November 2, 2009 Two Prize-Winning Poets to Read at Library of Congress on Nov. 12

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Patricia Gray (202) 707-1308

A National Book Critics Circle Award finalist (2003) and a MacArthur fellow (2000) will read their poems at the Library of Congress on Nov. 12.

Tony Hoagland, from Houston, Texas, and Lucia Perillo, from Olympia, Wash., will read at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, in the Montpelier Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event, sponsored by the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center, is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed.

“These two poets are a stunning combination for a reading—Hoagland for his amazing poetic insights and humor, and Perillo for her unflinching juxtapositions of pop culture images and deeper human concerns,” said Patricia Gray, head of the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center.

Hoagland, whose volume “What Narcissism Means to Me” made him a National Book Critics Circle finalist, is the author of four additional books of poetry and a collection of essays. In 2005, he received the Mark Twain Award for humor from The Poetry Foundation. Hoagland teaches at the University of Houston.

Perillo, a former MacArthur fellow, has written five books of poetry, most recently “Inseminating the Elephant” (2009). “Luck is Luck” (2005) was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize and won the Kingsley Tufts Prize from Claremont University. She lives in Olympia, Wash.

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. Since then, more than 40 of the nation’s most eminent poets have served as either Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress or, after the passage of Public Law 99-194 in 1985, as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. The Poet Laureate suggests authors to read in the literary series and plans other special literary events during the reading season. For more information, visit

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, with nearly 142 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. As the world’s largest repository of knowledge and creativity, the Library is a symbol of democracy and the principles on which this nation was founded. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site, in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill, and through its award-winning website at Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at


PR 09-226
ISSN 0731-3527