“Dear Poet”: Promoting Poetry and Poets Laureate to Kids at Home

As the staff of the Poetry and Literature Center has moved to working remotely, and a number of our spring events have been canceled, we’ve talked about how we might promote poetry virtually. Today, we’d like to highlight “Dear Poet,” a popular online feature by the Academy of American Poets that fosters an active engagement with both poems and the poets who write them—including a number of Poets Laureate.

Discovering Local and Public Poetry

As Rebecca Newland, former Teacher in Residence at the Library of Congress, walks around her Washington, D.C., neighborhood, she often encounters vendors selling a local newspaper whose proceeds benefit the homeless of the DC Metro area. Many of the vendors are also writers who mention the page on which their article or poem appears in the issue. This got her thinking about the prevalence of local poetry and ways for us to discover it with our students.

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. In anticipation, we’ve asked three of the event’s participating poets to share a poem, answer a few questions about their work, and respond to another occupational poet’s poem. 

Work and Play … with Language: Occupational Poetry

Occupational poetry is a category of verbal art anchored in communities of work. As a form of folk poetry, it often manifests in the everyday settings of jobs and employment. Folklore scholarship and fieldwork has focused on the poetic traditions within a narrow range of occupational roles, including miners, commercial fishers, loggers, and, perhaps most visibly, cowboys.

Talking Poetry and Poets Laureate with Shari Werb, Director of the Library’s Center for Learning, Literacy and Engagement

It’s been nearly two weeks since Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s inaugural reading, and we’re still reeling from the event. If you missed it, you can tune in to watch the evening’s festivities via the Library’s YouTube site (with captions). Last week, we sat down with Shari Werb, director of the Library’s new Center for Learning, […]

Donald Hall’s “The Poetry Crowd”

The following essay was written by Donald Hall, the 14th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, as part of the Poetry and Literature Center’s online “Poetry of American History” series that ran from 2012-2014. The series included essays and interviews by leaders in the literary field, including former Poets Laureate Consultants in Poetry, that illustrated how poems […]