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Poetry Breaks III, Charles Simic

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Summary
Charles Simic was born in Yugoslavia in 1938. His previous volumes of poetry include Kerns Cosmology (1977), nominated for the National Book Award, and Classic Ballroom Dances (1980), which won the 1980 di Castagnola Award and the Harriet Monroe Poetry Award. Walking the Black Cat (1996) was nominated for the National Book Award. Charles Simic has received the Edgar Allan Poe Award, the PEN Translation Prize, and awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Institute of Arts and Letters. In 1983 he received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. In 1990 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The World Doesn't End. Simic is also known for his work as an essayist and as a translator. He has taught writing at the University of New Hampshire since 1974.

Charles Simic introduces and reads his poems in a New England home and answers questions concerning his life and work.
"Stone"
"What the gypsies told my grandmother..."
"Mirrors at 4 A.M."
"Mixed up with the characters..."
"Little Unwritten Book"
"Prodigy"
"Cameo Appearance"
"Miracle Glass Co."
"The Clocks of the Dead"
"Once I Knew that I Forgot"
"My mother was a braid..."
"I was stolen by the Gypsies..."
"We were so poor..."

Simic also answers the questions:
"What is poetry?"
"Where do I get my ideas?"
"What is it like being a poet?"
Some of the breaks pair poems or poems and questions together.

Multiple takes of the poems listed above and the following poems appear on the source tapes of original footage:
"On the Sagging Porch"
"He Had Mixed Up the Characters"
"Documentary"
"Summer Morning"
"A Wall"

Simic's answers to the following questions appear on the source tapes of original footage: When did you know you wanted to be a poet?
What's the poet's life like?
How do you know when a poem is finished?
What is your writing process like?
Where do you get your ideas?
Do you show your work to anyone?
What's the difference between your earlier and later poems?
What is the influence of your cultural heritage on your poetry?
How did your learning of poetry begin?
What is poetry?
Selected answers to these questions were incorporated into "Poetry Breaks for Schools and Libraries: Charles Simic."

Produced and directed by Leita Hagemann Luchetti.

"Poetry Breaks," conceived by Leita Hagemann Luchetti and co-produced by Luchetti and WGBH New Television Workshop, is an ongoing series of over 100 thirty-second to four-minute spots presenting internationally known poets reading their work on location. These have aired individually on WGBH and public television stations across the country. The Workshop collaborated with Luchetti until its closing in 1993, at which point the works became co-productions of Luchetti and the larger WGBH Foundation.

"Poetry Breaks II," produced from 1991-1994, began airing on WGBH-TV in 1994, and was also broadcast by dozens of other public television stations throughout the country starting in 1994. Between 1995 and 1997, three new poets were taped for Poetry Breaks III.
Topics
Oral interpretation of poetry, Poetry, Poetry reading, Writing
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