Holiday Audio/Video Highlights from Our Office

It’s the holiday season, and the season of year-end celebration. In that spirit, we are pleased to announce that 58 new recordings from the Library’s Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature have been posted online! The newly released recordings span three decades, from the 1960s-1980s, and feature writers reading, giving talks, and participating in panels at the Library’s Capitol Hill campus. I want to make special note of the 1998 recording, “A winter’s evening of English and American light verse,” with former Consultant in Poetry (now called Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry) Anthony Hecht.

Anthony Hecht. Photo credit: Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, University of Rochester.

There are a wealth of recordings in the collection, now 432 strong, featuring such authors/pairings as:

The holidays are also a time to give thanks and reflect upon the year, and there was much in 2022 that I’m thankful for–such as our amazing new poet laureate, Ada Limón! But I want to give a special shout-out to the closing events of our former laureate Joy Harjo last April. In addition to the traditional event in our Coolidge Auditorium, the Closing featured the first-ever laureate dance party! More importantly, the closing included the inaugural retreat of In-Na-Po: Indigenous Nations Poets. During the week-long retreat, we had the opportunity to capture some of the In-Na-Po faculty and special guests up in Joy’s office, reading their poems and talking about her laureateship and the retreat, and what it all meant for Native poets and poetry. You can check out the videos on our website–watching them, I was reminded of how powerful that moment was and how grateful I was that we were able to capture it, and the poets, for posterity. I can’t tell you how moving it was to be in the room during the tapings–to experience Deborah A. Miranda talking about her ancestor Isabel Meadows, Elise Paschen telling the story about the genesis of “Poetry in Motion” (which Joy was a part of!), or Edgar Gabriel Silex honoring the In-Na-Po fellows and reading his poem, “Elegy for a Pen.” You can check out these videos and more on our “Featured Videos” page.

Participants in the inaugural In-Na-Po retreat with Joy Harjo, for her 2022 Poet Laureate Colsing Event. Photo by Shawn Miller/Library of Congress.
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I hope you enjoy these recordings, and we look forward to sharing more big news and moving events with you in 2023!