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Poetry and Literature

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Poetry Mosaic

About the Poetry and Literature Center

The Library of Congress founded the Poetry and Literature Center in 1937 to foster and enhance the public's appreciation of literature. Since its inception, the Poetry and Literature Center has worked to increase the visibility of poetry and fiction through public readings, panel discussions, lectures, and through prestigious awards and fellowships.

The founding benefactors, Archer M. Huntington and Gertrude Clarke Whittall, established endowments that fund some of the Poetry and Literature Center’s public programming including the signature position, the laureateship. Their gifts were made to fulfill the vision of the Library of Congress as the nation’s center for premier programs and resources that celebrate timeless writing.

Support the Poetry and Literature Center

You can help the Library of Congress continue to present engaging public programming, free of charge, to promote poetry and literature by becoming a Friend of the Poetry and Literature Center. Join today and champion literature as an essential part of our nation’s past, present, and future.

To have great poets, there must be great audiences.

—Walt Whitman

Become a Friend

Friends receive:

  • A semi-annual e-newsletter
  • Advance notifications of featured literary events

Donate now

Poet Laureate Circle

Friends of the Poetry and Literature Center who give $1,000 or more annually are invited to be members of the Poet Laureate’s Circle.

Poet Laureate Circle members receive:

  • Invitations to Poetry and Literature Center literary events and private receptions, including those hosted by the Poet Laureate or the Librarian of Congress
  • Reserved seating at featured literary events

Donate now

Donor Contributions

Poet Laureate Circle Members

Nicky Cymrot
Joseph Callahan
Robert Dawson
Patricia Gray
Eleanor Heginbotham
Jim Hoecker