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Category: Poets Laureate

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Laureate at the Library: Joy Harjo Visits the Main Reading Room

Posted by: Peter Armenti

This is the first in a series of five posts documenting Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s summertime meetings with librarians and curators across the Library of Congress. The meetings grew out of Harjo’s interest in learning more about the Library’s services and collections, especially Library materials pertaining to Native peoples and cultures. This post highlights Harjo’s …

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The Bread, the Knife, and the Source of Billy Collins’s Poem “Litany”

Posted by: Peter Armenti

As the poetry specialist in the Library’s Researcher and Reference Services Division, I receive my fair share of questions about U.S. poets laureate. Most often, people ask about the history of the laureateship, or about the activities of a particular laureate during his or her term. Very rarely, though, do I receive questions about specific …

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Literary Treasures: Remembering Donald Hall

Posted by: Peter Armenti

The following post is part of our monthly series, “Literary Treasures,” which highlights audio and video recordings drawn from the Library’s extensive online collections, including the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature. By showcasing the works and thoughts of some of the greatest poets and writers from the past 75 years, the series advances the …

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Tracy K. Smith Closes First Term as Poet Laureate

Posted by: Peter Armenti

UPDATE 1: The full text of Tracy K. Smith’s talk, “Staying Human: Poetry in the Age of Technology,” is now available through The Washington Post. UPDATE 2: The full video of Tracy K. Smith’s talk, “Staying Human: Poetry in the Age of Technology,” is now available on the Library’s website. It is embedded below:  …

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Christmas poems by Joseph Brodsky and other U.S. Poets Laureate

Posted by: Peter Armenti

A few years back I wrote a blog post about Robert Frost’s “Christmas Cards.” Frost’s cards—chapbooks, more accurately—were first issued in 1929, and then annually from 1934-1962. While Frost was the first Consultant in Poetry or Poet Laureate to embrace a literary Christmastime tradition, he was not the last. In 1962, the year Frost’s final …