Center of town. Woodstock, Vermont. “Snowy night.” Wolcott, Marion Post, 1940. Prints and Photographs Division.
As winter settles in and the holidays come and go, we hope you’re taking small moments (or big ones) to slow down, rest and recharge. Of course, we recommend letting poetry be your guide.
Here’s a snowy poem by Robert Bly, via our Poetry 180 program, to nudge you in that direction.
Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter
It is a cold and snowy night. The main street is deserted.
The only things moving are swirls of snow.
As I lift the mailbox door, I feel its cold iron.
There is a privacy I love in this snowy night.
Driving around, I will waste more time.
—Robert Bly (from Silence in the Snowy Fields, 1962. Wesleyan University Press, with permission.)
Season’s greetings from your literary friends at the Library of Congress. We’ll see you in 2022!
Poet Jennifer Elise Foerster reflects on the reading and conversation course she led this fall, which explored the poetry of many of today’s Native Nations poets through Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s signature project, “Living Nations, Living Words.”
This year’s batch of recordings includes a wonderful array of literary figures from all over Latin America, the U.S., the Iberian Peninsula, and the Caribbean, including award-winning Mexican author Elena Poniatowska; esteemed Cuban-American author, poet, and anthropologist Ruth Behar; and renowned Portuguese author Dulce María Cardoso.
The Library has just launched a guide to support teachers in the use of Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s “Living Nations, Living Words” project. We invite you to explore it with your students!
As schools around the country ring in a new academic year, we’re excited to announce that former Poet Laureate Billy Collins has added five new poems to Poetry 180!
Wes Matthews, a 2021 summer intern in Literary Initiatives, reflects on his virtual internship at the Library of Congress.
2021 Junior Fellow Mary Murdock reflects on her work this summer to help develop and launch a new National Book Festival initiative — “The Festival Near You.”
The Library of Congress has just announced the author lineup and schedule of programs for the 2021 National Book Festival! The 10-day festival, taking place Sept. 17-26, features more than 100 authors, poets and writers in a range of formats — all celebrating the festival theme, “Open a Book, Open the World.”
The blog post delves into a Georgetown University Master’s capstone project “Reimagining Structural Racism and Inequities during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Implications for Latino Communities in the U.S. as analyzed through Oral Histories and Children’s Poetry.”
In commemoration of Juneteenth, Manuscript Division curator Barbara Bair explores Ralph Ellison’s unfinished second novel, which was not published until after his 1994 death. The resulting novel, “Juneteenth,” reflects Ellison’s deep thinking about the rifts in American society—the dissonance, melodies and harmonies, and the strife of racial prejudice and discrimination. Like Ellison’s novel, the idea of Juneteenth as a national holiday has been a long time coming.