New Recordings Online for National Poetry Month

This post by Anne Holmes of the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center was first published on “From the Catbird Seat,” the center’s blog.

Robert Hayden was U.S. poet laureate from 1976 to 1978. Photo by Timothy D. Franklin.

National Poetry Month is here, and we’re over the moon to announce the release of 50 additional recordings from the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature, now available to stream online.

The archive—a collection dating back to 1943, when Allen Tate was consultant in poetry—contains nearly 2,000 audio recordings of celebrated poets and writers participating in literary events at the Library of Congress, along with sessions recorded in the recording laboratory in the Library’s Jefferson Building. Most of these recordings were originally captured on magnetic tape reels and have only been accessible by visiting the Library in person.

As of this week, you can now stream previously undigitized recordings featuring poets laureate Robert Hayden, Maxine Kumin, Mark Strand, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Pinsky, James Merrill, James Dickey, Joseph BrodskyRichard Wilbur, Robert Hass, Stephen Spender, Charles Simic, Josephine Jacobsen, Anthony Hecht and Howard Nemerov.

Make sure you also tune in for more from Lucille Clifton, Czeslaw Milosz, Michael S. Harper, Kenneth Koch and John Ashbery; and, for the first time streaming from the collection, you can now listen to Ron Padgett, Gary Snyder, Doris Grumbach, Elisavietta Ritchie, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Makoto Ooka, Mari Evans and Sherod Santos, just to name a few (okay, several).

We have more excitement in store as Poetry Month progresses, so stay tuned. For now, put on those headphones, blast those speakers and explore what the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature has to offer.

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