U.S. Poetry and the Politics of Form
Against The Current vol. 140

Ehlers, Sarah
Date Written:  2009-05-01
Publisher:  Against The Current
Year Published:  2009
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX13524

Laura Bush's 2003 “Poetry and the American Voice” symposium is infamous because it never happened. Intended to be a White House celebration of Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and Langston Hughes, the event was cancelled when several poet-invitees (including former laureates) declined the invitation and, instead, composed poems protesting U.S. involvement in Iraq. When the symposium was called off, the First Lady’s spokesperson explained that a celebration of poets was in danger of being turned into a political event.

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