Poets House

November 20, 2020

We try to keep things somewhat upbeat here at The Poetry Department, but were saddened to read that Poets House, the nation’s premier poetry library, at Battery Park City in New York, has announced that it will suspend operations indefinitely, effective immediately, due to budgetary issues caused by the Coronavirus. It is hoped that the library may be able reopen late in 2021 once the pandemic is under control and Poets House has reconfigured its operations.

Though events have been suspended, online resources continue to be available, at least for the moment, including audio, video, and digital materials, such as a wonderful collection of chapbooks from the “Mimeo Revolution.”

prompts galore

February 15, 2020

If you’re interested in the natural world and you’re looking for a new perspective, look no further than the Biodiversity Heritage Library. Currently weighing in at 57,897,176 pages, the library “is the world’s largest open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives.”

You can browse the BHL’s collection by Title, Author, Date, Collection, or Contributor. For example, click on Collections, then on Extinct Species, and you get a further listing of 29 volumes from 28 titles, containing 11201 pages. Click on any of the linked titles and you’ll find yourself at a scanned version of the original document, which you can browse page by page.

Have fun!

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Thanks to Colossal for the heads up

We’ve posted before about the Sackner Archive, Ruth and Marvin Sackner’s astonishing collection of some 75,000 pieces of visual and concrete poetry. Housed at the Sackner’s residence in Miami for many years, the entire collection has now found a new home at the University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections. The archive will be open by appointment to students, scholars, and the general public starting January 2020.

Read the announcement here, browse the archive online here, or start planning your 2020 trip to Iowa City, A UNESCO City of Literature.

speaking of poetry libraries

December 17, 2018

The Poetry Foundation Library in Chicago is the Midwest’s only library dedicated to poetry. Visitors to the library may browse a collection of 30,000 volumes, experience audio and video recordings in private listening booths, and view exhibits of poetry-related materials. The library is open weekdays 11:00am–4:00pm (check website for holiday closures).

next time you’re in London

December 15, 2018

It has been a few years since we mentioned the National Poetry Library in London. Founded in 1953, the library moved its expanded collection to the Royal Festival Hall at Southbank Centre in 1988, with Seamus Heaney presiding over the grand opening.

The library posts daily poems, has a free online poem collection and catalogue, assists with “lost quote” requests, has a collection of over 2,000 audio recordings, about 2,000 postcards and poem cards, some 1,500 posters, year-round events and exhibitions, and an online listing of poetry competitions.

The National Poetry Library is the largest public collection of modern poetry in the world, is open six days a week, and is free to visit.

. . . . .
photo by Gapfall

At Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia, the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library comprises some 75,000 volumes (50,000 of which are catalogued and searchable). Believed to be the largest privately-held assembly of poetry books, the collection was amassed over many years and in 2004 donated to Emory University by Mr. Danowski, who died last week.

The collection is curated by poet Kevin Young and the library hosts a variety of fellowships, readings, exhibitions, and visiting scholars. To learn more about the Library and its collection and programs, visit the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library website.

Whatcom wins!

June 16, 2017

When you think “library” the next word in your mind probably isn’t “marketing.” But this week a connection was made as the Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) announced that it has won three national library marketing awards, including the very prestigious John Cotton Dana award, which comes with a $10,000 prize.

As the WCLS website explains,

WCLS worked with Red Rokk, a Bellingham-based marketing agency, to launch the “My Modern Library” campaign in the spring of 2016; the digital marketing campaign focused on promoting the library’s digital services in a fun and positive way. At the end of the 9-month campaign, WCLS more than doubled their annual goals for circulation and cardholders, increased digital circulation by 86.5%, and broke the record for most card sign-ups ever in one month by 26%.

We love our libraries and congratulate WCLS and Red Rokk on their big wins… and also thank them for their support of poetry in Whatcom County!

. . . . .
Pictured from left to right: Sally Crouse, Christina Nelson, WCLS Executive Director Christine Perkins, Sherri Huleatt, Megan Cook, Lizz Roberts, Sarah Hirsch, Red Rokk CEO Tyler Byrd, and Steven Aldous. Photo Credit: 1123 Productions

one more…

January 16, 2017

Best-of Season

Here’s a slightly different take on the best-of list: Business Insider’s “The most beautiful library in every US state.”

Fairhaven Library

As we seem to be racing toward all-things-digital, it’s nice to see an Opinion page article on “Why We Still Need Public Libraries.” Read Froma Harrop’s article on Creators.com.
. . . . .
image: Fairhaven library

about those CDs…

March 25, 2015

Mary Oliver CDPerhaps your CD collection is still in vigorous rotation. Then again, maybe you’ve gone back to vinyl or you’ve set aside all discs in favor of digital. If you find your CDs — music, poetry, etc. — are just taking up valuable shelf space, the Washington State Library “will gratefully, happily and enthusiastically take those CDs off your hands.” CDs are a very welcome and well-used addition to the libraries in state hospitals and prisons, where digital players are not an option. Donations may be sent to:
Washington State Library
ATTN: Laura Sherbo
6880 Capitol Blvd SE
Tumwater, WA 98504

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