Library to Display Whitman Collections, Host 200th Birthday Party, Open House and Film Screening

Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892) as photographed by Mathew Brady / Public Domain

“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.” Walt Whitman



My apologies to the people with email subscriptions for accidentally hitting the publish button before this was properly completed. 

The Library of Congress will celebrate the 200th anniversary of American poet and change-maker Walt Whitman’s birthday with a series of exhibits, public programs and a digital crowdsourcing campaign to showcase the Library’s unparalleled collections of Whitman’s writings and artifacts.

The Library’s Whitman Bicentennial series will be part of the citywide Walt Whitman 200 Festival and other commemorations in the Mid-Atlantic where Whitman spent most of his life. He spent about ten years living and writing in Washington. During the Civil War, he volunteered in military hospitals in the city to offer emotional support to wounded soldiers.

Whitman worked as a schoolteacher, printer, newspaper editor, journalist, carpenter, freelance writer and civil servant, but he is best known as one of America’s most famous poets – and as a poet of democracy.

The Library holds the most extensive array of Whitman and Whitman-related collections in the world, including manuscripts, rare books, prints and photographs. Collection items range from handwritten drafts of poems and early prose writings to rare editions of Leaves of Grass, Whitman’s eyeglasses and walking stick and the most famous studio portraits taken in his lifetime. The manuscript collections are digitized and available online, as are many photographs.

The Whitman Bicentennial series is part of a year-long initiative in 2019 inviting visitors to Explore America’s Change-makers.
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By the People Crowdsourcing Campaign
April 24 – June

The Library’s crowdsourcing initiative “By the People” will launch a campaign April 24 to enlist the public to help transcribe several thousand pages of Whitman’s writings and papers to make them more searchable and accessible online. Documents selected for transcription will include samples of Whitman’s poetry, prose and correspondence, including versions of poems such as “Oh Captain! My Captain!” and fragments of poems Whitman published in more finished form in “Leaves of Grass.”

This is also a special opportunity for teachers and students to engage with Whitman’s creative process. Drafts and portions of his poems at various stages of composition reveal his active, creative mind, as well as his innovative ways of seeing the world and wordsmithing poetic expressions.

The Library will collaborate with the National Council of Teachers of English to host a Transcribe-a-Thon webinar on April 24 at 4 p.m. Eastern time. The one-hour event will bring together experts from the Library, NCTE and educators to discuss how students can analyze, transcribe, review and tag the Whitman papers. Registration is open to all and available here.
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Whitman Bicentennial Display
May 16 – Aug. 15

To mark the 200th anniversary of Whitman’s birth, the Library will display poetry, images and ephemera from Whitman’s life in the Thomas Jefferson Building. Five cases will display Whitman’s handwritten drafts, published poems, original letters, portraits and other rarely seen materials.

The display will retrace Whitman’s life, from his birthplace on Long Island, New York, his rise as an American poet, his life in Washington – including his intimate relationship with Peter Doyle, his care for Civil War soldiers and his admiration for Abraham Lincoln – his hands-on involvement with the design and publication of his poetry collection “Leaves of Grass” and pop culture references to Whitman and his legacy. It was “Leaves of Grass,” his break-through work of free verse celebrating democracy, sexuality, human potential, universalism and the natural world, that would earn Whitman worldwide fame.
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Whitman in Culpeper
Thursday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Packard Campus Theater, Culpeper, Virginia.

For two months in early 1864, Walt Whitman resided in Culpeper, Virginia, while serving as a volunteer in the Army of the Potomac’s nearby field hospitals. Despite the ravages the war had visited upon the area, Whitman described Culpeper as “one of the pleasantest towns in Virginia.”

