Poet Profile: Kwame Alexander

Poet Profile: Kwame Alexander

A native of New York, Kwame Alexander now lives in Northern Virginia with his family while he travels the world encouraging young people to write. His books, like The Crossover, have won awards both for their merit as poetry and as exceptional children’s literature. In an interview, he told NPR, “The power of poetry is that you can take these emotionally heavy moments in our lives, and you can distill them into these palatable, these digestible words and lines and phrases that allow us to be able to deal and cope with the…continue reading →
Hail to the Poet-in-Chief!

Hail to the Poet-in-Chief!

Anne Spencer, the subject of last week’s post, was a gardener and librarian before she was a poet. Another Virginian who wrote poetry for his own personal satisfaction was our very own John Tyler! Yes, the tenth president of these United States was noted for his love of poetry. While he never sought to publish his poetry, he wrote poems before, during, and after his days in the White House. Other presidents have tried their hand at poetry too. Barack Obama is one of the few presidents with published poetry. While in college,…continue reading →
Poet Profile: Anne Spencer

Poet Profile: Anne Spencer

If you asked a young Anne Spencer what career she wanted, poet would not have been her answer. Anne, a wife and mother living in Lynchburg during the early 1900s, was a librarian at an all-black high school finding comfort and refuge in cultivating a beautiful garden she called Edankraal. Much like the Bronte sisters before her, she wrote poetry on any paper surface available1—writing became her way to express her feelings and engage with the world around her. NAACP national secretary and celebrated poet James Weldon Johnson came to Lynchburg to help…continue reading →
April is National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month!

It’s April. Join Tyler Libraries as we celebrate poetry during National Poetry Month. Former Poet Laureate and Virginia native Rita Dove has described poetry as “language at its most distilled and most powerful.” For millennia, people have turned to poetry to communicate their deepest feelings, describe the world around them, grapple with grief, and explore both the human and the divine. Virginia has fostered the talents of many great poets, as early as Edgar Allen Poe and his hypnotic poem “The Raven.” Several prominent poets of our contemporary era also hail from Virginia:…continue reading →
International Women’s Day!

International Women’s Day!

The Tyler Libraries are celebrating National Women's History Month the entire month of March, but today is International Women's Day!  The theme for this year is #beboldforchange. Organizers are asking people all over the world to,  "help forge a better working world - a more gender inclusive world." To learn more about March 8th and National Women's History Month, please visit the following resources: International Women's Day National Women's History Museum Stop by either campus library to learn more about the women who changed our history, culture, and society to benefit women's rights…continue reading →