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Poetry and Literature

The Library of Congress > Poetry & Literature > Schedule of Events
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Unless otherwise noted, tickets to and reservations for these events are not required.

September 2015

Thursday, September 10, 12:00 Noon
BAGLEY WRIGHT LECTURE SERIES: SRIKANTH REDDY

As part of the ongoing series, poet Srikanth Reddy will give a lecture on poetry. This event is free and open to the public.

Location: Mary Pickford Theater, 3rd Floor, James Madison Building <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Tuesday, September 15, 7:00 PM
POET LAUREATE INAUGURAL READING

21st Poet Laureate Consultant Juan Felipe Herrera will kick off Hispanic Heritage Month with his inaugural reading. This event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by the Library of Congress Hispanic Division.

Location: Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building (ground floor) <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Monday, September 21, 4:00 PM
INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE: SINGAPOREAN LITERATURE

Poet/essayist, Jee Leong Koh, playwright/translator, Jeremy Tiang, and writer/editor, Frank Stewart, will read from Starry Island: New Writing from Singapore as part of MANOA: A Pacific Journal of International Writing’sseries of contemporary literature from Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas. This event is free and open to the public. Presented in partnership with MANOA: A Pacific Journal of International Writing.

Location: Mumford Room, sixth floor, James Madison Building <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Thursday, September 24, 7:00 PM
TRIBUTE TO PHILIP LEVINE

An event to honor the 18th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, who passed away in February. Participants include Kate Daniels, Toi Derricotte, Edward Hirsch, Yusef Komunyakaa, Dorianne Laux, Mari L’Esperance, Paul Mariani, Jane Mead, Tomás Q. Morín, Sharon Olds, Tom Sleigh, Gerald Stern, and David St. John. The event will also feature the 21st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, Juan Felipe Herrera. This event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by Academy of American Poets; Cave Canem Foundation; Cooper Union; NYU Creative Writing Program; Penguin Random House; Poets House; Poetry Society of America; Queens College; Unterberg Poetry Center, 92nd Street Y.

Location: Cooper Union (The Great Hall) 7 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003
Contact:  (202) 707-5394

Tuesday, September 29, 3:00 PM
INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE: SWEDISH LITERATURE

Editors and translators Malena Mörling and Jonas Ellerström read in English and Swedish from their new book The Star By My Head: Poets from Sweden. This event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by Library of Congress European Division and presented in partnership with Chapters Literary Arts Center, SWEA Washington, D.C., Milkweed Editions, Kulturrådet, Swedish Arts Council.

Location: Montpelier Room, sixth floor, James Madison Building <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

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October 2015

Wednesday, October 7, 6:00 PM
NATIONAL POETRY DAY READING

21st Poet Laureate Consultant Juan Felipe Herrera will give Poetry Foundation’s 61st annual Poetry Day. Inaugurated by Robert Frost in 1955, Poetry Day is one of the oldest and most distinguished poetry reading series in the country. Doors open at 5:00pm. This event is co-sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and the Chicago Public Library.

Location: Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S State St, Chicago, IL 60605
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Thursday, October 8, 7:00 PM
THE LIFE OF A POET: BRIAN TURNER

Poet, essayist, and professor Brian Turner will discuss his work with Ron Charles, editor of The Washington Post's Book World. This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required. Co-sponsored by the Hill Center and the Washington Post.

Location: Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital (921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE)
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Friday, October 16, 6:30 PM
CONCERT & CONVERSATION CELEBRATING ROBERT LOWELL

Celebrated composer Michael Hersch introduces ATOS Trio who will perform the world premiere of his “Carrion-Miles to Purgatory: Thirteen Pieces After Robert Lowell,” a commission from the Library's Hansk Kindler Foundation Trust Fund. Hersch will also discuss intersections between Lowell’s creativity and psychological challenges with renowned psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jamison. This event is free and open to the public. Ticket reservations required for 8:00PM concert. Co-sponsored by the Library’s Music Division.

Location: Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building (ground floor) <view maps>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Saturday, October 17, 3:00PM
TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL: CONVERSATION ON POETRY

Chief Correspondent for Arts, Culture, and Society of the PBS NewsHour Jeffrey Brown will discuss his book, The News: Poems, with Robert Casper, head of Poetry and Literature Center, Library of Congress. Book sales and signing to follow.

