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Poetry and Literature

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Unless otherwise noted, tickets to and reservations for these events are not required.

AUGUST 2018

Thursday, August 30, 4:00 PM
NATIONAL STUDENT POETS PROGRAM APPOINTMENT CEREMONY

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and Institute of Museum and Library Services Director Kathryn K. Matthew will appoint the seventh class of National Student Poets, five outstanding youth poets from across the United States, for their original work. Program to include a plaque ceremony and poetry reading. Public reception to follow. Free tickets required. Presented in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

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

SEPTEMBER 2018

Wednesday, September 12, 4:00 PM
INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE: CATHERINE FILLOUX

Playwright and librettist Catherine Filloux will read from MANOA special feature Eyes of the Heart followed by a moderated discussion with MANOA series editor Frank Stewart. Presented in partnership with MANOA: A Pacific Journal of International Writing.

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

Thursday, September 13, 6:00 PM
ASIAN AMERICAN LITERATURE TODAY: KUNDIMAN SPOTLIGHT

Kundiman fellows R.O. Kwon and Hieu Minh Nguyen will read excerpts of their work followed by a moderated discussion with poet Gowri K. Presented in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, The Asian American Literary Review, and Kundiman.

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

OCTOBER 2018

Monday, October 1, 7:00 PM
LIFE OF A POET: MARILYN CHIN

Poet Marilyn Chin 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

Tuesday, October 16, 4:00 PM
INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE: CRISTINA RIVERA GARZA

Novelist Cristina Rivera Garza will read excerpts of her work and participate in a moderated discussion with her translators Suzanne Jill Levine and Aviva Kana. Co-sponsored by the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress. Presented in partnership with the Mexican Cultural Institute.

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

Tuesday, October 30, 6:30 PM
BAGLEY WRIGHT LECTURE: POETS ON CRITICISM

Poet-critics Maureen McLaneSrikanth Reddy, and Matthew Zapruder will discuss the role of criticism in contemporary American poetry in a conversation moderated by Robert Casper, head of the Poetry and Literature Center. Presented in partnership with the Bagley Wright Lecture Series.

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

NOVEMBER 2018

Friday, November 2, 12:00PM
INTERNATIONAL WRITING PROGRAM: CELEBRATING WOMEN’S VOICES

Program residents Kateryna Babkina (Ukraine), Alisa Ganieva (Russia), and Rumena Bužarovska (Macedonia) will read selections of their work and participate in a moderated discussion with Christopher Merrill, director of the International Writing Program. Co-sponsored by the Library of Congress European Division and presented in partnership with the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. 

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

Wednesday, November 7, 4:00 PM
INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE: URUGUAYAN POETS

Poet Silvia Guerra will read excerpts of her work and translators Jesse Lee Kercheval, Jeannine Pitas, Anna Deeny, and Seth Michelson will share new translations of Circe Maia, Marosa di Giorgio, Amanda Berenguer, and Melisa Machado. Co-sponsored by the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress. Presented in collaboration with the Embassy of Uruguay.

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

Saturday, November 10, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
THE ROAD BACK: VETS AND LITERARY WRITING

In honor of Veterans Day, a day-long symposium featuring two panels and a screening of the newly restored film “The Road Back.” All events are free and open to the public. Tickets required for film screening. Co-sponsored by the Library of Congress Exhibits Office and Veterans History Project. Presented in collaboration with Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I exhibit.

11:00 AM - Kristin Windbigler, executive director of the Western Folklife Center; Niyati Dhokai, program manager of the Veterans and the Arts Initiative, Hylton Performing Arts Center; and Mohammed Sheriff, division coordinator of the National Endowment for the Art’s Literature & Arts Education Division will discuss writing and literature as a means of coping with service experience.
Location: LJ-119, first floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>

1:30 PM - Poets Bill Jones, Vess Quinlan, Dave Richmond, and Bruce Weigl will discuss their favorite World War I writers, share selections of their work, and participate in a discussion moderated by Anya Creightney, programs manager of the Poetry and Literature Center.
Location: LJ-119, first floor, Thomas Jefferson Building <view map>

