The following is a guest post by National Youth Poet Laureate Kara Jackson. This is the fourth in a series of bimonthly blog posts that Kara will be writing during her laureateship this year.
No matter where you are or how you’re celebrating, we hope you’ll take a moment to slow down and give the gift of reading poetry—to yourself, to your loved ones, or even to strangers in airports.
Two weeks ago, students from the 826DC Young Authors’ Book Project came on a field trip to the Library of Congress for a collaborative collections-based research workshop in the Library’s new Programs Lab.
Earlier this year, Sirianna Santacrose, a Spanish teacher from the School of Ethics and Global Leadership, approached us with an interest in incorporating our Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape (AHLOT) into her class curriculum.
All cultures and peoples turn to poetry during times of celebration, transformation and challenge—those times when ordinary language cannot carry meaning beyond our understanding. The road from childhood to adulthood is a precarious path, yet full of miracles. We need poetry as we navigate that archetypal journey.
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.
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.
During the course of the laureate’s term, she often travels to give readings and talks at venues throughout the country—and some laureates cover most of the country in those eight months! Joy is no exception, and just a few weeks ago I met up with her at the Miami Book Fair.
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.
This essay, “Peace and War in American Poetry,” was written in 2012 by David Lehman as part of the Poetry and Literature Center’s online “Poetry of American History” series that ran from 2012-2014.