District of Columbia

Appointed Poet Laureate of the District of Columbia on May 14, 1999, Dolores Kendrick follows Sterling A. Brown as the second poet honored with the title.

upcoming events

Sep 05 2015
Poetry and Prose Pavilion at the National Book Festival

If you want to meet the authors behind the latest contemporary literature, level up on digital-age publishing, or enjoy a youth poetry slam, look no further than the Poetry & Prose Pavilion, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts at the Library of Congress National Book Festival.

The Poetry & Prose Pavilion is part of the Library of Congress’s 15th annual literary festival, which takes place on Saturday, Sept. 5, from 10 am to 10 pm at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Place, NW, in Washington, DC. This year’s free festival features more than 150 authors, poets, and illustrators.  

The line-up of presenters at the Poetry & Prose Pavilion includes Daniel Alarcón, (At Night We Walk in Circles), Jerome Charyn (I Am Abraham), Marilyn Chin (Hard Love Province), Claudia Rankine, (Citizen: An American Lyric), Ishmael Reed (The Complete Mohammad Ali), Eric Pankey (Crow-Work), and Kevin Young (Book of Hours). Five of the writers received NEA Literature Fellowships early in their careers: Charyn (1985); Chin (1985, 1993), Pankey (1988, 2005), Reed (1975); and Young (2005). 

Two panel discussions at the Poetry & Prose Pavilion consider both timely and timeless topics. “Publishing in the Digital Age: A Panel About the Ins and Outs of Publishing” offers discussion by Lynn Freed (Reading, Writing and Leaving Home); Geoffrey Kloske, president of Riverhead Books; and Kevin Larimer, editor-in-chief of Poets & Writers magazine. The second panel looks at “Why Literature Matters: A Conversation about the Importance of the Imagination” with Jane Hirshfield (Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World), Azar Nafisi, (The Republic of Imagination), and Jeff Brown (The News).    

Poetry’s next generation is getting center stage at the 2015 pavilion. In the morning, youth poetry reciters help celebrate the tenth anniversary of Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation contest by reciting the poems that earned them top spots at this year’s National Competition Finals.

In the evening, the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center, the NEA, and Split This Rock will present the National Book Festival Youth Poetry Slam, which will bring together slammers from Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC.

For the complete Poetry & Prose Pavilion schedule, go to the Related Content section. For more information about the National Book Festival call 888-714-4696 or visit loc.gov/bookfest.

See more at: http://arts.gov/news/2015/nea-literature-fellows-showcased-library-congr...

801 Mt Vernon Pl NW
20001 Washington D.C., District Of Columbia

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Ah, not this marble, dead and cold:  
Far from its base and shaft expanding—the round zones circling, 
Thou, Washington, art all the world's, the continents' entire— 
         not yours alone, America, 
Europe's as well, in every part, castle of lord or laborer's cot,  
Or frozen
It was the summer of Chandra Levy, disappearing
       from Washington D.C., her lover a Congressman, evasive
              and blow-dried from Modesto, the TV wondering

in every room in America to an image of her tight jeans and piles
       of curls frozen in a studio pose. It was the summer the only
Your door is shut against my tightened face,
And I am sharp as steel with discontent;
But I possess the courage and the grace
To bear my anger proudly and unbent.
The pavement slabs burn loose beneath my feet,
And passion rends my vitals as I pass,
A chafing savage, down the decent street;
Where boldly shines