Discover poetry @ ALA Annual Conference

Contact: Angela Thullen

Program Officer, Communications

ALA Public Programs Office



For Immediate Release

June 22, 2009

CHICAGO – Poetry-minded attendees of the 2009 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference will be pleased to discover a series of conference offerings to delight and inspire the lyrical librarian. The ALA Public Programs Office, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), will present a slate of poetry programming at the ALA Annual Conference, to be held July 9 – 15 in Chicago:

  • On Sunday, July 12, the ALA Public Programs Office will offer “Great Programs with Poets and Poetry,” a discussion of new ideas and best practices in poetry programming for public audiences. Award-winning poet Jane Hirshfield and representatives from the Academy of American Poets and the Greensboro Public Library will explore ideas for building on the momentum of “National Poetry Month” by working with poets, partner organizations and target audiences year-round. The program will be held 10:30 a.m. – noon in
    McCormick Place West, Room W-178B.

  • Thanks to generous support from the NEA, this year’s LIVE! @ your library Reading Stage features a special focus on poetry, with readings from many award-winning, popular and up-and-coming poets representing the range of poetry from verse formed on the page to the rhythms of the spoken word. Poets to be featured are Jane Hirshfield, Angela Shaw, Janice Harrington, George Watsky and Ed Bok Lee. The LIVE! Stage is located at the end of the 3200 aisle in the exhibit hall, with readings from noon–  p.m., Saturday, July 11 – Monday, July 13. To see a full schedule of LIVE! Stage poets and authors, visit:

  • Consortium Book Sales & Distribution (Consortium) will be offering librarians a limited edition print version of its new poetry e-chapbook, “Indie Verses: A Consortium Collection.” Available at the Consortium booth (#1746), the collection will have poems from all of Consortium’s poetry publishers, including poets appearing on the LIVE! @ your library Reading Stage.Â

  • To further celebrate librarians and their support for poetry, Consortium will be creating a second chapbook titled “The Lyrical Librarian: Verses from the Stacks.” Librarians are invited to stop by the Consortium booth (#1746) to submit poems they have written. Submissions will be accepted from July 11, 2009, through April 30, 2010, and guidelines are posted on Consortium’s Facebook page,
    Consortium Library. The collection will be available as an e-book, as well as a limited print edition, which will be handed out at the 2010 ALA Annual Conference.

  • From 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Monday, July 13, the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) will present a Poetry Blast, celebrating the wonder and excitement of contemporary North American poetry for children. This event is designed to be a 'drop-in' reading at the close of a long conference, to be held at the Chicago Hilton, Room Continental C. Poets to be featured are: Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, David Harrison, Bobbi Katz, Laura Purdie Salas, Jon Scieszka, Joyce Sidman, Marilyn Singer, Hope Anita Smith, Susan Marie Swanson, and Joyce Carol Thomas.Â

Established in 1992, the ALA Public Programs Office has an exemplary track record of developing library programming initiatives, including the acclaimed reading and discussion series "Let's Talk About It!," film discussion programs on humanities themes, traveling exhibitions, LIVE! @ your library® and other programs. Through grant opportunities and library programming initiatives, the ALA Public Programs Office provides the essential resources, funding, visibility and framework needed for libraries to conduct high-quality cultural programming. For more information on the ALA Public Programs Office, visit