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Category: Writers

An engraved portrait of Hannah Carson. She is seated, hands in lap around a small framed portrait (perhaps of her late husband or father). She is weaing a dark dress, buttoned to the collar, with her hair wrapped in a white scarf.

Hannah Carson: “Like a Fire in All My Bones”

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Nestled in the archives of the Daniel A.P. Murray Collection is a short, 1864 account of the remarkable life of Hannah Carson. “Glorying in Tribulation: A Brief Memoir of Hannah Carson, For Thirteen Years Deprived of the Use of All Her Limbs,” is testament to how a severely disabled Black woman became an inspiration to the Christian community, both white and black, in Philadelphia before and during the Civil War.

Crime Classics Returns: “The Thinking Machine”

Posted by: Neely Tucker

The Library's Crime Classics series has just published "The Thinking Machine," Jacques Futrelle's 1907 short story collection. It follows eccentric professor Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen, the Thinking Machine, as he solves a mind-boggling series of crimes. Van Dusen, in the mold of Sherlock Holmes, is “one of the most admired creations in the history of crime fiction," series editor Leslie S. Klinger writes in the introduction.

Photo portrait of James Joyce as a young man, with straw hat, glasses and moustache, wearing a suit and bow tie

Bloomsday! The Library’s One-of-a-Kind Copy of “Ulysses”

Posted by: Neely Tucker

It's Bloomsday, the annual celebration of James Joyce's landmark modernist masterpiece, "Ulysses." Published 101 years ago, Joyce's book famously examines one day — June 16, 1904 — in the life of Leopold Bloom of Dublin, Ireland. The Library has some of the most extraordinary copies of the book ever printed, inducing a custom-made copy with a cover made of calfskin; an explanation of the book's convoluted symbolism by Joyce himself; and a full-color anatomical chart of the human body, annotated to show how body parts correspond to specific chapters in the book.

Kluge Scholar George Chauncey on Libraries and LGBTQ+ History

Posted by: Neely Tucker

George Chauncey is the DeWitt Clinton professor of history at Columbia University and the 2022 recipient of the Library’s John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity. He wrote this piece about how he used libraries to research his landmark book, “Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940."

Head and shoulders photo of Ada Limon. She is turned slightly to her right, looking to the right of the camera.

Ada Limón Gets Second Term as Poet Laureate

Posted by: Wendi Maloney

Ada Limón, named the U.S. Poet Laureate last year, will serve two more years, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has announced, making the California native the third laureate to serve for as long as three years. Limón is composing a poem that will be engraved on NASA's Europa Clipper mission. The spacecraft will travel 1.8 billion miles to explore Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons.

Colorful drawing of black fire escapes latticed against a red brick building.

Crime Classics: “A Gentle Murderer” Joins the List!

Posted by: Neely Tucker

A priest, a detective and an impoverished poet might sound like the setup to a joke - but Father Duffy, Sergeant Ben Goldsmith and Tim Brandon are no laughing matter in the gripping new addition to the Library of Congress Crime Classics, "A Gentle Murderer" The landmark 1951 Dorothy Salisbury Davis novel, called "one of the greatest detective stories of modern times" by famed critic Anthony Boucher, is the most recent addition to the Library's series of crime novels that have fallen from popular attention.

Joni Mitchell holds her arms out onstage, accepting applause, while Carla Hayden stands to the right, also applauding

Joni Mitchell’s Gershwin Prize Concert Showcases Her Music and Influence

Posted by: Mark Hartsell

The Library of Congress on Wednesday bestowed its Gershwin Prize for Popular Song on Joni Mitchell, the singer-songwriter best known for such 1970s classics as “Both Sides Now,” “Big Yellow Taxi” and “Help Me.” The celebratory concert included performances by Annie Lennox, Graham Nash, James Taylor, Cyndi Lauper, Diana Krall, Angélique Kidjo, Ledisi, Lucius and modern folkies Brandi Carlile and Marcus Mumford. It will air on PBS stations on March 31.

Image of an ornate clock showing 2:05 with sculpted male figures sitting on each side of the clock face

A Voice Among the Stars: Poem by U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón Will Ride to Europa on NASA Spacecraft

Posted by: Brett Zongker

U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón, who is known for work that explores the human connection to the natural world, is crafting a new poem dedicated to NASA’s Europa Clipper mission. Her poem, to be released in the coming months, will be engraved on the Europa Clipper spacecraft. It will travel 1.8 billion miles on its …