April is National Poetry Month! Celebrate with 50 Newly Digitized Recordings

Happy National Poetry Month to you and yours! Here at the Library of Congress, we’re kicking off our celebration with the addition of 50 newly digitized recordings to the online Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature. This collection, which dates back to 1943, contains nearly 2,000 audio recordings of poets and writers participating in literary events at the Library of Congress, along with sessions recorded in the Recording Laboratory in the Library’s Jefferson Building. Until 2015, when we began digitizing the collection, most of these ARPL recordings were only available to those who visited the Library of Congress in person. Including this month’s release, there are 265 recordings from the archive now streaming online—easily accessible to anyone in the world with an internet connection.

Among the 50 newly added recordings are readings and lectures by poets laureate Josephine Jacobsen, William Meredith, Anthony Hecht, Robert Hass, Daniel Hoffman, Reed Whittemore, Stanley Kunitz, and Stephen Spender. For the first time streaming from the archive, you can now listen to recordings from Edward Field, Afaa M. Weaver (Michael S. Weaver), Susan Shreve, Eve Merriam, Katherine ChapinE. Ethelbert Miller, and many more.

If you really want to keep track, here’s a list of all 50 new additions to the online Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature:

  1. Adrian Henri reading his poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, Nov. 2, 1976
  2. Adrienne Wolfert reading her poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, Nov. 13, 1978
  3. Ann W. Hafen reading her poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, Jan. 17, 1961
  4. Anthony Hecht reading from his poetry on October 3, 1983, in the Coolidge Auditorium
  5. Carl Bode reading his poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, April 27, 1960
  6. Charles G. Bell reading his poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, June 9, 1965
  7. Charles Tomlinson reading his poems in the Recording Laboratory, April 18, 1960
  8. Daisy Aldan reading her poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, April 14, 1980
  9. David McAleavey and Susan Shreve reading from their work in the Coolidge Auditorium, Dec. 2, 1980
  10. Ethelbert Miller and Michael S. Weaver reading their poems on February 13, 1989, in the Coolidge Auditorium
  11. Edward Field and Michael S. Harper reading and discussing their poems on March 31, 1975, in the Coolidge Auditorium
  12. Edwin Honig reading his poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, Mar. 15, 1965
  13. Elisavietta Ritchie reading her poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, May 30, 1973
  14. Eve Merriam reading her poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, Oct. 19, 1961
  15. Gene Baro reading his poems in the Recording Laboratory, May 20, 1960
  16. Harriet Zinnes reading her poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, April 18, 1978
  17. Henry Rago reading his poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, Dec. 4, 1961
  18. Jascha Frederick Kessler reading his poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, Apr. 1, 1974
  19. Jascha Kessler reading his poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, Jan. 19, 1960
  20. Jonathan Williams reading his poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, June 18, 1965
  21. Katherine Garrison Chapin reading her poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, Nov. 30, 1960
  22. Katie Louchheim reading her poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, Jan. 5, 1968
  23. Laura Furman, James D. Houston, and David Michael Kaplan, authors of three of the “ten best” short stories in the PEN Syndicated Fiction Project, read their stories on November 29, 1990, in the Montpelier Room
  24. Lee Anderson and Josephine Jacobsen reading and discussing their poems in the Coolidge Auditorium, Apr. 27, 1970
  25. Leslie Ullman reading her poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, May 30, 1979
  26. Loren C. Eiseley reading his poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, Mar. 13, 1974
  27. Melville Cane reading his poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, Mar. 25, 1960
  28. Melvin Beaunorus Tolson reading his poems with comment in the Coolidge Auditorium, Oct. 18, 1965
  29. Others–shock troops of modern poetry: lecture by Daniel Hoffman in the Coolidge Auditorium, May 6, 1974
  30. Patricia Beer reading her poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory on November 2, 1976
  31. Phyllis Armstrong reading her poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, July 11, 1960
  32. Poets and anthologists: a look at the current poet-packaging process, with historical asides: a lecture by Reed Whittemore in the Coolidge Auditorium, May 6, 1985
  33. Robert Conquest reading his poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, April 21, 1960
  34. Robert Dana reading his poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, Feb. 19, 1974
  35. Roger Hecht reading his poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, Apr. 3, 1967
  36. Ruthven Todd reading his poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, Apr. 9, 1975
  37. Stanley Burnshaw reading his poems in the Recording Laboratory, Nov. 28, 1962
  38. Stanley Jasspon Kunitz reading one of his own poems and poems by other poets in the Coolidge Auditorium, October 6, 1975
  39. Suresh Dalal reading translations by Jagdish Joshi of Mr. Dalal’s poems in Studio B, Recording Laboratory on June 19, 1978
  40. Surly verses for the holidays, from D.H. Lawrence to E.E. Cummings and far beyond: readings in the Mumford Room, December 7, 1989
  41. Sybil Kein reading her poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, Jan. 11, 1978
  42. The cultures of American poetry: lecture by Robert Hass in the Montpelier Room on May 2, 1996
  43. The cultures of American poetry, part 2: lecture by Robert Hass in the Montpelier Room on May 2, 1996
  44. The imagination in the modern world: three lectures by Stephen Spender in the Coolidge Auditorium, February 26, 27, and 28, 1962
  45. The uses of criticism: a lecture by William Meredith in the Coolidge Auditorium, May 5, 1980
  46. Walter Lowenfels reading his poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, Dec. 17, 1962
  47. William Meredith reading his poems in the Coolidge Auditorium, October 2, 1978
  48. William Meredith reading his poems in the Coolidge Auditorium, Oct. 2, 1979
  49. William Packard reading his poems and excerpts from his plays, with comment, in the Recording Laboratory, Apr. 23, 1964
  50. X.J. Kennedy reading his poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, June 28, 1962

We’ll keep you posted on all that’s in store for the rest of National Poetry Month. In the meantime, we hope you have fun exploring the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature!

One Comment

  1. Shirl
    April 2, 2019 at 10:53 am

    Stanley “Jasspon” Kunitz! Wonderful. Who knew? A mammoth job here. Can’t wait to dive in.
    Shirl

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