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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 2019

Wednesday, September 11, 7:00 PM
LIFE OF A POET: CARMEN GIMÉNEZ SMITH

Poet Carmen Giménez Smith will discuss her work with Ron Charles, book critic at The Washington Post. 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, September 19, 7:00 PM
POET LAUREATE INAUGURAL READING

Joy Harjo will give her inaugural reading as 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. She will be joined by Robert Muller and Howard Cloud in a special musical performance.  Free tickets required. Book sales and signing to follow. Co-sponsored by Library of Congress National Book Festival Presents.

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

Tuesday, September 24, 7:00 PM
NATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL PRESENTS: EDWIDGE DANTICAT

Author Edwidge Danticat will discuss her new short story collection, Everything Inside. This event is free and open to the public. Free tickets required (external link); signed copies are also available for pre-purchase. Presented in partnership with National Book Festival Presents.

Location: Coolidge Auditorium, ground floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: [email protected]

NOVEMBER 2019

Wednesday, November 6, 1:00 PM
OCCUPATIONAL POETRY ROUNDTABLE

Occupational poets Jerry Brooks (miner), Meezie Hermansen (fisher), Bill Jones (veteran), and Vess Quinlan (cowboy) will read and discuss their work with John Fenn, head of research and programs at the Library of Congress American Folklife Center. Free tickets encouraged. Co-sponsored by Veterans History Project.

Location: LJ-119, first floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: [email protected] (include the subject line “occupational poetry”) or (202) 707-1196

Wednesday, November 6, 7:00 PM
NATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL PRESENTS: KAREN ARMSTRONG

Religion scholar Karen Armstrong will discuss her new book, The Lost Art of Scripture. This event is free and open to the public. Free tickets required; signed copies are also available for pre-purchase. Presented in partnership with National Book Festival Presents.

Location: Coolidge Auditorium, ground floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: [email protected]

Friday, November 8, 6:00 PM
NATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL PRESENTS: BRAD MELTZER AND CHRIS ELIOPOULOS

Writer Brad Meltzer and illustrator Chris Eliopoulos will discuss the launch of their new PBS KIDS series, “Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum,” based on their books for children, Ordinary People Change the World, featuring the newest titles, I Am Walt Disney and I Am Marie Curie. This event is free and open to the public. Free tickets required; signed copies are also available for pre-purchase. Presented in partnership with National Book Festival Presents.

Location: Coolidge Auditorium, ground floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: [email protected]

Wednesday, November 13, 7:00 PM
NATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL PRESENTS: ANDRÉ ACIMAN

Author André Aciman will discuss his new novel, Find Me, the sequel to his bestselling novel Call Me By Your NameFree tickets required; signed copies are also available for pre-purchase. Presented in partnership with National Book Festival Presents.

Location: Coolidge Auditorium, ground floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: [email protected]

Wednesday, November 20, 7:00 PM
LIFE OF A POET: REGINALD DWAYNE BETTS 

Poet Reginald Dwayne Betts will discuss his work with Ron Charles, book critic at The Washington Post. This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required (external link). Co-sponsored by Hill Center and The Washington Post.

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

Saturday, November 23, 2:00 PM
MIAMI BOOK FAIR: JOY HARJO IN CONVERSATION

23rd U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo will discuss her work with Rob Casper, head of the Poetry and Literature Center. Tickets required. Co-sponsored by O, Miami.

Location: Miami Dade College, 300 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132, Auditorium (Building 1, 2nd Floor)
Contact: (305) 237-3258

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FEBRUARY 2020

Thursday, February 6, 7:00 PM
NATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL PRESENTS ALICE MCDERMOTT, REP. MARY GAY SCANLON AND MARGARET BRENNAN

Prize-winning novelist Alice McDermott will join Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon and CBS anchor Margaret Brennan in a panel conversation titled “Fearless: A Tribute to Irish American Women.” This event is free and open to the public. Free tickets required; signed copies of McDermott’s latest novel, The Ninth Hour, are also available for pre-purchase with ticket reservation. Presented in partnership with National Book Festival Presents and in collaboration with the Embassy of Ireland.

Location: Coolidge Auditorium, ground floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: [email protected]

Thursday, February 13, 7:00 PM
NATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL PRESENTS DOUGLAS BRINKLEY AND JEANNE THEOHARIS

Rosa Parks biographers Douglas Brinkley (Rosa Parks: A Life) and Jeanne Theoharis (The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks) will join moderator and NPR host Michel Martin in a panel discussion titled “Rosa Parks: The History and the Heart.” This event is free and open to the public. Free tickets required; signed copies of the authors’ books are also available for pre-purchase with ticket reservation. Presented in partnership with National Book Festival Presents.

Location: Coolidge Auditorium, ground floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: [email protected]

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MARCH 2020

Tuesday, March 10, 7:00 PM
LIFE OF A POET: WILLIE PERDOMO 

Poet Willie Perdomo will discuss his work with Ron Charles, book critic at The Washington Post. This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required. Co-sponsored by Hill Center and The Washington Post.

