February 2, 2007 Grace Cavalieri and "The Poet and Poem" Radio Series Celebrate 30th Anniversary

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639

Grace Cavalieri, host of “The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress,” will celebrate 30 years of interviewing poets with the spring 2007 season of the radio series that is available to all public radio stations.

“The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress” is a series of 12 one-hour shows featuring the country’s top poets, who discuss and read their poems and are interviewed by Cavalieri, who records the series at the Library.

The spring 2007 series, which premieres Feb. 21, features a special 30-year anniversary segment, in addition to poets Philip Nikolayev, Daniel Tomas Moran, Hope Maxwell-Snyder, Rob Carney, Brian Gilmore, Brandon D. Johnson, Lyn Lifshin, Anne Becker, Ernie Wormwood, Moira Egan, Kathi Wolfe, J.H. Beall, Barbara Goldberg, Sibbie O’Sullivan and Myong-Hee Kim. The series will also feature the Witter Bynner Poetry Fellows of the Library of Congress, who will be chosen by U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Hall and announced in March.

The programs are available to public radio stations through Public Radio Satellite Service via National Public Radio distribution. The programs are free of charge, with unlimited broadcast rights for three years from the date of uplink.

Funding for the series comes from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry, with assistance from The Word Works.

“Every time I interview a poet I realize how lucky I am. It’s an energetic exchange, where I sometimes forget we have an audience. Poet Stanley Kunitz said, ‘Poetry should be an enjoyable conversation between friends.’ That is what this program is,” said Cavalieri, who launched the series as a live show in 1977, when she was a founding member of the Washington radio station WPFW.

For 20 years, until 1997, the hour-long show was broadcast weekly on WPFW and distributed nationally by Pacifica Radio and internationally by Voice of America. In 1998, the program moved to the Library of Congress, where the series is now recorded for distribution. Cavalieri has presented more than 2,000 poets on radio to the nation since 1977.

Cavalieri herself is a poet and the author of 14 books. She is also a playwright, having written 20 plays that were produced on American stages. Cavalieri has won the Allen Ginsberg Award for poetry, the Pen-Fiction Award for story and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Silver Medal.

The spring series is available to public radio stations from February to June. Check local radio listings. After broadcast, the programs are available from the Pacifica Radio Archives, (800) 735-0230, extension 261. Audio cybercasts of “The Poet and the Poem” are available for listening at www.loc.gov/poetry/poetpoem.html.

The annual reading program of the Library of Congress’s Poetry and Literature Center began in the 1940s and is the oldest in the Washington area, and among the oldest in the United States. The center has been almost exclusively supported since 1951 by a gift from the late Gertrude Clarke Whittall, who wanted to bring the appreciation of good literature to a larger audience.


PR 07-018
ISSN 0731-3527