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“I am a Military Family”

Posted by: Caitlin Rizzo

Last Thursday, second lady Jill Biden came to the Library of Congress to read her children’s book Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops to the sons and daughters of military families. I usually spend my time at the Library focusing on promoting literature to adults, but on that day I thought about its impact on …

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A Very Happy 202nd to Harriet Beecher Stowe

Posted by: Caitlin Rizzo

Were she alive, today would have been the 202nd birthday of one of our nation’s most important cultural figures: Harriet Beecher Stowe. Stowe is best known for writing Uncle Tom’s Cabin, an incredibly popular novel that challenged the nation’s understanding of the effects of slavery and the importance of the abolitionist movement. Legend has it …

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The Return of the Once and Future King

Posted by: Peter Armenti

The following is a guest post by Mark F. Hall, a research specialist in the Library of Congress’s Digital Reference Section. The chivalrous tales of King Arthur and his knights have remained popular in various genres and formats from the Middle Ages to the present day. The historical Arthur is believed to have lived in …

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Mona Van Duyn and the Women of the Catbird Seat

Posted by: Caitlin Rizzo

Yesterday would have been the 92nd birthday of Mona Van Duyn, and what better way to commemorate her legacy as the first female Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry than to spend it celebrating the women to have held the position? Since an act of Congress changed the title of Consultant in Poetry to Poet Laureate …

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Kevin Young’s “Crowning”

Posted by: Caitlin Rizzo

Kevin Young is the author of eight volumes of poetry, including Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels (Knopf, 2011), which won an American Book Award, and Book of Hours (forthcoming in 2014). He is also the editor of eight other collections, most recently The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food & Drink and The Collected …

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Marilyn Chin is a “Witness to History”

Posted by: Caitlin Rizzo

Next Wedensday, May 1st, Marilyn Chin will join poets Brenda Shaughnessy,Patricia Smith, Brian Turner, and Kevin Young in “Necessary Utterance: Poetry as Cultural Force,” a reading to celebrate Natasha Trethewey’s year as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress. Chin, like Monday’s featured poet Patricia Smith, was selected by Trethewey as a …

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Susan Robinson and the New South

Posted by: Caitlin Rizzo

“It never crossed my mind when I began writing fiction that I could write about anything except life in the South. It never crossed my mind that I knew about anything else; knew, that is, well enough to write about. Nothing else ever nagged you enough to stir the imagination.”–Robert Penn Warren On March 27, …