New Podcast Episode: Juan Felipe Herrera and the National Book Festival Youth Poetry Slam

Kosi Dunn emcees the Poetry Slam at the 2015 National Book Festival. Photo by Shawn Miller.

For your listening pleasure, the sixth episode of From the Catbird Seatour new poetry podcast series—is up on our website and on iTunes.

In this sixth installment, we revisit the 2015 Youth Poetry Slam at the National Book Festival. The Youth Poetry Slam event debuted at the Festival just a year earlier, in 2014, as a collaboration between the Library of Congress, the Literature Division of the National Endowment for the Arts, and Split This Rock, a national poetry organization with deep roots in Washington, D.C. Each year, the Slam brings champions from some of the top youth slam groups around the country to compete.

U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera at the 2015 National Book Festival. Photo by Shawn Miller.

At the time of the 2015 National Book Festival, Juan Felipe Herrera was just a few days into his tenure as the 21st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry; along with sharing his own work at the Festival, he also served as a judge for the Youth Slam event. Lucky for you, we got Juan Felipe on the phone to talk about that experience and what established writers can learn from emerging writers.

Tune in for this conversation between Rob Casper and Juan Felipe Herrera, and settle in for some clips from the 2015 Youth Poetry Slam. You’ll hear the event’s emcee, Kosi Dunn, give a short history lesson on the origins of the poetry slam before he calls four of the evening’s slammers to stage—Mila Cuda, Maya Dru, Antwon Funches, and Rukmini Kalamangalam.

To listen and subscribe to From the Catbird Seatvisit our podcast site or find it on iTunes.

The Sonnet Challenge

The following guest post, part of our “Teacher’s Corner” series, is by Rebecca Newland, a Fairfax County Public Schools Librarian and former Teacher in Residence at the Library of Congress. By this time of the year, you might have just a few school days left or have weeks until your students leave for the summer […]

Podcast Episode 5: Conversations with African Poets and Writers

Good news: The fifth episode of From the Catbird Seat is now available for your listening pleasure! In this fifth installment, Ghanaian poet and editor Kwame Dawes speaks with Rob Casper about the formation of the African Poetry Book Fund, an organization that promotes and advances the development and publication of the poetic arts of […]

Podcast Episode 4 Now Available: Natasha Trethewey and Rosanne Cash

Today marks the half-way point for our poetry podcast series, From the Catbird Seat. Tune in now for Episode 4! In this newest installment of From the Catbird Seat, Rob Casper chats with former Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey about her 2013 event at the Library with singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash. At the time, Cash was completing a […]

Literary Treasures: Adrienne Rich reading her poems in the Coolidge Auditorium, April 7, 1981

The following post is part of our monthly series, “Literary Treasures,” which highlights 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 […]

New Podcast Episode: Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry

It’s Thursday, which means we’re bringing you another episode of From the Catbird Seat, our new poetry podcast series! In this third episode, we check in with the three jurors of the 2016 Rebekah Bobbitt Johnson National Prize for Poetry: Mary Szybist, appointed by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden; Danielle Legros Georges, appointed by Poet Laureate […]

Poetic Decisions

The following is a guest post by Brandon Fitzgerald, project manager of a Law Library staffing contract, writer and student of poetry and literature. This post originally appeared on the In Custodia Legis: Law Librarians of Congress blog.  As we come out of National Poetry Month, I have been thinking about my earliest post on the relationship between law […]