Location: Texas State Capitol Extension (1100 Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78701)
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Friday, October 30, 12:00 Noon
LITERARY BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION: EZRA POUND

Poets Elizabeth Arnold and Charles Bernstein will celebrate the birthday of poet Ezra Pound by reading selections from his work and discussing his influence on their own writing. This event is free and open to the public, and will feature a display from the Library’s collections. Co-sponsored by the Library’s Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

Location: Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building (ground floor) <view maps>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

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November 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 7:00 PM
THE LIFE OF A POET: ALICE FULTON

Bobbitt Prize winner, Alice Fulton will discuss her work with Ron Charles, editor of The Washington Post's Book World. This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required. Co-sponsored by the Hill Center and the Washington Post.

Location: Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital (921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE)
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Thursday, November 5, 4:00 PM
INTERNATIONAL WRITING PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT

Program residents Nael Eltoukhy (Egypt), Harris Khalique (Pakistan), Birgül Oğuz (Turkey), and Margarita Mateo Palmer (Cuba) read selections of their work and participate in a moderated discussion with Christopher Merrill, director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Presented in partnership with the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, and PEN/Faulkner Foundation.

Location: Mumford Room, sixth floor, James Madison Building <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Friday, November 6, 12:00 PM
CONVERSATIONS WITH AFRICAN POETS AND WRITERS: ANAS ATAKORA

Togolese writer Anas Atakora will read selections from his work and participate in a moderated discussion with Marieta Harper, Africa Area Specialist in the African and Middle Eastern Division. This event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by the Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division, and presented in partnership with the Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa, the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

Location: African and Middle Eastern Division Reading Room, LJ-220, Thomas Jefferson Building
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Thursday, November 12, 6:30 PM
ASIAN AMERICAN LITERATURE TODAY: VIET THANH NGUYEN

Writer Viet Thanh Nguyen will read from his new novel, The Sympathizer, and participate in a moderated discussion with Mimi Khúc, Asian American Studies Program faculty at the University of Maryland." This event is free and open to the public. Book sales and a signing will follow. Presented in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center; The Asian American Literary Review; and the Asian American Studies Program, University of Maryland.

Location: Montpelier Room, sixth floor, James Madison Building <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Thursday, November 19, 3:00 – 8:00PM
5 UNDER 35 CELEBRATION

The launch of an annual series with the National Book Foundation, featuring 5 Under 35 honorees for 2015. This event is free and open to the public. Presented in partnership with Amazon Literary Partnership.
  • 3:00 p.m.: Colin Barrett, Angela Flournoy, Megan Kruse, Tracy O’Neill, and Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi participate in moderated discussion with Benjamin Samuel, programs manager at National Book Foundation.
  • 6:30 p.m.: Honorees read selections of their winning novels. Book sales and signing to follow.

Location: Montpelier Room, sixth floor, James Madison Building <view map>
Contact:   (202) 707-5394

Tuesday, November 24, 12:00 PM
MAKING THE CASE: CRITICS ON LITERATURE

The launch of a new series with the National Book Critics Circle, poet and critic Stephen Burt will give a lecture titled “The Poem Is You.” This event is free and open to the public. Book sales and signing to follow. Presented in partnership with the National Book Critics Circle.

Location: Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building (ground floor) <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

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December 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 6:30 PM
TEENS AND POETRY FOR THE  21ST CENTURY

Poets Jennifer Chang and Mark McMorris read selections of Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation along with co-editor Lynn Melnick and Viking Children’s Books Senior Editor, Sharyn November. A moderated discussion on poetry and teens to follow. This event is free and open to the public.  

Location: Mumford Room, sixth floor, James Madison Building
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Thursday, December 3, 4:00 PM
INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE: DANTE SYMPOSIUM

To highlight Library of Congress’ Dante Alighieri collections, scholars Francesco Ciabattoni, Kristina Marie Olson, Bernardo Piciché, and Eugenio Refini participate in a discussion moderated by Lucia Alma Wolf, reference librarian in the Library’s European Division. A tabletop presentation will follow. Co-sponsored by the Library of Congress European Division, John W. Kluge Center, and Rare Book and Special Collection Division. Presented in partnership with Georgetown University Department of Italian, George Mason University Department of Modern & Classical Languages, Virginia Commonwealth University School of World Studies, Johns Hopkins Department of German & Romance Languages & Literatures, and Bucknell University Press.

