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2016 Wine Country Film Festival

Flowers and Roots: James Ragan, Poet Ambassador of the Arts

Kvety a Korene

Biography, Cinema of Conscience, Arts in Film, Documentary, World Cinema / Slovakia / 2016 / 58 mins / English, Slovak

Flowers and Roots: James Ragan, Ambassador of the Arts

KenWood Restaurant Theatre Space
September 24, 2016 6:00 pm


With James Ragan In Person Reading his Poetry In Person.
Flowers and Roots
, profiles internationally recognized poet, playwright and essayist James Ragan’s role in “taking his poetry to the world” in order to challenge oppression. He revisits his family roots in Slovakia, his relationship as a poet-playwright with Czech President Vaclav Havel as well as his role in performing for world audiences as a universally recognized literary ambassador. These include readings at the United Nations, Carnegie Hall, and for 25 ambassadors and 7 Heads of State, including Mikhail Gorbachev, for whom he read along with Bob Dylan, Seamus Heaney, and Robert Bly. The film reveals Ragan’s commitment to “bridging” communication between cultures as a “world class mind” and “artist.” Film producer Albert Ruddy(”The Godfather”), David Hartman (host of “Good Morning America”), and U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Norman Eisen, and others praise his mentorship and his 9 books of poetry, 3 dramas, and award-winning film work for their “humanist” inspiration and influence on world audiences and literature. We see Ragan reading from his award winning books as “The Hunger Wall” and “Too Long a Solitude,” written on the balcony of Havel’s iconic family home in Prague. Ragan talks of his impulse “to move the minds of kings” through his passion for “living poetry rather than just writing it.”

Remi Platinum Award, 2016 Houston International Film Festival


Director's Bio

On James Ragan:
Ragan is an internationally recognized poet, playwright and essayist. He has authored eight books of poetry which have been translated into 12 languages, including “In the Talking Hours,” “Womb-Weary,” “The Hunger Wall,” “Lusions,” “Selected Poetry,” “Too Long a Solitude,” “The World Shouldering I,” “To Sing Us Out of Silence” and Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s Collected Poems, for which Ragan served as co-editor. Ragan has read for six heads of state and for audiences in China, Japan, England, France, Spain, Brazil and the Czech Republic. In 1985, he was one of three Americans, including Bob Dylan and Robert Bly, invited to perform at the First International Poetry Festival in Moscow. Honors include three Fulbright professorships, two honorary doctorates, the Emerson Poetry Prize, eight Pushcart Prize nominations, a Poetry Society of America citation, and the Swan Foundation Humanitarian Award, among others. Czech President Vaclav Havel has praised Ragan calling him “an ambassador of the arts.” Ragan has worked as a screenwriter at Paramount Pictures and in various production capacities during the making of “The Border,” “Dom” (The House), “Clownwise” and the Academy Award-winning films “The Godfather” and “The Deer Hunter.”


Producers: Arina Films, Media Team and Goldstrum Lane Productions
Music: Jameson Ragan

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Dates & Times

Flowers and Roots: James Ragan, Ambassador of the Arts

KenWood Restaurant Theatre Space
September 24, 2016 6:00 pm