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 […]

“Success is Counted Sweetest” on Emily Dickinson’s 187th Birthday

This coming Sunday, December 10, marks what would be Emily Dickinson’s 187th birthday. Around the country, Dickinson lovers will gather together to read all 1,789 of her known poems in a “marathon” tradition and tribute to the Belle of Amherst. The Library, in partnership with the Folger Shakespeare Library, hosted one such marathon in 2014. […]

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 […]

The Life of a Poet: Rae Armantrout

Somehow it’s almost December, which means that the Poetry and Literature Center’s fall event season is coming to a close. Before you shutter yourselves in for the winter, though, make sure to join us tomorrow night for The Life of a Poet, featuring Rae Armantrout in conversation with The Washington Post‘s Ron Charles, at the historic […]

Literary Treasures: The Life of a Poet with Frank Bidart

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 […]

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 […]

From the Magical Arena: 50 Years of the International Writing Program

The following is a guest post by Christopher Merrill, director of the International Writing Program. This Friday, November 3, at 12:00 pm, the Library will host the International Writing Program Spotlight in the Whittall Pavilion. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Writing Program, residents Enza García Arreaza (Venezuela) and Santiago Giralt (Argentina) will participate in a discussion with Cynthia P. […]