Location: Mumford Room, sixth floor, James Madison Building
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Thursday, December 3, 6:00 PM
WITTER BYNNER STATE READING WITH EMILY FRAGOS

Witter Bynner fellow Emily Fragos reads a selection of her work followed by a conversation with poet KC Trommer. This event is free and open to the public with book sales and signing to follow. Presented in partnership with Library of Congress Center for the Book, New York Empire State Center for the Book, NYU Bookstore, and NYU Gallatin Writing Program.

Location: New York University Bookstore(726 Broadway, New York, NY 10003)
Contact: (212) 998-4678

Friday, December 4, 12:00 Noon
BAGLEY WRIGHT LECTURE SERIES: RACHEL ZUCKER

As part of the ongoing series, poet and memoirist Rachel Zucker will give a lecture on poetry. This event is free and open to the public.

Location: Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building (ground floor) <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

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January 2016

Saturday, January 23, 2:00 PM - postponed because of weather, rescheduled to March 8
CELEBRATING “ONE LIFE: DOLORES HUERTA”

To celebrate the landmark exhibition “One Life: Dolores Huerta,” 21st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry Juan Felipe Herrera and poets Arlene Biala and Diana García will read work in response to the exhibition. Co-sponsored by Letras Latinas, literary initiative at the University of Notre Dame's Institute for Latino Studies, Library of Congress Hispanic Division, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and Smithsonian Latino Center.

Location: Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th & F Sts NW, Washington, DC 20004
Contact: (202) 707-5394

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February 2016

Monday, February 8, 12:00 Noon
LITERARY BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION: ELIZABETH BISHOP

Poets Jennifer Atkinson and Vijay Seshadri will celebrate the birthday of poet Elizabeth Bishop by reading selections from her work and discussing her influence on their own writing. This event is free and open to the public, and will feature a display from the Library’s collections. Co-sponsored by the Library’s Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

Location: Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building (ground floor) <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Tuesday, February 9-Wednesday, February 10
POETRY FOUNDATION RESIDENCY

21st Poet Laureate Consultant Juan Felipe Herrera will share his laureate project, Casa de Colores, and conduct workshops with local elementary, middle, and high school students. Space is limited. Please send inquiries to library@poetryfoundation.org. Co-sponsored by the Poetry Foundation.

Location: 61 W Superior St, Chicago, IL 60654 <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394; (312) 787-7070

Thursday, February 11, 12:00 Noon
INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE: RAÚL ZURITA

Chilean poet Raúl Zurita and his translator, Anna Deeny Morales will give a bilingual reading of Zurita’s work, followed by a moderated discussion with Georgette Dorn, chief of the Hispanic Division. Co-sponsored by the Library of Congress Hispanic Division.

Location: Montpelier Room, sixth floor, James Madison Building <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5397

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March 2016

Wednesday, March 2, 7:00 PM
LIFE OF A POET: DUNYA MIKHAIL

Poet, translator, and journalist Dunya Mikhail will discuss her work with Ron Charles, editor of The Washington Post Book World. This event is free and open to the public .Register for the event online, or call (202) 549-4172. Co-sponsored by the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, Split This Rock, and the Washington Post.

Location: Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital (921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE)
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Tuesday, March 8, 7:00 PM - rescheduled from January 23rd
CELEBRATING “ONE LIFE: DOLORES HUERTA”

To celebrate the landmark exhibition “One Life: Dolores Huerta,” 21st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry Juan Felipe Herrera and poets Arlene Biala and Diana García will read work in response to the exhibition. Co-sponsored by Letras Latinas, literary initiative at the University of Notre Dame's Institute for Latino Studies, Library of Congress Hispanic Division, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and Smithsonian Latino Center.

