for viewers. The videos offer the opportunity to experience the poem through the reader’s point of view.

“There are many poetry videos online that focus on the reader’s expression, movement or performance. We saw an opportunity to present a complementary and fresh visual way to discover poetry by focusing on the words, the language, and the readers’ cadences,” said Paige Lewis, Ours Poetica curator. “It’s as if the viewer is holding the book in their own hands while hearing a poem read aloud.”

Lewis curates the featured guests and poem selections, aiming to engage new poetry readers, and poetry lovers, alike. The concept sparked from conversations with Complexly, an online video production company that makes popular educational series, including the channels Crash Course and SciShow, which tout more than 15 million subscribers and over a billion video views.

“Poetry is vital and relevant, however as a non-poet myself I understand how it can be viewed as intimidating or academic,” said John Green, co-founder of Complexly. “We wanted to break down this potential barrier, and create a show for people who love poetry, and even more so, for people who love poetry but don’t know it yet.”

Green, author of several novels including The Fault in Our Stars, and Turtles All the Way Down and star of Vlogbrothers, co-produces Ours Poetica with Sarah Urist Green creator and host of The Art Assignment. The duo’s expertise in reaching YouTube viewers and developing vibrant online communities will lend itself to bringing attention to poetry.

“We were drawn to partnering with Paige Lewis and Complexly on this project because we know a curious audience already exists on YouTube, and Ours Poetica can serve as a new discovery point to poetry,” said Sarah Whitcher, marketing and media director at the Poetry Foundation. “It’s a simple yet elegant execution of poem videos, and its approachability reinforces the Poetry Foundation’s belief that poetry is for everyone.”

The series kicks off with the Ours Poetica launch event on Thursday, September 12 at 7:00 PM at the Poetry Foundation at 61 W. Superior Street in Chicago with a reading, screening, and discussion with Lewis, Green, and special guest Kaveh Akbar.

Tri-weekly posting begins on Monday, September 16. For updates, subscribe and follow along on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

This feature is brought to us courtesy of The Poetry Foundation, Complexity, and Wikipedia, and Amazon.

Cover of the current issue of Poetry

About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in American culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs.

Follow the Poetry Foundation and Poetry on Facebook at facebook.com/poetryfoundation,  facebook.com/poetryfoundationchildren, Twitter @PoetryFound and @Poetrymagazine, and Instagram @PoetryFoundation.

About Complexly
Founded in 2012 by Hank and John Green, Complexly is the production company for Crash Course, SciShow, The Art Assignment, and a dozen other education video channels and podcasts. With a worldwide audience of 20 million subscribers and 2.4 billion views on YouTube, Complexly is one of the largest global online educational companies. We make content that reflects our own enthusiasm for understanding and imagining the world complexly.


Recent in digital publications: 
* Five by Jamie Dedes, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)(July 2019)
* The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice (August 11, 2019) / This short story is dedicated to the world’s refugees, one in every 113 people.

A busy though bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Levure littéraireRamingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, HerStry, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander CoveI Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, Woven Tale PressThe Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group / Beguines, pushers of The BeZine of which I am managing editor. Email me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions or commissions.

Attn.: Women Poets, Opportunity Knocks, A Reminder from English Poet, Myra Schneider

Myra Schneider

“I believe the role of the poet is to reflect on human experience and the world we live in and to articulate it for oneself and others. Many people who suffer a loss or go through a trauma feel a need for poetry to give voice to their grief and to support them through a difficult time. When an atrocity is committed poems are a potent way of expressing shock and anger, also of bearing witness. I think that the poet can write forcefully, using a different approach from a journalist, about subjects such as climate change, violence, abuse and mental illness and that this is meaningful to others. I very much believe too that poetry is a way of celebrating life. I think it deserves a central place in our world.” Myra Schneider in an interview on The Poet by Day HERE.

Myra reminds us that Second Light’s Poetry competition will close for entries on August 4th”

“WOMEN POETS – Still just time to enter the Second Light Poetry Competition 2019 Online entries accepted CLOSING DATE AUGUST 6TH. The competition includes first prizes for best long length poem [no length limit] and best short length poem, as well as 2nd and 3rd prizes and commendations publication in ARTEMISpoetry magazine for all these [or extracts in the case of long poems].
Also readings to prize winners and commended poets.
For full details got to Second Light Live HERE.”


Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)(July 2019)
* Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review (July 2019)
Upcoming in digital publications:
* The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice (August 2019)

A busy though bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Levure littéraireRamingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, HerStry, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander CoveI Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, Woven Tale PressThe Compass Rose and California Woman.

I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group/Beguines, a virtual literary community and publisher of The BeZine of which I am the founding and managing editor. Among others, I’ve been featured on The MethoBlog, on the Plumb Tree’s Wednesday Poet’s Corner, and several times as Second Light Live featured poet.

Email me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions or commissions.

