Description: Brief interview and readings with South African writer Dennis Brutus. Discussion of civil rights and struggle for change. Brutus reads portions of poems "Sequence for South Africa," about the pain of his exile, and "Sharpeville," about the Sharpeville Massacre of March 21, 1960 in the Transvaal Province of South Africa.
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 03/26/1982
Description: Derek Walcott, Saint Lucian poet, reads from his work. Walcott reads the poems "Sea Change" and "The Beachhead." Walcott begins to read the poem "Sea Cranes."
1:00:11: Visual: Derek Walcott (West Indian poet) reads from his work, a poem called "Sea Change." The poem is about the political unrest in the West Indies. 1:02:21: V: Walcott reads from his work, a poem called "The Beachhead." The poem is about an abandoned navy base in the West Indies. 1:04:34: V: Walcott begins to read from another poem called "Sea Cranes." Tape ends at the beginning of the reading.
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 05/20/1982
Description: Carmen Fields reports that the US Postal Service will issue a postage stamp bearing James Weldon Johnson's image in honor of Black History Month. Johnson was a poet, lawyer, diplomat, composer, and former director of the NAACP. Johnson is the composer of "Lift Every Voice," which is known as the "black national anthem." The Madison Park High School Choir performing "Lift Every Voice. Interview with professor Samuel Allen of Boston University, who was a student of Johnson's. He talks about Johnson's life and his legacy. Allen reads two of Johnson's poems. Fields report is accompanied by photos of Johnson and a shot of the postage stamp bearing his image.
1:00:07: Visual: Footage of the Madison Park High School Glee Club singing "Lift Every Voice." Carmen Fields reports that "Lift Every Voice" is known as the "black national anthem"; that the words to the song were written by James Weldon Johnson; that Johnson was a poet, diplomat, educator and the first African American lawyer in the state of Florida. V: Shots of a black and white photo of Johnson; of the caption beneath the photo. Fields reports that Johnson fought for anti-lynching laws as the executive director of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People); that Johnson also wrote lyrics for operas with his brother. Fields reports that Samuel Allen (professor, Boston University) was one of Johnson's students at Fisk University in the 1930s. V: Shot of a painting of Johnson. Footage of Allen being interviewed by Fields. Allen says that Johnson was "a Renaissance man." Allen notes that Johnson was an artist, writer, and diplomat. Allen reviews Johnson's accomplishments as US consul in Venezuela and in Nicaragua. Fields reports that Johnson is known for his poetry; that Johnson's poetry reflects the religious fervor in African American culture. V: Shot of a book of poetry held by Allen. Footage of Allen talking about and reading Johnson's poems, "The Creation" and "God's Trombones." Allen says that Johnson tried to immortalize the sermon of an African American preacher. Shot of a black and white photograph of Johnson. Fields reports that critics accused Johnson of hypocrisy for using religious themes in his poetry. V: Footage of Allen saying that Johnson was an agnostic. Shot of an image of Johnson on a US Stamp. Fields reports that "Lift Every Voice" was once seen as an unpatriotic and divisive song; that the song is now sung by school choirs and in churches. Fields notes that the US Postal Service will issue a stamp in honor of Johnson; that the stamp includes musical notation from "Lift Every Voice." V: Footage of the Madison Park High School Glee Club singing "Lift Every Voice." Shot of the US postal stamp featuring Johnson's image. Footage of Allen reading the lyrics of "Lift Every Voice."
