Alexander McCall Smith and the World of Mma Precious Ramotswe

On October 24, 2019, the Library of Congress welcomed the fifth author in its yearlong National Book Festival Presents series, the inimitable fiction writer Alexander McCall Smith. As part of the programming surrounding Mr. McCall Smith’s visit, staff from four Library divisions were asked to develop a display of items related to Mr. McCall Smith and his works.

Thoreau in Concord: Inspiring Discussion and Mindfulness

Rebecca Newland, former Teacher in Residence at the Library of Congress, participated in a week-long National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture workshop titled “The Concord Landscapes and Legacy of Henry Thoreau” in July. In this post, she develops two ideas about how to explore the philosophies and work of Thoreau in your classroom or library.

Veterans Art Showcase: Occupational Poetry

On Wednesday, November 6, in honor of Veterans Day and the 20th anniversary of the Veterans History Project, the Veterans History Project, the American Folklife Center, and the Poetry and Literature Center will host a discussion on occupational poetry. In anticipation, we’ve asked three of the event’s participating poets to share a poem, answer a few questions about their work, and respond to another occupational poet’s poem. 

Work and Play … with Language: Occupational Poetry

Occupational poetry is a category of verbal art anchored in communities of work. As a form of folk poetry, it often manifests in the everyday settings of jobs and employment. Folklore scholarship and fieldwork has focused on the poetic traditions within a narrow range of occupational roles, including miners, commercial fishers, loggers, and, perhaps most visibly, cowboys.

Quaint and Curious Forgotten (Copyright) Lore

The following cross-post was written by Alison Hall, a writer-editor for the Office of Public Information and Education in the U.S. Copyright Office; it originally appeared on the Copyright: Creativity at Work blog. Learn more about the connection between Edgar Allan Poe and copyright at the Copyright Matters event “Quoth the Raven: Edgar Allan Poe […]

Ted Kooser’s “Rhymes of the Survivors”

The following essay was written in 2012 by Ted Kooser, 13th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, as part of the Poetry and Literature Center’s online “Poetry of American History” series that ran from 2012-2014. The series included essays and interviews by leaders in the literary field, including former Poet Laureate Consultants in Poetry, that illustrated how […]

Thoreau in Concord: Creating a Community of Writers

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. This summer I participated in a week-long National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture workshop titled “The Concord Landscapes and Legacy […]

Hispanic Heritage Month Highlight: 50 New Literary Recordings Available to Stream Online

The following is a guest post by Catalina Gomez, curator for the Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape, Hispanic Division. The post originally appeared on the 4 Corners of the World: International Collections blog. Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th – October 15th) is a wonderful moment to showcase the many fascinating collections and archives within the […]