Given the surplus of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost texts on high school reading lists, you’d think that rural Massachusetts was the only important place in the history of American poetry. D.C. historians beg to differ. After all, the city did inspire some of Walt Whitman’s greatest political works and prompt Langston Hughes’ artistic awakening. Celebrate that history and the work that it’s fostered at George Washington University’s Gelman Library, where a variety of poetry advocates will speak and read from their work to commemorate the launch of the D.C. poetry Wiki, an online archive based at the library. Along with the city’s poet laureate, Dolores Kendrick (shown), Takoma Park Poet Laureate Merrill Leffler and acclaimed local poet E. Ethelbert Miller will share pieces inspired by this town and its people.
The reading begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Gelman Library at George Washington University, 2130 H St. NW. Free. (202) 994-0628. gwu.edu.