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

Wednesday, March 11, 4:00 PM
LIFE OF A POET: EDUCATOR WEBINAR WITH WILLIE PERDOMO

Following his featured event in the Life of a Poet series, Willie Perdomo will participate in a webinar conversation with educators to introduce his own approach to writing, share and discuss two of his poems, and dedicate time for Q&A. This webinar is free and open to educators. Registration is required. Co-sponsored by the Library’s Learning and Innovation Office and presented in partnership with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Contact: (202) 707-5394

Thursday, March 12, 7:00 PM
NATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL PRESENTS MARGARET ATWOOD AND NAN TALESE

Legendary fiction editor and publisher Nan Talese will join one of her most successful novelists, Margaret Atwood, to discuss their work together. The event will be moderated by Library of Congress Literary Director Marie Arana. This is the kickoff of a new National Book Festival Presents feature called “Great American Editors,” which explores the vital role of editors in the writing and publishing process. This event is free and open to the public. Free tickets required; tickets will be available for reservation on Feb. 13. For notification of ticket availability for this and future events in the National Book Festival Presents series, you may subscribe to the “National Book Festival Blog” email bulletin service. Presented in partnership with National Book Festival Presents.

Location: Coolidge Auditorium, ground floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: [email protected]

Friday, March 13, 9:30 AM
NATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL PRESENTS THE WALTER DEAN MYERS AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CHILDREN’S LITERATURE AND SYMPOSIUM

The Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature will be presented during a symposium featuring the finalists and the winner. The symposium will be emceed by award-winning writer Grace Lin. This event is free and open to the public. Tickets not required. Presented in partnership with National Book Festival Presents and We Need Diverse Books.

Location: Coolidge Auditorium, ground floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: [email protected]

Thursday, March 19, 7:00 PM
NATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL PRESENTS JEFFREY ROSEN

Author Jeffrey Rosen will discuss his new book, Conversations with RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty and Law. This event is free and open to the public. Free tickets required; tickets will be available for reservation on Feb. 13. For notification of ticket availability for this and future events in the National Book Festival Presents series, you may subscribe to the “National Book Festival Blog” email bulletin service.  Presented in partnership with National Book Festival Presents.

Location: LJ-119, first floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: [email protected]

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APRIL 2020

Thursday, April 2, 7:00 PM
NATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL PRESENTS RICHARD FORD

In an event titled “A Good Story Knows No Borders,” Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction winner Richard Ford will give a talk about the universality of fiction as well as participate in a discussion with his German translator, Frank Heibert. The discussion will be moderated by Library of Congress Literary Director Marie Arana. This event is free and open to the public. Free tickets required; tickets will be available for reservation on March 5. For notification of ticket availability for this and future events in the National Book Festival Presents series, you may subscribe to the “National Book Festival Blog” email bulletin service. Presented in partnership with National Book Festival Presents.

Location: Coolidge Auditorium, ground floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: [email protected]

Tuesday, April 21, 7:00 PM
LIFE OF A POET: KIMIKO HAHN

Poet Kimiko Hahn will discuss her work with Ron Charles, book critic at The Washington Post. This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required. Co-sponsored by Hill Center and The Washington Post.

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

Thursday, April 30, 7:00 PM
NATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL PRESENTS JOY HARJO

Joy Harjo will participate in her closing event as the 23rd U.S. Poet Laureate. This event is free and open to the public. Free tickets required; tickets will be available for reservation on March 5. For notification of ticket availability for this and future events in the National Book Festival Presents series, you may subscribe to the “National Book Festival Blog” email bulletin service. Co-sponsored by the Library’s American Folklife Center and Music Division, and presented in partnership with National Book Festival Presents.

Location: Coolidge Auditorium, ground floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: [email protected]

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MAY 2020

Thursday, May 7, 7:00 PM
NATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL PRESENTS JOHN HESSLER

John Hessler, specialist in the Library of Congress’ Geography and Map division and author of the best-seller MAP: Exploring the World, will discuss his new book on pre-Columbian cultures, Collecting for the New World. This event is free and open to the public. Free tickets required; tickets will be available for reservation on April 2. For notification of ticket availability for this and future events in the National Book Festival Presents series, you may subscribe to the “National Book Festival Blog” email bulletin service. Presented in partnership with National Book Festival Presents.

Location: LJ-119, first floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: [email protected]

Thursday, May 21, 7:00 PM
NATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL PRESENTS PHILIP KENNICOTT

Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic Philip Kennicott will discuss his new memoir about a life in music, Counterpoint. This event is free and open to the public. Free tickets required; tickets will be available for reservation on April 30. For notification of ticket availability for this and future events in the National Book Festival Presents series, you may subscribe to the “National Book Festival Blog” email bulletin service. Presented in partnership with National Book Festival Presents.

Location: LJ-119, first floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: [email protected]

Thursday, May 21, 6:30 PM
CASTOR AND PATIENCE: PANEL AND PERFORMANCE

22nd U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith and composer Gregory Spears, creators of the new opera Castor and Patience, will present a sneak-peak concert of selected excerpts of the opera, which will premiere at Cincinnati Opera in July 2020. Smith and Spears will also discuss the creation process and take audience questions. This event is free and open to the public. Free tickets required. Co-sponsored by the Library’s Music Division and American Folklife Center.

Location: Coolidge Auditorium, ground floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5502

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