Library corner: Poetry in motion |

Library corner: Poetry in motion

By Arthur Dollard
Fraser Valley Library associate
A book display at the library that celebrates Women's History Month.
Grand County Library District

Shakespeare. Homer. Silverstein. Household names which conjure images of great poems and classrooms of teenagers studying hard. However, these popular names can sometimes overshadow often underrepresented poets.

In honor of Women’s History Month, Grand County Library District will shine a spotlight on brilliant, beautiful and culture shifting poets. During the 1960s and 1980s, a resurrection of once forgotten poets was uncovered through the efforts of gender studies. We have here just a few examples of the historically unreferenced talent. 

Anne Bradstreet was the first female poet to be published in colonial-era America. She wrote often about the realities of living under the culture of early Puritans. One of America’s most well-known early poets, Emily Dickenson, lived as a recluse for much of her life. She produced very progressive writings for her time. Her early editors “regularized” much of her verse to conform to the standards and literary palates of the mid-1800s. 

Poems don’t have to be short. In fact, many books are written as one long poem, sometimes called an Epic. “The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo, is written in free-form prose and tells the story of a teenage girl who dreams of being a slam poet. 

Several presidents have acknowledged the power of female creativity by having poets read their work during inauguration ceremonies. Maya Angelou recited her original poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at former President Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration. Most recently, President Biden invited Amanda Gorman to recite her poem “The Hill We Climb” during President Biden’s inaugural ceremony. Themes of hope for the future by learning from the past are palpable in Gorman’s writing.

As a library service, Grand County Library District patrons have access to a Poetry and Short Story Reference Center through From there, patrons can read or listen to thousands of classic and contemporary poems, essays, biographies and lesson plans brought to you by the Academy of American Poets. The Poetry and Short Story Reference Center also includes high-quality videos and audio recordings from the Academy of American Poets. 

In closing, I’ll leave you with a passage for those seeking adventure. “The color of the cruising cloud, the interdicted ground behind the hill, the house behind, there Paradise is found!” Emily Dickinson from “Forbidden Fruit 2.”  

New library password program

Grand County Library District is committed to the privacy of our patrons. With the intent to greater protect your information, hundreds of libraries in Colorado are rolling out a password program. Patrons should watch their email inboxes for information regarding the new password program.

If a patron needs to update an email address, this can be done by accessing the library account in question on the library district’s online catalogue. This is an important process for continuing to protect the personal information of our patrons.

Passwords will be used for checking out material online as well as many of our online resources including Libby and newspaper outlets. Librarians will be prepared to help patrons with changing and setting up new passwords.

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