Contact: Yvonne French (202) 707-9191

October 7, 1998

Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky's October 8 Lecture To Be Broadcast Live on the Internet


WHAT: A live audio cybercast

WHO: Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry Robert Pinsky's lecture, "Poetry and American Memory"

WHEN: 6:45 p.m. EDT Thursday, October 8


HOW: will broadcast the live audio of the lecture; a video version will be made available the next day. The lecture will be accessible through the Library's website, as well as on's website, It will be available for at least one month.


The lecture opens Mr. Pinsky's second term as U.S. Poet Laureate. Robert Pinsky was appointed to the one-year post by Dr. Billington in 1997 and reappointed in 1998, when Dr. Billington credited him with "actively encouraging a national renaissance of spoken poetry."

In addition to serving as Poet Laureate, Mr. Pinsky is poetry editor of the on-line magazine Slate and a professor in the creative writing department at Boston University. He is a contributor to PBS's "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer."

The cybercast marks the first time national and international audiences can use computers to hear and see the Poet Laureate's lecture, which opens the Library's 1998-1999 literary series.

The poetry and literature reading series at the Library of Congress is the oldest in the Washington area, and one of the oldest in the United States. This annual series of public poetry and fiction readings, lectures, symposia, and occasional dramatic performances began in the 1940s and has been almost exclusively supported since 1951 by a gift from the late Gertrude Clarke Whittall.

The Poetry and Literature Center, which administers the free series, is also the home of the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, a position that has existed since 1936, when the late philanthropist Archer M. Huntington endowed the Chair of Poetry at the Library of Congress.

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PR 98-169
ISSN 0731-3527

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