Local historian Bud Hall will present a talk at the Library’s Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper about Whitman’s time in the area, followed by a screening of “Shenandoah” (Universal, 1965). Jimmy Stewart stars as a Virginia farmer intent on keeping his family out of the Civil War, but with the battles being fought almost literally on his doorstep, struggles to maintain his neutrality.
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Happy Birthday Walt! – Digitized Walt Whitman Collections from the Manuscript Division
Thursday, May 30, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Manuscript Division historian Barbara Bair will host a webinar highlighting the content and research use of three digitized manuscript collections: the Walt Whitman Collection of miscellaneous manuscripts; the Charles Feinberg collection of Walt Whitman Papers; and the Thomas Harned collection of Walt Whitman Papers. She will also discuss programs celebrating Whitman’s birthday at the Library of Congress. More information is available here.
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Walt Whitman’s Birthday Party
Saturday, June 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Young Readers Center will host a day for families that will celebrate Whitman and his legacy on June 1 in the Thomas Jefferson Building. Activities will include an author talk from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., featuring author Robert Burleigh and illustrator Sterling Hundley discussing their book “O Captain, My Captain: Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War;” a birthday party for Whitman at 11 a.m.; and a book signing at 11:15 a.m. A Whitman butterfly maker activity and handouts of “Walt Whitman’s Guide to Nature Walking” will be available all day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., visiting families are also invited to join in the Library’s crowdsourcing initiative “By the People” and help transcribe selections from Whitman’s writings and papers to make them more searchable and accessible online.
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Walt Whitman Open House
Monday, June 3, from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Library of Congress will present a Walt Whitman Open House display in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, supplementing the ongoing Whitman Bicentennial Display with even more treasures from the Library’s collections. The Open House will feature a special array of rarely seen Walt Whitman collection items from the Manuscript, Rare Book, Music, and Prints and Photographs divisions, as well as Serials and General Collections. The display will include items pertaining to Whitman’s time in Washington, but also other materials from throughout his life, including the walking cane given to him by nature writer John Burroughs, draft poems, artistic renderings of Whitman and rare editions of “Leaves of Grass.”

As part of the celebration, the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center will host a special showing of the new documentary short film “Walt Whitman: Citizen Poet,” directed by Haydn Reiss and Zinc Films and produced in association with the Poetry Foundation. Filmed in part at the Library of Congress, “Walt Whitman: Citizen Poet” features Poets Laureate Tracy K. Smith and Robert Hass, among other poets, discussing Whitman’s life, poetry and legacy.

A reading of Whitman’s poems from his Washington years will follow at the Folger Shakespeare Library that evening.
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The Library of Congress is inviting visitors to Explore America’s Changemakers in 2019 through a series of exhibitions, events and programs. Exhibitions drawing from the Library’s collections will explore the fight for women’s suffrage, Rosa Parks’ groundbreaking role in civil rights history and artists’ responses to major issues of the day. Other events throughout the year will explore changemakers through music, performances and public programs.

This crowdsourcing initiative “By the People” reflects advancement toward a goal in the Library’s new user-centered strategic plan: to expand access, making unique collections, experts and services available when, where and how users need them. Learn more about the Library’s five-year plan at loc.gov/strategic-plan/.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world – both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.  Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

This feature is courtesy of the Library of Congress and Wikipedia


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“Climate Change, Nature and the Writer’s Eye” on March 20 Will Feature Writers Annie Proulx, Peter Brannen, and Amitav Ghosh

The program, “Climate Change, Nature and the Writer’s Eye,” will honor Annie Proulx, winner of the Prize for American Fiction, on March 20. Photo by Gus Powell.

“Writers who use the wide palette of the natural world command an important vantage point from which to observe the issues of climate change, rising seas, animal and insect extinctions, or the loss of woodlands,” Proulx said.



The U.S. Library of Congress will honor the lifetime achievement of novelist Annie Proulx, winner of the Library’s Prize for American Fiction, in a program titled Climate Change, Nature and the Writer’s Eye.The discussion on March 20 will explore the role of writers and the intersection between literature and the environment.

Proulx is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Shipping News, the renowned short story Brokeback Mountain that was made into an Academy Award-winning film, and the 2016 novel Barkskins, among many other works. Science writer Peter Brannen and Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh will join Proulx to discuss issues of climate change and a writer’s responsibility to represent its realities.

The discussion will be moderated by author Marie Arana, senior literary advisor to the Librarian of Congress. Climate Change, Nature and the Writer’s Eye promises a lively exchange between two great literary masters, a prize-winning journalist and a historian of Latin America, all of whom have written passionately on environmental degradation, mass extinctions and the human quotient.

“Seldom have we seen the arts join science to issue such a vibrant summons to confront the most urgent task of our time,” Arana said.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20, in the Coolidge Auditorium on the ground floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free, but tickets are required. For tickets, please visit this ticketing site: lc-prize.eventbrite.com.

Each year, the prestigious Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction honors an American literary writer whose body of work is distinguished not only for its mastery of the art but also for its originality of thought and imagination.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden chose Proulx for the 2018 prize, honoring her as an “American original,” based on the recommendation of a jury of distinguished authors and prominent literary critics from around the world. The prize was awarded during the National Book Festival in 2018.

