Thank you so much for being part of The Writer’s Center’s community. Last year, we welcomed more than 6,000 people to our events and programs, making this one of the largest and most active literary organizations in the metropolitan Washington area. Given today’s economic climate, our continued success depends more than ever on your support.
As you know, the Center has served writers at every stage of their careers for more than 30 years. It may surprise you to learn that for well over a century, Poet Lore, the ground-breaking journal published here since the late 1980s, has done the same. A recent issue of Poets & Writers took note of its longevity, contrasting it to a newer journal:
Five years is…a blip in the history of a journal like Jody Bolz and E. Ethelbert Miller's Poet Lore, the poetry magazine that was established in 1889, making it the same age as the Wall Street Journal,the Eiffel Tower, and van Gogh's Starry Night.
If only Poet Lore were as well-known! As we celebrate 120 years in print, we’re eager to spread the word. Poet Lore’s founders, Charlotte Porter and Helen A. Clarke, were Shakespeare scholars with an uncanny eye for emerging literary genius. They published many of the great poets and playwrights of that era, often introducing them to American readers for the first time. Early issues of the magazine include the writing of such luminaries as Rabindranath Tagore, Maxim Gorky, Frederic Mistral and Henrik Ibsen. An early edition of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull” appeared in English in Poet Lore, and Walt Whitman himself took out ads in three successive issues to promote Leaves of Grass.
In the late 20th century, under the guidance of Porter and Clarke’s successors, Poet Lore published the early work of many remarkable contemporary American poets—Mary Oliver, Sharon Olds, Carl Phillips, Kim Addonizio, David Baker, D. Nurkse, Dana Gioia, Pablo Medina, Cornelius Eady, Colette Inez and Linda Pastan among them. Our new issue features a showcase of these writers and others whose talent Poet Lore embraced before they’d established national reputations. We hope you’ll join us on the evening of November 14th at the Historical Society of Washington to celebrate Poet Lore’s 120th anniversary and hear three of these poets—John Balaban, Gary Fincke and Myra Sklarew—give a very special reading.
Poet Lore is funded by subscriptions and generous contributions from readers who know the value of supporting opportunities for writers at every stage of their careers. Please consider making a gift to The Writer’s Center now to help subsidize the costs of producing this historic journal. Your contribution will directly fund opportunities for today’s emerging poets.
For generations, Poet Lore has opened its pages to the work of gifted writers, including those breaking into print for the first time. Mindful of tradition and eager for discovery, we carry on its work—reading each submission that crosses our desks without regard for previous publication. We need your help so that Poet Lore can continue to thrive and serve future generations of writers and readers. We’re grateful for your support of The Writer’s Center and look forward to seeing you at an event or in a workshop here very soon.
E. Ethelbert Miller & Jody Bolz