Celebrating the Laureate from Coast to Coast

Traditionally the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry begins and ends her terms with events at the Library of Congress. Joy Harjo kicked off her laureateship with a hugely successful opening event in September, and she will be back in our historic Coolidge Auditorium for a closing event next April (details to follow).

During the course of the laureate’s term, she often travels to give readings and talks at venues throughout the country—and some laureates cover most of the country in those eight months! Joy is no exception, and just a few weeks ago I met up with her at the Miami Book Fair. It was my second consecutive year at the fair, one of the largest and most popular in the country. At the 2018 fair I led a moderated discussion with former laureates Billy Collins and Juan Felipe Herrera, and this year was my first time in conversation with our current laureate. You can watch the full event at the Miami Book Fair video page under “PM SESSIONS AUDITORIUM, SAT Nov 23” (start the video at 2:10:16).

I have had two previous opportunities to talk with Joy publicly before her laureateship began—first about her memoir Crazy Brave, in a podcast to promote her 2012 National Book Festival appearance, and second just this past summer in a short webcast to promote her laureate appointment. We’ve come a long way since then, as you can imagine, and it was a thrill to talk about her poems and her work to promote poetry onstage at the Miami Book Fair. I also asked my dear friend Scott Cunningham, director of O, Miami, to join us for the discussion (O, Miami co-sponsored our event—and does amazing work to champion poetry in Miami-Dade County).

This year’s Miami Book Fair also marked another big moment for the office: For the first time, we handed out brand new Poet Laureate-themed bookmarks (Joymarks, if you will)! Every event attendee received one, and we’re offering them to each venue where Joy is participating in an event during her laureateship. We’re also including a list of participating event venues on Joy’s online research guide—which includes an event this evening, December 4, in Brookings, SD! Check back in mid-January for more information on her 2020 events; she may be coming to a city near you!

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month with the Annual Young Readers Center Puppet Show (the Day After Thanksgiving!)

The Young Readers Center is excited to invite you to see the annual Puppet Show on the day after Thanksgiving on November 29, 2019. This year we are sharing Native American Folktales, with stories and poems from nations such as Cree, Seneca, Winnebago, and Navajo adapted from books by Abenaki authors and storytellers—the father-son duo Joseph and James Bruchac.

Alexander McCall Smith and the World of Mma Precious Ramotswe

The following guest post was written by Marissa Ball, Head of the Humanities & Social Sciences Section in the Researcher and Reference Services Division; Amber Paranick, a reference librarian in the Serial and Government Publications Division; and Ashley Cuffia, a science reference specialist in the Science, Technology, and Business Division. On October 24, 2019, the 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 (free tickets are encouraged and available via Eventbrite) at 1:00 PM in the Thomas Jefferson Building, Room 119. In anticipation, we’ve […]

Work and Play … with Language: Occupational Poetry

The following guest post is by John Fenn, head of research and programs in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. On 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Poet Laureate Joy Harjo Joins Oprah Winfrey for SuperSoul Sunday on October 6

It’s been a busy summer and fall for U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. In just the few months since her historic appointment announcement, Joy has been featured in virtually every major news outlet, as well as in outlets with ties to her local and regional communities; released her newest poetry collection, An American Sunrise; has […]

Edwidge Danticat: The Making of a Novelist

The following post is by Neely Tucker, a writer-editor in the Library’s Office of Communications. It originally appeared on the Library of Congress blog. Edwidge Danticat, the Haitian-born novelist who has become one of America’s most honored authors, told a crowd at the Coolidge Auditorium this week that she first felt the magic of storytelling as a […]

Tomorrow Night: Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s Inaugural Reading

Tomorrow, Thursday, September 19, at 7 p.m., Joy Harjo will take the stage of the Coolidge Auditorium in the Library of Congress’s Jefferson Building for the first time as 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. To mark this historic occasion, musicians Howard Cloud, Larry Mitchell, and Robert Muller will join Joy in a reading and […]