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.

Rita Dove and “On the Bus with Rosa Parks”

Because of her enduring impact and legacy, one doesn’t need to look far to find Rosa Parks memorialized in poetry. In 1999, Rita Dove—U.S. Poet Laureate from 1993-1995—published her poetry collection ”On the Bus with Rosa Parks.” In celebration of the Library’s new exhibition, “Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words,” we’re reprinting two poems from Dove’s “On the Bus with Rosa Parks” in this post.

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month with the Annual Young Readers Center Puppet Show (the Day After Thanksgiving!)

The Young Readers Center is excited to invite you to see the annual Puppet Show on the day after Thanksgiving on November 29, 2019. This year we are sharing Native American Folktales, with stories and poems from nations such as Cree, Seneca, Winnebago, and Navajo adapted from books by Abenaki authors and storytellers—the father-son duo Joseph and James Bruchac.

Alexander McCall Smith and the World of Mma Precious Ramotswe

On October 24, 2019, the Library of Congress welcomed the fifth author in its yearlong National Book Festival Presents series, the inimitable fiction writer Alexander McCall Smith. As part of the programming surrounding Mr. McCall Smith’s visit, staff from four Library divisions were asked to develop a display of items related to Mr. McCall Smith and his works.

Thoreau in Concord: Inspiring Discussion and Mindfulness

Rebecca Newland, former Teacher in Residence at the Library of Congress, participated in a week-long National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture workshop titled “The Concord Landscapes and Legacy of Henry Thoreau” in July. In this post, she develops two ideas about how to explore the philosophies and work of Thoreau in your classroom or library.

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.