Dog Lovers’ Calls for Submissions

Bob Seger Dedes

Now dogs pretend they like to fight;
They often bark, more seldom bite;
But yet a Dog is, on the whole,
What you would call a simple soul.
Of course I’m not including Pekes,
And such fantastic canine freaks.
The usual Dog about the Town
Is much inclined to play the clown
And far from showing too much pride
Is frequently undignified.
He’s very easily taken in-
Just chuck him underneath the chin
Or slap his back or shake his paw,
And he will gambol and guffaw.
He’s such an easy-going lout,
He’ll answer any hail or shout.

Again I must remind you that
A Dog’s a Dog – A CAT’S A CAT.

Except from T.S. Elliot’s “Addressing Cats” in Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

ANIMAL WELLNESS MAGAZINE is a natural health magazine that publishes articles and stories on dogs and cats. Submissions details HERE.

THE BARK publishes dog-centered articles and stories and is open for unsolicited submissions and queries. Details HERE.

SUNDRESS PUBLICATIONS has an open call for submissions to The Familiar Wild: On Dogs and Poetry, “an anthology that centers the storied, yet perpetually mystifying connection that dogs and humans share with a new focus: the historical and contemporary relationships between poets and dogs.”  Deadline: July 1, 2019. Details HERE.

EVENT: Erie Pennsylvania ~

“Climate Change, Nature and the Writer’s Eye” on March 20 Will Feature Writers Annie Proulx, Peter Brannen, and Amitav Ghosh

The program, “Climate Change, Nature and the Writer’s Eye,” will honor Annie Proulx, winner of the Prize for American Fiction, on March 20. Photo by Gus Powell.

“Writers who use the wide palette of the natural world command an important vantage point from which to observe the issues of climate change, rising seas, animal and insect extinctions, or the loss of woodlands,” Proulx said.

The U.S. Library of Congress will honor the lifetime achievement of novelist Annie Proulx, winner of the Library’s Prize for American Fiction, in a program titled Climate Change, Nature and the Writer’s Eye.The discussion on March 20 will explore the role of writers and the intersection between literature and the environment.

Proulx is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Shipping News, the renowned short story Brokeback Mountain that was made into an Academy Award-winning film, and the 2016 novel Barkskins, among many other works. Science writer Peter Brannen and Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh will join Proulx to discuss issues of climate change and a writer’s responsibility to represent its realities.

The discussion will be moderated by author Marie Arana, senior literary advisor to the Librarian of Congress. Climate Change, Nature and the Writer’s Eye promises a lively exchange between two great literary masters, a prize-winning journalist and a historian of Latin America, all of whom have written passionately on environmental degradation, mass extinctions and the human quotient.

“Seldom have we seen the arts join science to issue such a vibrant summons to confront the most urgent task of our time,” Arana said.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20, in the Coolidge Auditorium on the ground floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free, but tickets are required. For tickets, please visit this ticketing site: lc-prize.eventbrite.com.

Each year, the prestigious Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction honors an American literary writer whose body of work is distinguished not only for its mastery of the art but also for its originality of thought and imagination.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden chose Proulx for the 2018 prize, honoring her as an “American original,” based on the recommendation of a jury of distinguished authors and prominent literary critics from around the world. The prize was awarded during the National Book Festival in 2018.

About the Speakers

ANNIE PROULX is the author of 10 books, including the novel The Shipping News and the story collection Close Range. Her story Brokeback Mountain, which originally appeared in The New Yorker, was made into an Academy Award-winning film. Proulx’s many honors include a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award and a PEN/Faulkner Award. In 2017 and 2018, she was awarded the National Book Foundation’s 2017 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2018 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction and the Ucross Foundation’s inaugural 2018 Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts. Proulx’s most recent novel, Barkskins (Scribner, 2016), was a New York Times Notable Book, a Kirkus Prize Finalist for Best Novel and was one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 10 Books of 2016. She lives in Port Townsend, Washington.

PETER BRANNEN is an award-winning science journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Wired, The Boston Globe, Slate and The Guardian, among other publications. His book, “The Ends of the World,” about the science behind the five major mass extinctions in Earth’s history, was published by Harper Collins in 2017. It was named a New York Times Editor’s Choice and one of the 10 Best Environment, Climate Science and Conservation Books of 2017 by Forbes. Peter is currently a Scripps Fellow at the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder.

AMITAV GHOSH was born in Calcutta and grew up in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He is the author of two books of nonfiction, a collection of essays and eight novels. His most recent book is “The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable(2016). His books have won prizes in India, Europe and Myanmar, and he has been awarded honorary degrees by the Sorbonne, Paris, and by Queens College, New York. He is married to the writer Deborah Baker and divides his time between Brooklyn, Goa and Kolkata. Amitav Ghosh’s work has been translated into more than 30 languages, and he has served on the jury of the Locarno Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival.

The Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction seeks to commend strong, unique, enduring voices that—throughout long, consistently accomplished careers—have told us something valuable about the American experience.

For more information on the prize, including previous winners, visit loc.gov/about/awards-and-honors/fiction-prize/.


The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

This post courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress. PhotoCredit-GusPowell.