About the Speakers

ANNIE PROULX is the author of 10 books, including the novel The Shipping News and the story collection Close Range. Her story Brokeback Mountain, which originally appeared in The New Yorker, was made into an Academy Award-winning film. Proulx’s many honors include a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award and a PEN/Faulkner Award. In 2017 and 2018, she was awarded the National Book Foundation’s 2017 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2018 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction and the Ucross Foundation’s inaugural 2018 Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts. Proulx’s most recent novel, Barkskins (Scribner, 2016), was a New York Times Notable Book, a Kirkus Prize Finalist for Best Novel and was one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 10 Books of 2016. She lives in Port Townsend, Washington.

PETER BRANNEN is an award-winning science journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Wired, The Boston Globe, Slate and The Guardian, among other publications. His book, “The Ends of the World,” about the science behind the five major mass extinctions in Earth’s history, was published by Harper Collins in 2017. It was named a New York Times Editor’s Choice and one of the 10 Best Environment, Climate Science and Conservation Books of 2017 by Forbes. Peter is currently a Scripps Fellow at the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder.

AMITAV GHOSH was born in Calcutta and grew up in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He is the author of two books of nonfiction, a collection of essays and eight novels. His most recent book is “The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable(2016). His books have won prizes in India, Europe and Myanmar, and he has been awarded honorary degrees by the Sorbonne, Paris, and by Queens College, New York. He is married to the writer Deborah Baker and divides his time between Brooklyn, Goa and Kolkata. Amitav Ghosh’s work has been translated into more than 30 languages, and he has served on the jury of the Locarno Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival.

The Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction seeks to commend strong, unique, enduring voices that—throughout long, consistently accomplished careers—have told us something valuable about the American experience.

For more information on the prize, including previous winners, visit loc.gov/about/awards-and-honors/fiction-prize/.

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The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

This post courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress. PhotoCredit-GusPowell.


 

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U.S. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS 2019 EXHIBITIONS AND PROGRAMS EXPLORE AMERICA’S CHANGE MAKERS

“On a very personal level, I have fond memories of spending a lot of time in the Library of Congress working on my collection of poems ‘Native Guard.’ I was there over a summer doing research in the archives and then writing in the reading room at the Jefferson building.” Natasha Trethewey



The Library of Congress launched a yearlong initiative for 2019 inviting visitors to Explore America’s Change Makers with a series of exhibitions, events and programs. Major exhibitions drawing from the Library’s collections are focused on important figures in women’s history and the fight for suffrage, Rosa Parks’ groundbreaking role in the civil rights movement and artists’ responses to major issues of the day.

Additional events will Explore America’s Change Makers through music, films, performances and public programs throughout the year.

The 2019 initiative is being announced on the 101stanniversary of the day when the U.S. House of Representatives first passed a constitutional amendment for women’s suffrage on Jan. 10, 1918 – a victory that Rep. Jeannette Rankin, the first woman to serve in Congress, helped achieve. The Senate would pass the measure in 1919 to send the amendment to the states for ratification. The story of the lengthy movement for women’s suffrage will be told in the Library’s centerpiece exhibition.

Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote
June 4, 2019 – September 2020

The new exhibition, “Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote,” will tell the story of the long campaign for women’s suffrage – considered the largest reform movement in American history – which lasted more than seven decades. The struggle was not for the fainthearted. For years, determined women organized, lobbied, paraded, petitioned, lectured, picketed and faced imprisonment.

The exhibition draws from the Library’s extensive collections of personal papers and organizational records of such figures as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Church Terrell, Carrie Chapman Catt, the National Woman’s Party, the National American Woman Suffrage Association and others. Documents, images, video and audio recordings will trace the movement leading to the women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls, the contributions of suffragists who worked to persuade women that they deserved the same rights as men, the divergent political strategies and internal divisions they overcame, the push for a federal women’s suffrage amendment and the legacy of this movement.

“Shall Not Be Denied” is part of the national commemoration of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, marking major milestones in 2019 and 2020. The exhibition will open on the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Senate’s passage of the suffrage amendment that would become the 19th amendment to the Constitution once ratification by the states was certified on Aug. 26, 1920.

The Library’s 2019 exhibitions also will include:

Art in Action: Herblock and Fellow Artists Respond to Their Times
Jan. 31, 2019 – Aug. 17, 2019

A new exhibition, “Art in Action,” will explore the tradition of artists as social commentators. Drawings by renowned editorial cartoonist Herblock will be paired with historical and contemporary artists’ prints, drawings and posters that respond to major issues from the 17th century to the current day. As a political cartoonist for The Washington Post and other newspapers, Herbert L. Block, better known as Herblock, devoted his career to creating social commentary through art. Topics that drew his attention provide the exhibition’s framework, including civil rights, women’s rights, health, war, refugees and the role of media.

