Literary Treasures: Adrienne Rich reading her poems in the Coolidge Auditorium, April 7, 1981

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 […]

Poems of Spring Featured in Library’s Spring Fling Pop-Up Exhibit

This Friday and Saturday, April 13-14, the Library will continue its celebration of spring and the National Cherry Blossom Festival through its Spring Fling Pop-Up Exhibit. Among the many items on display from the Library’s collections is a selection of books and broadsides (see image above) from the Library’s Rare Book and Special Collections Division […]

Still Need a New Year’s Resolution? Read a Poem a Day!

We’re just a few days into 2018, which means there’s still plenty of time to fine-tune your goals and wishes for the year. While I don’t exactly have the best track record of seeing through particularly ambitious resolutions, I’ve found that setting small, creative aspirations for the year tend to be the most achievable and […]

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

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 […]

Poems as Windows and Mirrors

The following guest post, part of our “Teacher’s Corner” series, is by Rebecca Newland, a Fairfax County Public Schools Librarian and former Teacher in Residence at the Library of Congress. In the school library world we frequently discuss how books can serve as mirrors and windows for our students. Books, poems, and other literary works […]

On This Day: Robert Frost’s First Professionally Published Poem, “My Butterfly,” appears in The Independent

On November 8, 1894, a poem by Robert Lee Frost, then a 20-year-old grammar school teacher in Salem, New Hampshire, appeared on the front page of the New York newspaper The Independent. The poem, titled “My Butterfly: An Elegy,” was the first poem Frost ever sold, and his first professionally published poem. Readers of Frost’s […]

Oh What a Night!: “Speak the People/the Spark/el Poema”

Two weeks have passed since Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera‘s whirlwind day-long celebration, “Speak the People/the Spark/el Poema,” marking the end of his second term. I don’t know about you, but my head is still swirling and swimming from the festivities, and I keep catching myself humming tunes like “Ms. United States” and “Pillow People” […]