3:00 PM - Film screening of “The Road Back,” sequel to “All Quiet on the Western Front.” Restored by the Library of Congress in association with UCLA Film & Television Archive, Universal Studios, and The Film Foundation. Restoration funding provided by The Film Foundation and the Library of Congress. Screening rights provided by New York University, executor of the Erich Maria Remarque Estate.
Location: Mary Pickford Theater, third floor, James Madison Building <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Sunday, November 18, 1:30 PM
TWO POETS LAUREATE: READING AND CONVERSATION

Former U.S. Poets Laureate Billy Collins and Juan Felipe Herrera will read selections from their recent books and discuss the necessity of poetry with Robert Casper, head of the Poetry and Literature Center.

Location: Miami Dade College - Wolfson Campus, Building 1, second floor, #1261 (300 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132)
Contact: (202) 707-5394

DECEMBER 2018

Thursday, December 6, 6:30 PM
BOBBITT PRIZE READING: JORIE GRAHAM

Jorie Graham, winner of the 15th Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, will read selections of Fast. Book sales and signing to follow. Free tickets required

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

JANUARY 2019

This event has been postponed to Wednesday, January 30 at 7:00 PM due to inclement weather.
All tickets will be honored. 

Tuesday, January 29, 7:00 PM Wednesday, January 30, 7:00 PM
LIFE OF A POET: ADA LIMÓN

Poet Ada Limón 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

FEBRUARY 2019

Wednesday, February 6, 7:00 PM
LIFE OF A POET: ROSS GAY

Poet Ross Gay 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 the Hill Center and The Washington Post.

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

Tuesday, February 12, 4:00 PM & 7:30 PM
WHAT WAS, WHAT IS, AND WHAT WILL BE: A CROSS-GENRE LOOK AT AFROFUTURISM

4:00 PM - Author/playwright Tananarive Due, novelist N.K. Jemisin, and poet Airea D. Matthews will discuss the origins and extensions of Afrofuturism in a conversation moderated by Sheree Renée ThomasFree tickets recommended, but not required.

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

7:30 PM - Tananarive Due, N.K. Jemisin, and Airea D. Matthews will read their work. Tickets required.  

Location: Folger Theatre, Folger Shakespeare Library
Contact: (202) 544-7077

Co-sponsored by the Library of Congress Center for the Book. Presented in partnership with Folger Poetry and PEN/Faulkner Foundation.

Thursday, February 28, 6:30 PM
US/CA CAPITAL POETRY EXCHANGE

Canadian poets Aisha Sasha John, Brecken Hancock, and Erín Moure will share their work and participate in a moderated discussion with Rob Casper, head of the Poetry and Literature Center. Book sales and signing to follow. Free tickets recommended, but not required.  Presented in partnership with the Embassy of Canada, Washington, D.C. and VERSeFest Ottawa.

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

MARCH 2019

Thursday, March 14, 12:00 PM
CONVERSATIONS WITH AFRICAN POETS AND WRITERS: MAKENA ONJERIKA

Kenyan author and 2018 Caine Prize winner Makena Onjerika will read from her prize-winning short story “Fanta Blackcurrant” and will participate in a moderated discussion with Eve Ferguson, Africa Area Specialist in the African and Middle Eastern Division. Co-sponsored by the Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division. Presented in partnership with the Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa, the Caine Prize for African Writing, the Center for African Studies at Howard University, the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice, and Department of English at Georgetown University.

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

Wednesday, March 20, 7:00 PM
CLIMATE CHANGE, NATURE, AND THE WRITER’S EYE

Science writer Peter Brannen and internationally acclaimed novelist Amitav Ghosh will join 2018 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction winner, Annie Proulx to discuss pressing issues of environmental change and a writer’s responsibilities to them. Book sales and signing to follow. Free tickets required.