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 02/01/1988
Description: Marcus Jones reports on Northeastern University's observation of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. Jones notes that a ceremony commemorating King's life was held at the university. Jones' report includes footage from the ceremony. Sonia Sanchez (poet and teacher) talks about King. Jones' report also includes footage of King. Susan Sullivan (Northeastern Law student) makes the announcement that the university is awarding an honorary law degree to Nelson Mandela. Interviews with Daniel Givelber (Dean, Northeastern University School of Law) and Sullivan about the decision to award a degree to Mandela. Jones notes that the university trustees overturned a policy which required recipients of degrees to pick them up in person. This edition of the Ten O'Clock News also included the following item: David Scondras, Charles Yancey and Ray Flynn: Boston City Council makes fair housing policy
1:00:10: Visual: Footage of an African American man performing a song at a ceremony commemorating the life of Martin Luther King (civil rights leader) at Northeastern University. Shots of the audience. Marcus Jones reports that hundreds of people gathered at Northeastern to commemorate the life of King; that King's 59th birthday is Friday. V: Shots of King addressing a crowd; of King marching at the head of a group of civil rights demonstrators. Footage of Sonia Sanchez (poet and teacher) talks about King's struggle to advance the cause of civil rights. Sanchez says that King's work is not finished. Shots of audience members applauding. Jones reports that Sanchez was the featured speaker at the ceremony; that the remarks of Susan Sullivan (Northeastern Law student) were the highlight of the event. V: Footage of Sullivan announcing that the Board of Trustees at Northeastern University has decided to award an honorary law degree to Nelson Mandela (jailed South African leader). The crowd applauds. Jones reports that Northeastern law students have petitioned the university for three years to grant a degree to Mandela. V: Shot of the entrance to the library at Northeastern Law School. Shot of a paper taped to the door of the library. A handwritten note on the paper reads, "Trustees grant Mandela Honorary Degree." Jones reports that the request had been previously denied due to a policy which required recipients of degrees to pick them up in person. Jones notes that Mandela has been jailed by the South African government because of his opposition to apartheid. V: Black and white footage of Mandela speaking; of a sign for Pollsmoor Prison, where Mandela is held. Jones notes that the university's decision to accede to the demands of students and faculty is unprecedented. V: Footage of Jones interviewing Daniel Givelber (Dean, Northeastern University School of Law). Givelbar says that Northeastern has an unusually diverse group of Trustees; that the Trustees felt like they were doing the right thing. Givelbar notes that the Board of Trustees made the decision to divest two years ago. Footage of Susan Sullivan saying that the degree should have been granted when the students first petitioned for it; that the law students should not have had to fight so hard for it. Sullivan says that international recognition could hasten Mandela's release from jail. Jones notes that the scheduled protest by the students turned into a celebration. Jones says that Northeastern students hope that other universities will follow Northeastern's example.
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 01/14/1988
Description: Interview with Mexican writer Octavio Paz about his biography of 17th century nun and poet Sor Juana. He compares her poetry and life to that of Emily Dickinson.
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 10/14/1988
Description: Poet Seamus Heaney reads excerpts from “Sweeney Astray," in Grolier Book Shop. No audio at the very end.
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 05/28/1984
Description: Poet Seamus Heaney readings his poems at Grolier Book Shop, with introductions to each poem, and banter before and in between readings. The poems read are, "Digging" "Follower" "What ever you say, say nothing" "Oysters" and "The Guttural Muse".
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 05/18/1982
Description: Poet Seamus Heaney reads his work outside. Heaney and Christopher Lydon discuss which poems to read and how to film the reading. Heaney gives context to each poem before reading it. He reads 5 poems in memory of his mother, 1 poem in memory of the poet Robert Fitzgerald, and "A Peacock's Feather" written for his niece on her christening. He also reads "The Face of the Horse" by Nikolay Zabolotsky, translated by Danny Weisbord. reel 1 of 2.
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 05/29/1986
Description: Studio interview with John Updike about Eastern European writers. He recommends Yugoslav writer Danilo Kis, although it might be hard to find in bookstores. He also talks about a Polish writers including Bruno Schulz. He compares Polish poets and prose writer. He talks about the work of Milan Kundera. He describes Eastern Europeans writers' situation and their often surreal styles sometimes resulting in "magical realism."
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 12/22/1989
Description: Interview with St. Lucian poet Derek Walcott and Irish poet Seamus Heaney about the poetry of American poet Robert Penn Warren. Lydon, Walcott, and Heaney discuss the best format for the interview. Walcott and Heany comment on Penn Warren's appointment as US Poet Laureate. Walcott comments on the excellence of Penn Warren's recent work. Heaney talks about the significance of US history in Penn Warren's work. Walcott and Heaney discuss regionalism in Penn Warren's work, and the appropriateness of appointing a poet laureate. Walcott reads from Penn Warren's poem, "Caribou." Tape 1 of 2.
