Poetry Unites America



The POETRY UNITES series reveals how much Americans have in common when they open up through their love of poetry. Using the harmonizing power of poetry, the series of 30-minute film portraits of chosen states and its residents shows how easily we can feel united beyond political, racial, religious and cultural divisions.
Two episodes have been already produced: Poetry Unites New York (now on PBS AllArts Documentary Select List) and Poetry Unites Kansas (premiering there subsequently).
Currently we seek the financing for three 30-minute documentaries – Poetry Unites Kentucky, Poetry Unites Ohio and Poetry Unites Minnesota, each with additional six-minute videos devoted to each protagonist.

The films show the lives of people and the life of each selected state, with poetry in the background.

The four heroes of each film are selected through a statewide contest for the best essay on a significant role of a poem in the entrant’s lives. The juries, headed by State Poets Laureate, Jeff Worley (Kentucky), Dave Lucas (Ohio), Joyce Sutphen (Minnesota) who actively support the project, will select the winners to be featured onscreen.  Subsequently we are planning to move to California and Arizona, Mississippi and Alabama, Washington and Oregon.
If you can, please support this project.  Contributions are tax deductible through NYWiFT.

Director’s Statement, a tribute to the integrating power of poetry, 50 years after the Apollo’s moon landing:
Many people look at the Moon to feel Poetry.  I don’t know what one feels looking at the Earth from the Moon, but I know that Neil Armstrong, an engineer, after his walk on the Moon wrote beautiful poems for children.

I also know that the spaceship, which brought the first men to the moon was named after Apollo, the Greek God of Poetry and Art.
We all know that Poetry is important, yet we tend to forget it.
My films are meant to remind us about the power of Poetry, which can bring the world back together in ways not experienced since the Apollo’s trip to the moon fifty years ago.
-Ewa Zadrzynska, Director
Poetry Unites Website