Being: The Civil Conversations with Krista Tippett

"Words That Shimmer"

Poetry is something many of us seem to be hungry for, though often without knowing it until we hear it. We're starved for fresh ways to talk about difficult things - for language that would elevate and embolden rather than demean and alienate. This hour On Being, Krista Tippett speaks with Elizabeth Alexander. She was the fourth poet in history to contribute to a U.S. presidential inauguration, that of Barack Obama. Alexander shares her sense of what poetry works in us - and in our children - and why it may become more relevant, not less so, in hard and complicated times. This is the first of six shows in our Civil Conversations Project.

About the Civil Conversations Project -- ideas and tools for healing our fractured civic spaces.
The Civil Conversations Project is a series of radio shows and an online resource for beginning new conversations in families and communities. How do we speak the questions we don't know how to ask each other? Can we find ways to bridge gulfs between us about politics, morality, and life itself? Can we do that even while we continue to disagree, passionately? How is technology playing into all this, and how can we shape it?

On Being's Civil Conversations Project features six voices of wisdom, poetry and practicality: poet Elizabeth Alexander, philosopher Anthony Appiah, abortion rights activist Frances Kissling, Evangelical educator Richard Mouw, civil rights veteran Vincent Harding, and MIT psychologist and technologist Sherry Turkle. In conversation with Krista Tippett, they model new kinds of conversation and relationship with difference. They offer ideas and tools for healing our fractured civic spaces.

Guests: 

Poet Elizabeth Alexander

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