Richard Blanco’s Inaugural Poem: “One Today”

Leading up to his performance at Barack Obama’s second presidential inauguration, Richard Blanco’s biography—he is the first openly gay and first Latino Inaugural Poet—was the focus of the media. Last Monday, however, Blanco finally had a chance to let his poetry take center stage. Blanco’s inaugural poem, “One Today,” was and is a celebration of […]

State Poets Laureate Roundup

Although 2013 is less than two weeks old, poetry—not typically known for garnering national attention—has already managed to capture headlines across the country with the announcement that Richard Blanco will serve as the inaugural poet for Barack Obama. Mr. Blanco will be only the fifth inaugural poet, an honor first given to former Consultant in […]

Happy New Year!

After a long and lovely holiday season, it’s nice to be back in the office with the whole of 2013 ahead of us. And what a year it will be—the Poetry and Literature Center will celebrate 75 years of Consultants and Poets Laureate. We kick off our big year in style, with a reading to […]

A Grimm Beginning

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s Children’s and Household Tales (Kinder-und Hausmärchen), popularly known as Grimms’ Fairy Tales. The collection’s bicentennial has already been marked by the publication of a new retelling of fifty of the tales by His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman […]

A Tale of Two Laureates

While most of the Poetry and Literature Center’s public programs happen here in Washington, DC, a small but growing number take place throughout the country. Last week I had the chance to fly out to Los Angeles, for a reading with the current Poet Laureate at the lovely LA Central Library. The event could not […]

Discoveries I’ve Made

 The following is a guest post by Elizabeth Acevedo, a 2012-2013 intern at the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center. I have a confession to make: I have not always been an avid reader of poetry. This tends to be a problem when you’re an intern at the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature […]

Epistle for Thanksgiving

The following is a guest post by Mary Lou Reker, program specialist at the Library of Congress Office of Scholarly Programs. Over the last three or four years I’ve been researching American writers popular during the 1920s through 1950s. One of these was Archibald MacLeish, the former Librarian of Congress. So when my colleague Rob […]

Coming to the End of His Triumph

Poet Jack Gilbert, who touched the lives of countless readers through lucid, lyrical poems that explored classic themes such as love, death, and the good life, passed away Tuesday at age 87. Though Gilbert eschewed the literary limelight and would never have considered serving as U.S. Poet Laureate, he came to the Library at least […]

Poetry at Work

PLC intern Elizabeth Acevedo reads Lucille Clifton’s “won’t you celebrate with me” to Caitlin Rizzo. Since coming to the Poetry and Literature Center as a Junior Fellow, I’ve welcomed many new office traditions: morning coffee, baked goods at least once every two weeks, and watching Rob dance. Though, by far my favorite office tradition is […]