Film, Video Poetry Across the Atlantic.

About this Item


  • Poetry Across the Atlantic.


  • U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Hall and British Poet Laureate Andrew Motion participated in a historic series of joint poetry readings in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and London, sharing the stage for the first time and reacquainting the poetries of America and the United Kingdom. The readings were sponsored jointly by the Library of Congress, the Poetry Foundation and the London-based Poetry Society. The poets laureate read their own work as well as important works by their contemporaries. The talks focused largely on each laureate's understanding of his country's most significant poetic voices -- both established and emerging -- that may be unfamiliar to readers overseas. King James I established the office of "poet" in Great Britain for Ben Jonson in 1617, although the title "poet laureate" was not used until it was conferred on John Dryden in 1670. Historically, it has been the job of the British poet laureate to write poems commemorating state occasions or events related to the monarchy. In the United States, the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress serves as the nation's spokesperson for poetry, raising the national consciousness to a greater appreciation of writing and reading poetry. The position has existed under two separate titles: from 1937 to 1986 as "Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress" and from 1986 forward as "Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry." The poet laureate is appointed annually by the Librarian of Congress and serves from October to May. The office of the U.S. Poet Laureate is in the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center. The Center stimulates and enhances the public's appreciation of poetry and the literary arts as a creative activity and as part of the Library's living and historic treasures. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, appointed by the Librarian of Congress, is the highest position of honor for a poet in this country. Past Laureate Consultants include Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, James Dickey and more recently, Stanley Kunitz, Maxine Kumin, Rita Dove and Robert Pinsky.


  • Library of Congress.
  • Library of Congress. Literary Initiatives Office, sponsoring body.

Created / Published

  • Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, 2007-05-10.


  • -  Culture, Performing Arts
  • -  Literature


  • -  Group name: Poets Laureate. 49
  • -  Classification: Fine Arts.
  • -  Classification: General Works.
  • -  Classification: Language and Literature.
  • -  Andrew Motion, Donald Hall.
  • -  Recorded on 2007-05-10.
  • -  Kids, Families.


  • 1 online resource

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021687828

Online Format

  • video
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

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Credit Line: Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Library Of Congress, and Sponsoring Body Library Of Congress. Literary Initiatives Office. Poetry Across the Atlantic. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, -05-10, 2007. Video.

APA citation style:

Library Of Congress & Library Of Congress. Literary Initiatives Office, S. B. (2007) Poetry Across the Atlantic. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, -05-10. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Library Of Congress, and Sponsoring Body Library Of Congress. Literary Initiatives Office. Poetry Across the Atlantic. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, -05-10, 2007. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.