~ Poet: Philippa Hughes ~

The Greatest Poem by Philippa Hughes

“The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.”
– Walt Whitman

The Greatest Poem is a project involving many collaborators. At the heart of it is a spirited and uplifting poem by Philippa Hughes. The film-making is a composite of many short animated pieces by different artists, brought together into a consistent whole by Elyse Kelly. A statement about the film:

“The Greatest Poem” is inspired by the words of Walt Whitman who believed that the power of poetry and democracy are derived from their capacity to make a unified whole from diverse and sometimes contradictory parts. In this spirit of diversity and unity, the film was made into a beautiful whole by a team of 20+ artists, from around the U.S. and world, posed around the question “What does it mean to be American?” – source

Writer: Philippa Hughes
Director: Elyse Kelly
Voice: Raechel Wong
Music & sound design: Cathead Noise & The Lunar Year
Sequence Directors (in order of appearance): Rohan McDonald, Nazli Cem, Zoë Soriano, Eric Larson, Catalina Matamoros, Cynthia Chu, Yoon Su Lee, Nijah Brown, Sofia Diaz, Mithra Krishnan, Jackson Ammenheuser, Megan Jedrysiak, Matea Losenegger, Angela Hsieh, Ana Mouyis, Sara Spink, Selina Donahue, Dena Springer, Dorca Musseb.
Additional design: Darren Enterline

The project was commissioned by Arena Stage in Washington D.C.