Voices and Visions
A video instructional series on American poetry for college and high school classrooms and adult learners;
The lives and works of 13 renowned American poets are interpreted through dramatic readings, archival photographs, dance, performances, and interviews in this inspiring series. Illustrative poems in each program are accompanied by insights into their historical and cultural connections. The series covers the terminology of poetry and the larger role of poets in American and world literature studies. Poets include Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, and Elizabeth Bishop.
1. Elizabeth Bishop From childhood in Nova Scotia to travels in Brazil, this program illustrates the geographic spirit of Bishop’s life and works with scenes from her poems.
2. Hart Crane Diverse locations and dramatizations of his life illustrate Crane’s poetry and his greatest work, “The Bridge.”
3. Emily Dickinson Dramatic scenarios and New England landscapes illuminate the passionate genius of Dickinson, whose poems represent a broad range of imaginative experience.
4. T. S. Eliot Eliot’s life, influence, and poetry from the bold originality of “Prufrock” to the probing, meditative style of “Four Quartets” are explored with photos, archival footage, and discussion with friends, critics, and scholars.
5. Robert Frost Frost’s image as elder statesman is vividly contrasted with his vigorous, poetic exploration of the darker forces of nature and the human condition. Readings and interviews with the poet reveal compelling insights into his work.
6. Langston Hughes Hughes wrote of the beauty, dignity, and heritage of blacks in America. Interviews, music, and dance performances convey his work and influence, discussed by James Baldwin and biographer Arnold Rampersad.
7. Robert Lowell Lowell’s political passion encompasses much of his greatest poetry. Lowell himself reads from his work. Elizabeth Hardwick, Robert Hass, and others discuss his development and style as illustrated by “Lord Weary’s Castle” and “Life Studies.”
8. Marianne Moore Funny, formidable, and paradoxical, the poet and her work are analyzed by critics and friends, including Monroe Wheeler, Grace Shulman, and Patricia Willis. Her most memorable poems display her power of observation and moral force.
9. Sylvia Plath The creative intensity with which Plath confronted her experiences as daughter, wife, mother, and writer is explored in documentary and archival footage intercut with visualizations of her work.
10. Ezra Pound The most controversial of American poets — artistic catalyst, legendary confidant, and author of brilliant cantos — Ezra Pound and his poetry and role in the modernist movement are explored by friends and critics.
11. Wallace Stevens Stevens’s flamboyant verbal technique and philosophical vision of American life are beautifully illustrated by archival footage.
12. Walt Whitman Brilliant readings of Whitman’s poems demonstrate his American vision and style and vividly convey their poignance and sheer power. Whitman’s sources, including Emerson, the King James Bible, opera, and political oratory, are revealed.
13. William Carlos Williams “No ideas but in things,” Williams’s aesthetic dictum sought to capture, not analyze. A collage of documentary footage, interviews, animation, and dramatization capture the poet’s often visual work and intense life.
Use our classroom videos for every curriculum and every grade level.
These programs have been dropped from the Instructional Resources offerings.
Sign up for our monthly e-Newsletter to learn about new programs, classroom resources, and professional development opportunities!
June - Tri-City Technology Conference in Fargo, North Dakota
June 8 - Share a Story event at Rheault Farm from 10:30 am to 4:00 pm
June 14 - Midwest KidsFest at Island Park in Fargo, North Dakota from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm
June 25-26 - Prairie Region Teacher Training Institute in Moorhead, Minnesota at Concordia College