Join us online for two National Poetry Month programs

Charles Wright, 20th U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. Photo by Holly Wright, 2012.

Charles Wright, 20th U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. Photo by Holly Wright, 2012.

April is a big month for poetry programming at the Library of Congress. Patricia Smith, winner of the 13th Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, will be reading at the Library on April 6th. And on April 30th, Charles Wright will conclude his term at the 20th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry by holding a conversation, moderated by Poetry magazine editor Don Share, with former Poet Laureate Charles Simic.

To complement the Library’s on-campus poetry programming during National Poetry Month, I and my Digital Reference Section colleagues will be hosting two free, online poetry webinars for the Library.

The first webinar, “Laurels & Lyrics: Poetry Resources at the Library of Congress,” will be held on Tuesday, April 1st, from 11 a.m.-noon (Eastern Daylight Time), and will provide an overview of the poetry resources available through the Library’s website. Here’s the official description:

April is National Poetry Month! To celebrate, join poetry specialist Peter Armenti and the Library of Congress for a tour of the rich and varied poetry resources available on our website. 

Whether you’re a teacher, librarian, literary scholar, or an avid reader of poetry, the Library’s website has poetry-related materials that will engage and excite you. This program will introduce participants to specific poetry resources–including online initiatives launched by U.S. Poets Laureate, exhibits on famous poets, poetry webcasts and recordings, and, of course, poems themselves–while also offering search tips and strategies you can use to delve more deeply into the Library’s online poetry content.

The second webinar, “Poetry’s Catbird Seat: A History of U.S. Poets Laureate,” is scheduled for April 22nd, 2-3 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time), and will survey the history of the position popularly known as “U.S. Poet Laureate.” More about the program:

The highest poetry office in the country belongs–both literally and symbolically–to the U.S. Poet Laureate. Headquartered at the Poetry and Literature Center in the attic of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, the Poet Laureateship is the only national position dedicated to raising awareness and appreciation of poetry among the American public.

Join poetry specialist Peter Armenti for a National Poetry Month program that explores the history of the Laureateship from its origins in the 1930s to the present. You’ll discover why the position was created, see how its responsibilities have changed over the years, learn how the Laureate is selected, and explore some of the major initiatives and activities of Laureates past and present. The program will conclude by surveying the rise of official State Poet Laureate positions and the recent proliferation of Poets Laureate among cities, counties, schools, and in other local settings.

Further information about the webinars, including specific times and how to register, follows below. If you have any questions about the programs, please let me know in the comments below.

I hope you can attend!

April Poetry Webinars

Title: “Laurels & Lyrics: Poetry Resources at the Library of Congress”
Presenter: Peter Armenti
Date: Tuesday Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time)
Register at: //
Note: This is an online program.
Sponsor: The Digital Reference Section
Questions? Contact the Digital Reference Section


Title: “Poetry’s Catbird Seat: A History of U.S. Poets Laureate”
Presenter: Peter Armenti
Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Time: 2:00-3:00 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time)
Register at: //
Note: This is an online program.
Sponsor: The Digital Reference Section
Questions? Contact the Digital Reference Section


  1. Simic and Wright Fan
    March 23, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Please provide details on the April 30th conversation with Simic and Wright. Online only? Open to the public in person? Thank you.

    • Peter Armenti
      March 24, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      The Simic and Wright conversation will not be broadcast online. It will take place Thursday, April 30, at 7:00 p.m. in the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium (ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building). The event is free and open to the public. Book sales and a signing will follow. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  2. Julie Huchrowski
    March 24, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    April 1st is on a Wednesday not a Tuesday.

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