September 28, 2010 Poetry at Noon Readings Oct. 19, Nov. 16, Dec. 7
Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Dardano (202) 707-5394
Some participants in the Library of Congress Poetry at Noon readings this fall will be the winner of a rapper competition, a young Poetry Out Loud champion and a military disaster-aftermath expert. The three readings are “Rhode Island Sampler” in October, “Insider/Outsider Experiences” in November and “Decade One” in December.
The readings will take place from noon to 1 p.m. in the Whittall Pavilion on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The events are free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed.
On Tuesday, Oct. 19, “Rhode Island Sampler” will feature Rhode Island Poet Laureate Lisa Starr, hip-hop poet/emcee Charles “Chachi” Carvalho, former Rhode Island Poet Laureate Tom Chandler and Amber Rose Johnson, the national champion of the Poetry Out Loud competition.
Starr is the founder and director of the Block Island Poetry Project, a nationally acclaimed celebration of the arts and humanity. She is the author of “Mad with Yellow” (2008), “This Place Here” (2001) and “Days of Dogs and Driftwood” (1993). In April 2009 she assembled more than a dozen state poets laureate in Rhode Island for Poetry for Hope, a series of readings and workshops.
Carvalho was the first winner of Black Entertainment Television’s rapper competition that was held in 2006. The traveling hip-hop deejay is also director of Youth Engagement, a children’s advocacy group in Rhode Island. He recently formed an independent entertainment company, We Own the Masters, and he is co-owner of Beat Box Studio. His official debut release “About Time” is expected this fall.
Chandler’s most recent book is “Toy Firing Squad” (2008). He was named Phi Beta Kappa poet at Brown University and has been a featured poet at the Robert Frost homestead. His poems have been read by Garrison Keillor on National Public Radio on several occasions.
Poetry Out Loud national champion Amber Rose Johnson is a 17-year-old student from Providence. She was the Rhode Island Poetry Out Loud champion for two years before winning the national title in April. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation sponsor the annual Poetry Out Loud, a nationwide poetry recitation contest for teenagers.
On Tuesday, Nov. 16, “Insider/Outsider Experiences” will feature David Gewanter, Carol V. Davis and Joseph Ross. They will use poetry to convey the feeling of life from the perspective of an insider or an outsider.
Gewanter is the author of a new book of poetry, “War Bird” (2009). His other books include “The Sleep of Reason” (2003), a finalist for the James Laughlin Award, and “In the Belly” (1997), winner of the John C. Zacharis Prize. A Library of Congress Witter Bynner Fellow and a Whiting Award winner, Gewanter teaches at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Davis is the author of “Into the Arms of Pushkin: Poems of St. Petersburg,” which won the 2007 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry. She was a Fulbright scholar in Russia in 1996-1997 and 2005, and her poems have appeared in many anthologies and have been read on NPR and Radio Russia. Davis teaches at Santa Monica College in California.
Ross is co-editor of “Cut Loose the Body: An Anthology of Poems on Torture and Fernando Botero's Abu Ghraib.” His own poems have been published in Poet Lore, Beltway Poetry Quarterly and Full Moon on K Street. He teaches in the College Writing Program at American University in Washington, D.C.
On Tuesday, Dec. 7, “Decade One” will feature Lucille Lang Day, Col. Elspeth Cameron Ritchie and Mary-Sherman Willis, who will reflect on life in the first 10 years of the 21st century. Audience members will have an opportunity to share their reflections during a brief period after the reading.
Day's poetry collections are “The Curvature of Blue, Infinities, Wild One, Fire in the Garden” and “Self-Portrait with Hand Microscope,” which was selected by Robert Pinsky for the Joseph Henry Jackson Award in Literature. She is also the author of a children's book, “Chain Letter,” and three poetry chapbooks. She is the founder and director of Scarlet Tanager Books.
Willis’ poems have appeared in former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s column “American Life in Poetry” and in the New Republic, the Hudson Review, the Iowa Review, Shenandoah, The Southern Poetry Review, Poet Lore and Archipelago.org. She teaches creative writing at George Washington University.
Ritchie, an Army psychiatrist, is an expert in the management of disaster and combat mental-health issues. Some of her poetry derives from her experiences in Iraq, Korea, Somalia and Cuba. Ritchie is a professor of psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. She has written more than 130 publications in her field as well as poetry and autobiographical works. Her book “Tearing Through the Moon: Poems and Prose of an Army Psychiatrist” is forthcoming in November.
The Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress administers both the noon and the evening series and is the home of the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. Many of the nation's most eminent poets have served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and, after the passage of Public Law 99 194 (Dec. 20, 1985), as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.