Regular Poetry and Literature Center program-goers may notice something different in this year’s calendar: a number of different Library co-sponsors at the bottom of our program listings. Let me explain how this came to be. In my first few months here at the Library of Congress, I discovered a) that there are all sorts of centers and divisions within the Library, with exemplary staff; and b) that these centers/divisions were putting on terrific literary programs—programs I would often only learn about when I saw flyers up around the Library’s Capitol Hill buildings!
Given the Poetry and Literature Center’s prominent place on the Library’s homepage, and our popular GovDelivery/RSS feed subscriptions on the subject (our “Poetry & Literature Events” subscription alone has over 27,000 e-mails—you can join here), I felt it was important to help the Library’s literary programs bring in the biggest possible audiences and let fans of the Poetry and Literature Center know about the wealth of literary programs within our walls. I am delighted to say that many Library staffers were delighted to work with me, and this spring the Poetry and Literature Center is co-sponsoring programs with the African and Middle Eastern Division, the Asian Division, the Center for the Book, the European Division, the Federal Library and Information Network, the Hispanic Division, the Manuscript Division, and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division, among others.
Of course, there’s another great benefit to our LC co-sponsorships: many of the above centers/divisions have an international focus, or focus on minority populations. I am proud the Poetry and Literature Center can diversify its programming through co-sponsorships with these centers/divisions, and work to celebrate the greatest range and variety of essential literary writing not only in America but around the world. And, these co-sponsored programs help showcase a few of the astounding resources—both physical and human—at the Library of Congress. I hope you take the opportunity to get to know the various centers and divisions within the Library, as I have and will continue to do—I know they will exponentially expand your knowledge of poetry and literature.