Location: Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th & F Sts NW, Washington, DC 20004
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Wednesday, March 9, 4:00 PM
WITTER BYNNER FELLOWSHIP READING

Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera will introduce the 2016 Witter Bynner Fellow, Allison Hedge Coke, who will read selections of her work. The event is free and open to the public. Book sales and a signing will follow. Co-sponsored by the Witter Bynner Foundation.

Location: Mumford Room, sixth floor, James Madison Building <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Monday, March 14, 12:00 Noon
CONVERSATIONS WITH AFRICAN POETS AND WRITERS: NAMWALI SERPELL

Zambian author and 2015 Caine Prize winner Namwali Serpell reads from her prize-winning short story “The Sack” and participates in a moderated discussion with LaVerne Page, Africa Area Specialist in the African and Middle Eastern Division. This event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by the Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division, Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa, and The Caine Prize for African Writing.

Location: African and Middle Eastern Reading Room, LJ-220, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Friday, March 25, 12:00 Noon
LITERARY BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION: FLANNERY O’CONNOR

Novelists Bonnie Jo Campbell and Emily Mitchell will celebrate the birthday of American writer Flannery O’Connor by reading selections from her work and discussing her influence on their own writing. This event is free and open to the public.. Co-sponsored by the Prints and Photographs Division.

Location: Whittall Pavilion, ground floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

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April 2016

Thursday, April 7, 6:30 PM
ASIAN AMERICAN LITERATURE TODAY: R. ZAMORA LINMARK

Novelist, poet and playwright, R. Zamora Linmark will read excerpts of his work, and participate in a discussion with Gem Daus, adjunct faculty in the Asian American Studies Program, University of Maryland. This event is free and open to the public. Book sales and a signing will follow. Presented in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center; The Asian American Literary Review; and the Asian American Studies Program, University of Maryland.

Location: Montpelier Room, sixth floor, James Madison Building <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Wednesday, April 13, 7:00 PM
POET LAUREATE CLOSING EVENT

21st Poet Laureate Consultant Juan Felipe Herrera will celebrate the conclusion of his term of his laureateship. This event is free and open to the public. Book sales and signing will follow. Co-sponsored by the Library of Congress Hispanic Division.

Location: Coolidge Auditorium, Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Wednesday, April 27, 10:30 AM
EL DIA DAY: JUAN FELIPE HERRERA

21st Poet Laureate Consultant Juan Felipe Herrera will read from his children’s book Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes to area elementary students. This event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by Library of Congress Young Readers Center.

Location: Young Readers Center, ground floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394; (202) 707-1950

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May 2016

Tuesday, May 10, 1:00 PM
LC PRIZE IN FICTION SPOTLIGHT: INDIAN COUNTRY AND THE IMAGINATION

An afternoon-long event honoring Louise Erdrich, winner of the Library of Congress’ 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award for the Writing of Fiction. This event is free and open to the public. Book sales and a signing will follow.

Location: Mumford Room, sixth floor, James Madison Building <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Friday, May 13, 12:00 Noon
THE LITERARY LEGACY OF ÁLVARO MUTIS

Charlotte Rogers (University of Virginia) will discuss the work and legacy of Álvaro Mutis, one of Colombia’s most prominent poets and prose writers, author of the acclaimed compendium Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll. Co-sponsored by the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress.

Location: Whittall Pavilion, ground floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: cgom@loc.gov

Thursday, May 19, 7:00 PM
LIFE OF A POET: MARY JO BANG

Poet Mary Jo Bang will discuss her work with Ron Charles, editor of The Washington Post's Book World. This event is free and open to the public. Register for the event online, or call (202) 549-4172. Co-sponsored by the Hill Center and the Washington Post.

Location: Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital (921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, DC)
Contact: (202) 707-5394

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June 2016

Monday, June 13, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
FROM THE BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT TO CAVE CANEM

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Black Arts Movement and the 20th anniversary of Cave Canem, a day-long symposium featuring two panels and a master class in children’s literature. Evening readings to follow at the Folger Shakespeare Theater. This event is co-sponsored by the Library of Congress Kluge Center, the Folger Shakespeare Theater, and Cave Canem Foundation.

Location: LJ-119, First floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

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