In 1988, the Lannan Foundation began a video series to document contemporary writers from around the world reading and discussing their work. The ongoing series currently consists of eighty-three programs, with more to come in the future.
Many of the country's most esteemed contemporary poets have been documented in this exhaustive series, including Robert Creeley, Lucille Clifton, Robert Hass, Stanley Kunitz, Jorie Graham, W. S. Merwin, Sonia Sanchez, and Louise Glück. There is also broad international representation, including: Yehuda Amichai from Israel; Eavan Boland, Seamus Heaney, and Eamon Grennan from Ireland; and Octavio Paz and Carlos Fuentes from Mexico.
Each program is approximately sixty to ninety minutes in length and consists of poetry readings and conversational interviews between the writer and either Michael Silverblatt, a literary talk-show host, or a panel of other writers. Drawing on the Lannan Foundation's dedication to cultural freedom, diversity, and creativity, each writer discusses how politics, culture, and their personal lives affect their work.
The Lannan Foundation donates the series to libraries, schools, and colleges, as well as literary, community, and cultural centers, and correctional institutions. To view a video in the series, check with your local public library or visit Poetry Near You to find a literary organization in your area.