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

APRIL 2019

Thursday, April 4, 6:30 PM
NATIONAL YOUTH POET LAUREATE COMMENCEMENT

The 2019 National Youth Poet Laureate will be announced. Regional Youth Poets Laureate Kara Jackson (Chicago, IL), Haviland Nona Gai Whiting (Nashville, TN), Jackson Neal (Houston, TX) Azura Tyabji (Seattle, WA) and Maren Wright-Kerr (Baltimore, MD) will participate. Event will be hosted by Mahogany L. Browne and feature Washington, D.C./Prince George's County Youth Poets Laureate. Book sales and signing to follow. Free tickets required. Presented in partnership with Urban Word.

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

Monday, April 8, 5:00 PM
INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE: ANA LUÍSA AMARAL

Poet Ana Luísa Amaral will share her work and participate in a moderated discussion with Talía Guzmán-González, Luso-Brazilian Specialist in the Hispanic Division. Book sales and signing to follow. Co-sponsored by the Hispanic Division.

Location: Hispanic Division Reading Room, second floor, Thomas Jefferson Building, LJ-240 <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5397

Monday, April 15, 7:00 PM
AMERICAN CELEBRATION: POET LAUREATE CLOSING EVENT

22nd U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith will celebrate the conclusion of her laureateship in a conversation with state, city and county poets laureate Jeanetta Calhoun Mish (Oklahoma), Kealoha (Hawai`i), Adrian Matejka (Indiana), Tina Chang (Brooklyn, NY) and Vogue Robinson (Clark County, NV). Conversation will be moderated by Jennifer Benka, president and executive director of the Academy of American Poets. Book sales and signing to follow. Free tickets required. Presented in partnership with the Academy of American Poets.

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

Tuesday, April 23, 7:00 PM
POETRY OFF THE SHELF: NATASHA TRETHEWEY & CHARLES WRIGHT

19th U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey and 20th U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Wright will read and discuss their prize-winning work. Free tickets are first come, first served. Co-sponsored by the Poetry Foundation

Location: Poetry Foundation, 61 W Superior St, Chicago, IL 60654
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Monday, April 29, 6:30 PM
LIBRARIAN AND LAUREATE: A CONVERSATION

Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Kevin Young will lead a conversation between 22nd U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith and Librarian of Congress Carla D. Hayden. Free tickets are not required but strongly recommended; ticketed guests are given priority. Co-sponsored by Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Location: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Langston Hughes Auditorium (515 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10037)
Contact: (202) 707-5394; [email protected]

MAY 2019

Saturday, May 11, 4:00 PM
WORDPLAY FESTIVAL: NATASHA TRETHEWEY IN CONVERSATION

19th U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey will discuss her work with Rob Casper, head of the Poetry and Literature Center. Tickets required. Book sales and signing to follow. Presented in partnership with The Loft Wordplay Festival.

Location: Guthrie Theater, Dowling Studio, 818 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55415
Contact: [email protected]

Tuesday, May 14, 7:00 PM
LIFE OF A POET: DIANE SEUSS

Poet Diane Seuss 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

JUNE 2019

Monday, June 3, 2:30 PM - 5:00 PM
WALT WHITMAN OPEN HOUSE

To celebrate the 200th birthday of Walt Whitman, the Library of Congress will present an open house featuring rarely seen collection items including draft poems, artistic renderings, and rare editions of Leaves of Grass. Filmmaker Haydn Reiss will also screen the short film “Walt Whitman: Citizen Poet,” featuring 22nd U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith and 8th U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass. Co-sponsored by the Library of Congress Manuscript Division, Rare Book & Special Collections Division, Music Division, Prints & Photographs Division, Serials and General Collections Division and presented in partnership with Zinc Films, the Poetry Foundation, and the Whitman 200 Festival.  

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

Saturday, June 8, 1:00 PM
RHYMING THE ARCHIVES: YOUTH POETRY SHOWCASE

Members of the Washington, D.C. Youth Slam Team will perform poems inspired by recordings, photographs, and field notes from the American Folklife Center archive. Free tickets recommended. Co-sponsored by the Library of Congress American Folklife Center and presented in partnership with Split This Rock.

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

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