1:00:00: Visual: Derek Walcott (West Indian poet) and Seamus Heaney (Irish poet) sit among shelves of books, along with Christopher Lydon. Walcott and Heaney are studying books. Walcott and Lydon discuss which poem he should read. Heaney studies his book. Heaney and Walcott joke about whether a poetry reading can be "hot TV." Lydon, Walcott and Heaney discuss the format of the TV segment. Lydon tells the poets to discuss the work and life of Robert Penn Warren (American poet). Walcott and Heaney talk about how they will discuss his work. Lydon asks Walcott about the appointment of Penn Warren as US Poet Laureate. Walcott says that some find the idea of a poet laureate ridiculous; that there is a very old tradition of elevating a poet to represent his people; that the nomination of Penn Warren is in no way amusing or ridiculous. Walcott says that the nomination is the crowning achievement of Penn Warren's career; that Penn Warren has written his most powerful work in his old age. Walcott says that Penn Warren's recent achievements merit recognition; that Penn Warren's work should be considered for a Nobel Prize. Lydon asks Walcott to describe Penn Warren's poetry. Walcott says that he used to be cautious in his appreciation for Penn Warren; that he used to feel that there was too much of "the novelist" in Penn Warren's poetry. Walcott says that Penn Warren has found great vigor in his old age; that his recent poetry is noteworthy. Walcott talks about the clarity and elation in Penn Warren's work. 1:05:51: V: Lydon asks Heaney about Penn Warren. Heaney says that Penn Warren has not "broken faith with the historical experience"; that the American historical experience has been central to his work. Heaney says that the US could not have chosen a better poet laureate; that Penn Warren's work produces history and is a reaction to history. Heaney refers to Penn Warren's literary ambitions. Heaney says that American history and destiny is a large part of Penn Warren's work; that Penn Warren shoulders "large poetic responsibilities" in his work. Heaney says that it is proper for Penn Warren to be honored by the US; that Penn Warren has honored the nation through his work. Lydon asks Heaney to talk about the history in Penn Warren's work. Heaney talks about the relation between poet and region in Penn Warren's work. Heaney notes that Penn Warren was one of the Fugitives (a group of Southern poets); that Penn Warren carefully the relationship between "a literary career and a communal destiny." Heaney says that Penn Warren wrote as if his poetry had a responsibility to the larger culture; that there is "roughage" and "subject matter" in the poetry of Penn Warren. Heaney refers to the recent poem, Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, which focuses on the treatment of Native Americans in the nineteenth century. Heaney says that Penn Warren does not "wilt in the face of history;" that many poets shy away from facing history. Heaney notes that Penn Warren's poetry has a "large voice;" that Penn Warren has risen to the challenge of history. 1:11:02: V: Lydon asks if there is a contradiction in appointing one poet to represent the diverse people and regions of the US. Walcott says that the image of a hawk is recurrent in Penn Warren's poetry; that Penn Warren is like an old hawk; that Penn Warren is fierce and gentle. Walcott says that Penn Warren is hawk-like in his observations of American culture; that Penn Warren writes about regions of the country which are familiar to him; that Penn Warren has observed those regions from a great distance and has contemplated their meanings. Walcott says that Penn Warren has a gift; that Penn Warren has used that gift to examine a fairly modest range of experience. Walcott says that Penn Warren is rooted in his region and personal experience; that he is able to examine the horizons of that experience. Walcott notes that Penn Warren has expressed the "guilt" and the "conscience" of the South. 1:14:27: V: Heaney notes that there is an "imperial" theme in the appointment of a poet laureate by the US government; that the government seems to be trying to "furbish its image." Heaney wonders if there is a political motive in the appointment of a poet laureate. Heaney says that a poet's power needs to be kept pure; that "the poetic intelligence of a country" needs to serve as an alternative government. Heaney wonders if the appointment is an attempt to co-opt the conscience of the "alternative government." Heaney changes the subject, saying that American poets are well-suited to be poet laureates; that American poetry has a tradition of "visionary writing"; that American poets are challenged to include the scope of the country in their writing. Heaney refers to the poetry of Walt Whitman as an example of "visionary writing" or "public poetry." He notes that the poetry of Emily Dickinson is more inward-looking. 1:17:21: V: Lydon asks each poet to read some of Penn Warren's work. Walcott chooses the poem Caribou. Walcott says that the poem exemplifies Penn Waren's clarity of vision. Walcott says that the voice in the poem describes the caribou and looks down on them from a great height. Walcott reads the poem. Walcott, Heaney and Lydon comment on the beauty of the poem when Walcott has finished reading it.
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 02/28/1986