Philip Levine concluded the Library’s literary season last night with a lecture to a packed audience in the Coolidge Auditorium. Levine’s talk, “My Forgotten Poets,” was a self-effacing tribute to the poets who influenced his life and writing during his formative years.
Although Levine’s term as Poet Laureate officially ended yesterday, this afternoon at 3 p.m. he returns to the Library one final time for a special, live video conference with ten sites—five high schools, four public libraries, and one retirement community—located around the country. The program, titled “Behind the Scenes with the Poet Laureate,” will feature Levine reading and discussing three of his poems: “Our Valley,” “The Simple Truth,” and “What Work Is.” This will be followed by a live question and answer session with participating institutions.
One of the most exciting aspects of the video conference is that it will be streamed live on the Web, giving anyone with an Internet connection the opportunity to watch Philip Levine interact with a diverse group of students, poetry lovers, and lifelong learners. To view the event live, simply follow this link on Friday, at 3 p.m. Eastern Time.
This is the second time a U.S. Poet Laureate has participated in a video conference at the Library of Congress. On April 1, 2010, Kay Ryan led a video conference on the writing process with students from four community colleges in celebration of Community College Poetry Day. The video conference was part of Ryan’s national poetry project Poetry for the Mind’s Joy.
Complete List of Participating Sites
- Ada Community Library, Star Branch – Star, Idaho
- Brawley Union High School – Brawley, California
- Capstone Village, U. Of Alabama – Tuscaloosa, Alabama
- Southwest High School – El Centro, California
- Fox Chapel High School – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Moanalua High School – Honolulu, Hawaii
- Potsdam Public Library – Potsdam, New York
- Alpena County George N. Fletcher Library – Alpena, Michigan
- Whitmore Public Library – Salt Lake City, Utah
- Winder Barrow High School – Winder, Georgia
This event is sponsored by the Poetry and Literature Center of the Library of Congress, with technical support from the Internet2 K20 Initiative; MAGPI, the Mid-Atlantic Gigapop in Philadelphia for Internet2; and the Digital Reference Section of the Library of Congress.