new Poet Laureate

July 12, 2022

The Library of Congress has today announced the appointment of Ada Limón as the 24th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.

She joins a long line of distinguished poets who have served in the position, including Joy Harjo, who served three terms in the position (2019-2022), Juan Felipe Herrera, Charles Wright, Natasha Trethewey, Philip Levine, W.S. Merwin, Kay Ryan, Charles Simic, Donald Hall, Ted Kooser, Louise Glück, Billy Collins, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass, and Rita Dove.

Ada Limón is the author of six books of poetry, including The Carrying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. Limón is also the host of the critically-acclaimed poetry podcast, The Slowdown. Her new book of poetry, The Hurting Kind, is out now from Milkweed Editions.

Congratulations, Ada Limón!

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photo by Shawn Miller

watch some poetry

December 11, 2021

The Library of Congress has posted three videos sharing some poetry highlights from the 2021 National Book Festival, including a conversation with Nikki Giovanni, another with francine j. harris and Patrick Rosal, and a third with Claudia Rankine and Phillip B. Williams.

National Book Festival

September 7, 2021

The 2021 National Book Festival will be a ten-day literary extravaganza presented by the Library of Congress, September 17-26, 2021. The readings, conversations, Q&A sessions, and other events will all be available free online, plus, only one program will livestream at any given time, meaning this year you won’t need to make any tough choices on which program to attend. See the author lineup and additional information about the Festival.


July 3, 2021

LOC logo in all caps with the word LIBRARY in extra large black letters

Looking for something to do over the long weekend? You could binge on poetry videos over at the Library of Congress. If you search Films, Videos / poetry the resulting 2,860 items are available for online viewing. There are readings, festivals, lectures, and much more. It’s not exactly clear what order they’re in, but you can do more refined searches if there’s something special you’d like to see. There are also 685 audio/poetry recordings for your listening pleasure. You may need extra popcorn for this binge.

Living Nations, Living Words

November 28, 2020

As you may have heard, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has announced the appointment of U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo to a third term, to begin in September 2021. Harjo is only the second laureate to receive this extension since terms for the position were established in 1943.

Among the laureate’s responsibilities is the creation of a signature project. Hayden’s announcement also marks the launch of Harjo’s signature project, “Living Nations, Living Words.” Designed to “introduce the country to the many Native poets who live in these lands….The ‘Living Nations, Living Words’ project features a sampling of work by 47 Native Nations poets through an interactive ArcGIS Story Map and a newly developed Library of Congress audio collection.”

“Each of the 47 Native Nations poets featured in ‘Living Nations, Living Words’ selected an original poem on the theme of place and displacement, and with four touchpoints in mind: visibility, persistence, resistance, and acknowledgment.” Forty-seven may not sound like a lot, but this is an ambitious project. Follow the links above to learn about the poets, hear and read the poems, and read transcripts of the poets reading and discussing their poems. All of the material is now archived in the Library of Congress.

authors online

February 10, 2020

If you’re thinking about designing, or redesigning, your author website, you might want to visit the Author Websites Web Archive at the Library of Congress.

The collection of official author websites began in April 2018 and is ongoing. Its initial focus was on “archiving websites of authors who have participated in the annual Library of Congress National Book Festival (2001-present). However, websites of other fiction and nonfiction writers who have made significant contributions to the world’s creative and intellectual record through their books are also included.”

watching poetry

July 29, 2019

If you enjoy seeing and hearing poets, dip into the free online collection of the Library of Congress (note new logo!). The largest library in the world, the Library of Congress also hosts and records public events, which are now available for browsing and viewing.

Here, for example, is a search that includes 232 online event videos from the Poetry & Literature Center. When you’re done with those, try some other search terms. Enjoy.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today, June 19, 2019, announced the appointment of Joy Harjo as the nation’s Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2019-2020. Harjo is the first Native American poet to serve in the position — she is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Nation.

Joy Harjo will take up her position in the fall and succeeds Tracy K. Smith, who served two terms as laureate.

Read the full story on the Library of Congress website, and view a recent Q & A with the poet here.

(re)new(ed) interview series

October 22, 2018

The Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center has relaunched its poetry interview series with Anastasia Nikolis as interviewer. Previous interviewees in the series include Aracelis Girmay, Paisley Rekdal, Terrance Hayes, and Karen An-hwei Lee, among others. The first interview in the relaunched series features Joan Naviyuk Kane.

You can find links to each of the interviews on the LOC Interview Series page and you can read an editorial by Anastasia Nikolis explaining her intent for the renewed poetry series.

(You may also note that the Library of Congress has a new logo, above. Read about the Pentagram design.)

take five

October 5, 2018

Got five minutes? Poet laureate Tracy K. Smith will fill your ears with poetry for five minutes, five days a week, starting in November when “The Slowdown” goes live.

The free podcast, produced by American Public Media in partnership with the Library of Congress and the Poetry Foundation, will present Smith reading works by a wide array of poets from around the world.

Read more about the program, listen to a preview, or sign up now.

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