#ArtLitPhx: W.S. Merwin Documentary at the Garden

Even Though the Whole World is Burning


Documentary Screening

Webster Auditorium
Desert Botanical Gardens

MARCH 16, 2016

6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Even Though the Whole World is Burning is an intimate documentary portrait of the extraordinary life of acclaimed poet and ecologist W.S. Merwin. This feature-length film from independent filmmaker Stefan Schaefer chronicles Merwin’s significant place as a leading figure in American poetry and highlights connections between Merwin’s environmental advocacy, his daily horticulture practice and his writing life.

In a career spanning nearly six decades and more than 60 books, Merwin’s poetry and translations have won nearly every major award available to poets, including two Pulitzer Prizes. For the last thirty years this former U.S. Poet Laureate has made his home on Maui, surrounded by acres of land once devastated from years of erosion, logging and toxic agricultural practices. Following a daily gardening practice, Merwin has painstakingly restored the property to a lush palm-filled landscape that is now recognized as one of the most comprehensive palm forests in the world.

A short panel response and reception featuring Susan Norton, Paul Hirt and Alberto Ríos will follow the screening. To get tickets, please go to their LEARN site.

Tickets include admission into the Garden, so you can also stroll through and enjoy the incredible Bruce Munro exhibit before or after the film. This event is not included with Garden membership. Poetry Center Walt Whitman Circle Members enjoy membership pricing (code “PoetryAZ”).


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6 thoughts on “#ArtLitPhx: W.S. Merwin Documentary at the Garden

  • March 13, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    I have really been wanting to see the Bruno Munro exhibit, and seeing a film about poetry would make that an even better experience.

  • March 13, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    This sounds like it will be a great event, and I love the Botanical Gardens. It’s a wonderful setting for a documentary about W.S. Merwin. I just finished reading one of his poems, “A Purgatory,” and it’s hauntingly beautiful.

  • March 13, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    The title caught my eye right away but knowing what it’s about is even better. It must be such a sight to see the garden in person, but I’ll settle for even a film on it!

  • March 16, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Man, oh man, do I hope to go there someday. I think it is really interesting how literature can go hand in hand with basically anything, and in this case gardening. I have been attempting to start my own garden for a while now, however, my green thumb is broken and I tend to kill everything. Maybe I am missing the poetry! What a wonderful life he must have lead. Very inspiring.

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