Community College Poetry Day is April 1, and students around the country will be treated to a one-hour videoconference with U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan, live from the Library of Congress
The videoconference and the day-long campus poetry festivities are part of Ryan’s "Poetry for the Mind’s Joy" project, sponsored by the Library in collaboration with the Community College Humanities Association (CCHA). Individual campuses are planning poetry readings, discussions, slams and other activities.
The videoconference on the process of writing poetry will start at 1 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, April 1. The event will be streamed live and can be viewed at www.loc.gov/poetry/mindsjoy/.
In the videoconference, Ryan will reveal some of her sources of inspiration, show how one of her poems developed through 10 drafts, and ask students to share some of their sources of inspiration and efforts in rewriting.
Ryan’s poetry project "Poetry for the Mind’s Joy," which she initiated during her second year as U.S. Poet Laureate, was designed to celebrate the poetry written by community college students. Besides the videoconference, Ryan’s project included a community college poetry contest administered by CCHA and its executive director, David Berry. Winners of the contest will be posted in an online anthology on the Library’s Website at by March 31.
As part of the project, Ryan named April 1 as Community College Poetry Day. April 1 is also the first day of National Poetry Month, a designation inaugurated in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets in New York.
Later, excerpts of the videoconference will be posted on www.loc.gov/poetry/ for students, their professors, poets and the public.
The Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress is the home of the U.S. Poet Laureate, a position that has existed since 1937.
March 17, 2010
February 10, 2010
Detailed information on U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan’s poetry project with community colleges—"Poetry for the Mind’s Joy"—can now be found on the Library of Congress website at www.loc.gov/poetry/mindsjoy.
Ryan, a longtime community college teacher of remedial English, last fall announced the "Poetry for the Mind’s Joy" project to highlight poetry being written on community-college campuses.
The poetry project’s new web page includes information on a poetry contest, which ends February 25, and information on the April 1 videoconference with Kay Ryan and selected community-college students and officials across the nation. The web page also features a video of Ryan discussing her poetry project.
The Community College Humanities Association is administering the poetry contest. Winning poems will be chosen by each community college and the winners will become eligible to be included in the anthology on the new web page. The anthology will be displayed this spring as a virtual book with digital page-turning technology.
The videoconference, which will include a discussion on how to write poetry, will be hosted by MAGPI, the Mid Atlantic Gigapop in Philadelphia for Internet 2, , in collaboration with the Arts and Humanities Initiative of Internet2, . This event will be streamed live to the web, and will demonstrate the online possibilities available for educational institutions working with the Library of Congress.
The Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress administers the poetry series, which began in the 1940s and is the oldest in the Washington area and among the oldest in the United States. The readings and lectures are free and have been largely supported since 1951 by a gift from the late Gertrude Clarke Whittall. The center is also the home of the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, a position that has existed since 1936, when the late Archer M. Huntington endowed the Chair of Poetry at the Library of Congress.