Around this time every year, Library employees and visitors gather in the Thomas Jefferson Building’s Great Hall to celebrate the holiday season. One of the highlights of the annual festivities, dating back to 1997, is a reading of a story or poem by the Librarian of Congress to the children in attendance. While an in-person reading by the Librarian was not possible this year, on Wednesday, December 16, Dr. Hayden and other staff from the Library participated in a virtual holiday celebration. The celebration included a series of holiday poems and essays read by staff of the Library’s National Library Service for the Blind & Print Disabled, a performance of “Jingle Bells” from the Busy Bees from the Little Scholars Child Development Center, a medley of holiday favorites from the Library of Congress Chorale, and a special holiday message from the Librarian of Congress.
As always, though, my favorite part of the Library celebration was the Librarian’s special reading. This year, Dr. Hayden selected Apryl Stott’s picture book Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light, which offers an important message everyone should take to heart this holiday season. You can watch Dr. Hayden’s warm and joyful reading below:
To learn more about the history of the Librarian’s annual holiday reading, see our 2018 blog post “A Visit from St. Nicholas…and the Librarian of Congress.”
Happy holidays from the staff of From the Catbird Seat!
The following guest post was written by Barbara Bair, curator of Literature, Culture, and the Arts, in the Library’s Manuscript Division. It explores the professional relationship of feminist authors and their editors, including Margaret Atwood and her editor Nan A. Talese. On December 17, from 7-8 pm EST, Atwood and Talese will be participating in […]
We celebrate 2020 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry winners Terrance Hayes (for his 2018 poetry collection American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin) and Natasha Trethewey (for lifetime achievement), and invite you to watch their virtual event hosted by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.
Jason Reynolds, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, emphasizes the importance of rest in his December newsletter.
A history of the Poetvision video series (1988-1990), which features poets–including many former U.S. Poets Laureate–reading and discussing their own work as well as the work of poets who influenced them. The post includes links to digitized videos in the series available through the Library.
Kids in 11 schools across the country will soon get a special treat: A visit from Jason Reynolds, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.
It’s a celebratory day for Joy Harjo: the Librarian of Congress has just appointed our poet laureate to serve a third term in the position. The announcement also marks the launch of Joy’s signature project, “Living Nations, Living Words.”
A lesson plan that invites students to read and explore poetry inspired by historical events, and to write their own poems based on a historical event of their choosing.
This interview with writer Justin Torres was conducted in 2013 by Kelly Yuzawa as part of the Poetry and Literature Center’s online Interview Series. The series featured emerging and established literary writers in dynamic and thought-provoking conversation. Though the series is no longer active, From the Catbird Seat is reprinting these interviews to bring them new light.
Jason Reynolds, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, is back with the November edition of his monthly newsletter, Grab the Mic.