BU Today

Campus Life

At the Screen Door

Carrie Preston, a College of Arts and Sciences assistant professor of English, reads Yusef Komunyakaa’s “At the Screen Door.””

Click above to hear Carrie Preston, a College of Arts and Sciences assistant professor of English, read Yusef Komunyakaa’s “At the Screen Door.” Photos by Kalman Zabarsky

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“In this poem, Yusef Komunyakaa imagines the return of a Vietnam War veteran to his home, and I chose this poem because my husband was stationed in Iraq. He’s a U.S. Marine fighter pilot, and I was thinking of his return home, so this poem had been on my mind. I find it inspiring, realistic, and very, very beautiful.”

“By reading poems we love aloud, we can learn how much pleasure there can be in the sounds of words,” says Robert Pinsky, a CAS professor and former U.S. poet laureate. “It’s as though saying the words of a poem aloud makes one feel more able, more capable than in ordinary life. You enter a different state.”

Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project in 1997 during the first of an unprecedented three terms as poet laureate to encourage Americans to celebrate and explore their love of poetry. Since then, the project — now directed by BU poet Maggie Dietz (GRS’97) — has produced three anthologies and more than 1,000 readings around the country.

Throughout the semester, BU Today features a member of the BU community reading his or her favorite poem. Any student or faculty or staff member can participate.

If you’d like to read your favorite poem for BU Today, e-mail us at today@bu.edu.

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