Who is TED? Why is his name in ALL CAPS? Why should I care what he has to say about Poetry? If you aren’t already familiar with TED Talks, it is an acronym for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. From their website at http://www.ted.com/:
TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.
I have heard of TED Talks and I was introduced to TEDx this past week. If you were already familiar with TED, maybe you thought like me, “what would TED have to do with Poetry?” This morning I decided to look up Poetry on TED and I was surprised by the results.
One of the 11 MUST-SEE TED Talks is about poetry. Poet Sarah Kay gave a talk around 18 minutes long entitled “If I Should Have a Daughter…” Kay is a spoken word poet, a performance poet and her presentation was eloquent. She is doing great things to further poetry in the modern world and ensure its accessibility for everyone. I’m attaching a link to her website here.
Former Poet Laureate Consultant to the Library of Congress, Billy Collins, has a TED Talk entitled “Everyday Moments, Caught in Time.” Collins’s talk is slightly shorter at around 15 minutes wherein he introduces five of his poems in animated form. He concludes by reading a sixth poem. I was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm and support from the large audience. Two or three times, Collins references the period he served as United States Poet Laureate, he laughs as he clearly enjoyed that time in his life and the audience laughs along with him. It’s a refreshing exchange between a contemporary poet and a demographically diverse audience. Collins maintains his own website here.
According to one of their tags, TED has 48 talks on Poetry! Additionally, they have around seven articles on Poetry! I feel like I’m using exclamation points excessively, but I get excited when I talk about Poetry and when I find new Poetry resources! This afternoon I typed “poetry” in TED’s search bar which returned 323 results! I hope you take a minute to watch some of the TED talks on poetry. Some of them are poets reading their material whiles others are poets talking about the craft and furthering the art form.
And as always, keep writing!