Herblock’s cartoons provide a call and response with other socially-engaged artists who expressed their opinions through art. The exhibition includes depictions of Pablo Picasso and works in the global tradition of political art by Jacques Callot, Francisco de Goya, and Leopoldo Méndez – as well as modern and contemporary American artists including Alexander Calder, Enrique Chagoya, Shepard Fairey, Kerry James Marshall, Juan Fuentes, Favianna Rodriguez and Helen Zughaib, among others.

Public domain photograph of Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rosa Parks
December 2019

Rosa Parks is best known for her refusal to give up her seat to a white man on a crowded bus in Montgomery, Alabama on Dec. 1, 1955. Her arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a seminal event in the civil rights movement. But Parks is often characterized by misconceptions. Contrary to popular belief, she was not a demure seamstress. The real Rosa Parks was a seasoned activist. She would be punished for the famous bus incident with death threats, unemployment and poverty – but she remained committed to the struggle for social justice until her death in 2005 and inspired millions of people worldwide.

This will be the first major exhibition to showcase the Rosa Parks Collection, which came to the Library in 2014. The collection includes thousands of pages of Parks’ personal correspondence, letters from presidents, her writings from the time of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and about 2,500 photographs, as well as her Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal.

RELATED:

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Public domain photograph of the Library of Congress, Main Reading Room

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world – both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov

 


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Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers. My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”


The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.” Ganga White, teacher and exponent of Yoga and founder of White Lotus, a Yoga center and retreat house in Santa Barbara, CA

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton

Leading Historians, Novelists, Poets and Children’s Writers Are Among the Authors to be Featured during U.S. 2018 National Book Festival

The Washington, D.C. Convention Center at Mount Vernon Square courtesy of APK like a lollipop under CC BY-SA 3.0 license



Dozens of best-selling authors, leading historians, American poets and children’s writers will be featured speakers at the U.S. Library of Congress 2018 National Book Festival. The festival will be held on Saturday, Sept. 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.  This year’s schedule includes a wide-ranging mix of authors and genres.


HISTORY and BIOGRAPHY

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will discuss her new book, Fascism: A Warning, a history of fascism in the 20th century and how its legacy shapes the world.

Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will speak about her new book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, an examination of leadership based on four presidents she has studied most closely.

Historian Jon Meacham will discuss his new book, The Soul of America, about critical times in our history when hope overcame fear and division.

Alexander Hamilton biographer Ron Chernow is back with a new biography of Ulysses S. Grant.

POETRY and WRITING

Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith will join the festival for a conversation with former Poet Laureate Robert Hass about the making of poetry.


American Author, Amy Tan (b. 1952). Her work explores mother-daughter relationships and the Chinese American experience. Public Domain photo courtesy of Robert Foothorap


Best-selling author Amy Tan will discuss her new memoir, Where the Past Begins, A Writer’s Memoir, delving into memories of her traumatic childhood, the inspiration behind her fiction writings and the workings of her mind as a writer.

CHILDREN and TEENS

Children’s author and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz will discuss his debut picture book, Island Born, about a girl who can’t remember the island where she immigrated from – so she imagines it with help from family and friends.

Matt de la Peña and Loren Long will discuss their new children’s book, Love.

Leigh Bardugo will speak about her series, Six of Crows, a young adult best-seller.

Jacqueline Woodson, the Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, will discuss two new books she has been writing.

Novelists

Isabel Allende will discuss her novel In the Midst of Winter. The story is about an academic who rear-ends a car driven by an undocumented immigrant and an adventure that unfolds.

Dave Eggars will discuss his new book, The Monk of Mokha, the true story of a young Yemeni American man’s quest to resurrect the ancient art of Yemeni coffee but is trapped by civil war.


American Novelist and Short Story Writer, Jennifer Egan (b. 1962), is the author of several novels and a short story collection. Her new novel, Manhattan Beach, published last fall, has been awarded the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Her last novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times book prize. Also a journalist, she has written frequently in the New York Times Magazine. Photo courtesy of David Shankbone under CC BY 3.0.


Jennifer Egan will discuss her historical novel Manhattan Beach, set in the docks of Brooklyn during World War II when a girl becomes the first female diver on the squad.

Additional authors—including the Main Stage lineup—and other details of the festival will be announced in the coming months.

More information and updates will be available on the National Book Festival website at loc.gov/bookfest/.

Later this summer, the National Book Festival app will be updated with complete presenter, schedule and wayfinding information for iOS or Android smartphones. Follow the festival on Twitter @librarycongress with hashtag #NatBookFest.


The Main Reading Room of the U.S. Library of Congress courtesy of Carol M. Highsmith. Public domain.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.


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