The following post is part of our monthly series, “Literary Treasures, ” which champions the Library’s literary programming by highlighting audio and video recordings drawn from the Library’s extensive online collections, including the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature. By showcasing the works and thoughts of some of the greatest poets and writers from the past 75 years, the series advances the Library’s mission to “further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.”
On this day in 2003, Louise GluÌˆck was appointed the 12th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. To celebrate the anniversary of GluÌˆck’s appointment, this month’s “Literary Treasures” post features a recording from our Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature of GluÌˆck reading her poetry at the Library on May 4, 2004. As part of the program, which was her final appearance as Poet Laureate, Glück read excerpts of poems appearing in her book Averno. A finalist for the 2006 National Book Award for Poetry, Averno written largely in February 2004 while GluÌˆck served as Laureate.
In addition to writing most of the poems in Averno while Poet Laureate, during her term Glück also named Dana Levin and Spencer Reece Witter Bynner Fellows, and brought the work of three other poets—Peg Boyers, Dan Chiasson and Peter Streckfus—to the Library’s audiences. These five poets participated in a symposium presided over by Glück in which they read from their work and discussed the writing of poetry.
To learn more about Glück’s life and her work, consult the Library’s Web guide Louise Glück: Online Resources.