Reed Whittemore: An Appreciation

The following is a guest post by Bryan Koen, graduate research assistant for the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. Reed Whittemore, twice Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress, died on Friday in Kensington, MD. He was 92. You can read his obituary here and here, but we would like […]

Poet in Motion: Levine Discusses his Tenure as Laureate, the State of his Craft

The following interview with Philip Levine was conducted by Donna Urschel, a Public Affairs Specialist in the Library’s Office of Communications, and originally published in the March 30th issue of the Library’s staff newsletter, the Gazette. In the interview, Levine shared his thoughts on his tenure as Poet Laureate, the state of poetry today, the […]

Tinker to Evers to Chance

Here are two quick questions to consider on Major League Baseball’s Opening Day: 1) What is your favorite baseball poem? 2) What is your favorite baseball poem—other than “Casey at the Bat”? Most people can easily answer the first question, but are stymied by the second question because, in all likelihood, they’re unable to name […]

Poetry Contests, the National Library of Poetry, and Amateur Poetry Anthologies

One of my jobs as a digital reference specialist is to answer questions submitted through the Poetry and Literature Center’s Ask a Librarian form. The questions I receive tend to cluster around two or three major categories, such as how to find literary criticism on a novel and how to locate the full text of […]

Come Away!

The following is a guest post by Hope O’Keeffe, supervisory attorney-advisor in the Office of the General Counsel at the Library of Congress. You never know when you’ll change someone’s life. In third grade, I spent an afternoon visiting Great Aunt Mill’s friend Laura Hulse, a real poet with the most books I’d ever seen […]

The More the Merrier . . .

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 […]

Not For Sissies

The following is a guest post by Denise Gallo, supervisory librarian for the Acquisition And Processing Section, Music Division at the Library of Congress. Until I turned to musicology in the late 1990s, I taught college English. Most semesters, I was constrained to read (and correct) sentence fragments and make sure my students didn’t dangle […]

Phillis Wheatley

To mark the beginning of Women’s History Month, which follows on the heels of African American History Month, From the Catbird Seat would like to recognize Phillis Wheatley’s major impact on both literary history and women’s history. In 1773, Wheatley became the first African American woman to publish a book.  Wheatley’s book, a volume of […]

State Poets Laureate: Widely Instated

In a recent post I discussed the history of the U.S. poet laureateship. What I didn’t mention, however, is that the job title “Poet Laureate” isn’t restricted to this national position: many U.S. states, counties, cities, and other jurisdictions have created analogous Poet Laureate positions at the local level. In fact, more than twenty years […]