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American Literature by American Writers.
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Listen to a podcast from The Library of America

The Library of America is pleased to now make available as podcasts the audio from many of the memorable events it has hosted over the years. Watch this space for more podcasts—or subscribe to our podcasts and get them downloaded to your computer as soon as they are available.

The Republic of Verse
A marathon reading of 19th-Century American poetry held at the 92nd Street Y on October 21, 1993 in celebration of the publication of:

American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century
Volume One: Freneau to Whitman
Volume Two: Melville to Stickney, American Indian Poetry, Folk Songs and Spirituals

Edited by John Hollander
Hosted by Garrison Keillor

Segment One (57:32)
  • The Early Years (Barlow, Percival, Drake, Morris, Woodworth)
  • Native Landscape, Earthly Paradise (Longfellow, Cole, Bryant)
  • The Indian as Poetic Symbol (Sigourney, Bryant, Longfellow)
  • American Indian Poetry
  • Patriotism (Holmes, Emerson)
Readers for this event: Harold Bloom, Rachel Hadas, John Hollander, Thylias Moss, Robert Pinsky, Roberta Hill Whiteman

Download MP3 (13MB) | View program (PDF, 106K)

Segment Two (1:37:35)
  • New England Poets (Whittier, Holmes)
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Transcendentalism (Very, Fuller, Thoreau, Cranch)
  • The Southern School (Chivers, Legaré, Poe)
  • Walt Whitman
Readers for this event: Anthony Hecht, Daniel Hoffman, Maureen Howard, X. J. Kennedy, James Merrill, Cynthia Ozick

Download MP3 (22MB) | View program (PDF, 110K)

Segment Three (1:04:20)
  • Portents (Whittier, Horton, Lowell, Vashon, Melville)
  • The War (Timrod, Howe, Read, Whittier, Dunbar, Melville)
  • The Aftermath (Lanier, Ryan, Whitman)
  • Emily Dickinson
Readers for this event: Allan Gurganus, Michael Harper, Susan Howe, J. D. McClatchy, James Merrill, Marilyn Waniek

Download MP3 (15MB) | View program (PDF, 110K)

Segment Four (1:03:30)
  • Humor and Dialect I (Carryl, Leland, Cable)
  • African-American Poets: Whitman and Dunbar
  • The Old Home (Whittier)
  • Modern Lyricism: The Inward Turn (Lanier, Boker, Lazarus, Jackson, Howells, Reese)
  • Solitaries: Tuckerman and Melville
  • Humor and Dialect II (Twain)
Readers for this event: Roy Blount, Allan Gurganus, John Hollander, N. Scott Momaday, Thylias Moss, Calvin Trillin

Download MP3 (14MB) | View program (PDF, 112K)

Segment Five (1:13:29)
  • Folksongs and Popular Rhymes (Riley, Field, Thayer)
  • Political Visions (Lazarus, Merrill, Menken, Markham)
  • Fin-de-Siècle Pessimists, Orientalists, and Aesthetes (Fenellosa, Cawein, Wharton)
  • Harbingers of Modernism: Crane, Robinson, Stickney
  • American Indian Poetry II
Readers for this event: Stanley Crouch, John Hollander, Ann Lauterbach, N. Scott Momaday, Ed Sanders, Karl Kirchwey

Download MP3 (17MB) | View program (PDF, 124K)

The music in the podcast of "The Republic of Verse" is an excerpt from "Shuffling Song," arranged by William Coulter and Barry Phillips, and licensed from Gourd Music © Gourd Music 1996 www.gourd.com.

Copyright 1995–2011 Literary Classics of the United States, Inc.
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