The World of Poetry is a follow up to and expansion of The United States of Poetry, a five-part series that premiered on PBS in 1996. The United States of Poetry was a portrait of the country as seen through its language and poetry and was hailed as a major achievement by newspapers and periodicals as diverse as The Wall Street Journal, Sassy, TV Guide, and Buzz. The New York Times called the series "downright courageous"; Raygun characterized it as "quite possibly the most compelling document ever made about the living voice of our nation."
Our new project, The World of Poetry, begins where The United States of Poetry left off, but takes a radical new approach -- an approach that opens up the process to new poets, filmmakers, and audiences from America and around the world, an approach that invites experimentation and new ideas, and an approach that is designed for both new and traditional technology and media.
The basic concept is to match up poets with filmmakers to produce a single video poem or a series of poems. Since no specific delivery format will be specified, the pieces can be in any style and of any length. There will be no prescribed themes, so the poems featured can be on any topic.
Finished pieces will be stored on broadcast-quality electronic media to create a television database of hundreds of contemporary poets. Selected pieces, and interviews will be edited into a one-hour World of Poetry special, or series of specials to air on PBS.
The world has never seen a project like The World of Poetry -- a new kind of anthology for the next Millennium, a survival tool for the Future. Poets from the mountain tops to the underground will provide perspectives for consideration, education, elucidation, meditation, activation. Through the lens of new media, we visualize a world in which television and poetry unite us in our differences.