Poetry

Robert Burns, the renowned Scottish poet most famous for writing “Auld Lang Syne” 

Cool Finds

This Rare Robert Burns Book Was Discovered in a Barber Shop, Where It Was Used to Clean Razors

The rarely seen copy of the Scottish writer's debut poetry collection is now on display

This year's titles include I Was Better Last Night, Accidental Ecosystem and Winslow Homer: American Passage.

The Best Books of 2022

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2022

This wide-ranging list offers context for our rapidly changing world

Pieces of Forrest Fenn's treasure

You Can Own a Piece of Forrest Fenn's Treasure

The valuable artifacts, hidden in the Rocky Mountains for more than a decade, are going up for auction

The Misses Porter (as they were sometimes called) arguably created the modern historical novel, weaving fascinating, romantic tales out of facts and events culled from history books.

The Forgotten Sisters Who Pioneered the Historical Novel

Jane and Anna Maria Porter ruled Britain's literary scene—until male imitators wrote them out of the story

The robot Ai-Da in front of one of its self-portraits.

Art Meets Science

Meet Ai-Da, the First Robot to Speak Before U.K. Parliament

The robot answered questions about technology, art and consciousness

Ada Limón is the United States' 24th poet laureate.

Women Who Shaped History

Ada Limón Is a Poet Laureate for the 21st Century

Her work explores "what it looks like to have America in the room"

In “EmilyBlaster,” the gameplay is shooting at words to form Emily Dickinson poems.

You Can Now Play 'EmilyBlaster,' a Video Game Inspired by Emily Dickinson's Poetry

Players assemble poems by shooting at words in the '80s-style adventure

The "Gifts We Carry: Sounds of Migration and Memory” concert will combine musicians from several backgrounds and cultures, including Salar Nader on the tabla and Homayoun Sakhi, a master on the Afghan stringed instrument the rubab. 

After Long Absence, the Folklife Festival Returns to the National Mall

The much-loved summer event, featuring the United Arab Emirates and Earth Optimism programs, opens with a concert hosted by Yo-Yo Ma

Maya Angelou, pictured here in 2008, became the first Black woman to feature on a U.S. quarter this week. The celebrated poet and author died in 2014. 

Women Who Shaped History

Newly Minted Maya Angelou Quarters Enter Circulation and Make History

Here’s how to find one of the new U.S. quarters—the first to feature a Black woman

A first edition of Phillis Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773), written while the poet was enslaved to John Wheatley of Boston. The book has a brown leather cover, the original Morocco spine label and a frontispiece featuring a portrait of Phillis by Scipio Morehead.


 

Women Who Shaped History

How Phillis Wheatley Beat All Expectations

The Revolution-era Boston establishment couldn't believe that the young African American woman wrote the exquisite book of poetry

bell hooks, pictured in 1999

Women Who Shaped History

Groundbreaking Feminist Scholar bell hooks Dies at 69

The prolific American writer shaped a generation of discourse around Black feminism and intersectionality

“Bless whoever it was who came up with the idea,” jazz historian Dan Morgenstern says in a Smithsonian interview about Armstrong’s rendition of the holiday chestnut.

The Little-Known Recording of Louis Armstrong Reciting 'The Night Before Christmas'

Shortly before he died, the jazz legend offered his own rendition of the classic holiday poem

Ary Scheffer, The Ghosts of Paolo and Francesca Appear to Dante and Virgil, 1835

Before Romeo and Juliet, Paolo and Francesca Were Literature's Star-Crossed Lovers

Centuries after Italian poet Dante published "The Divine Comedy," Romantic artists and writers reimagined the tragedy as a tale of female agency

Illustration of Marie de France, poet who lived in England in the late 12th century

The Unheralded Women Scribes Who Brought Medieval Manuscripts to Life

A new book by scholar Mary Wellesley spotlights the anonymous artisans behind Europe's richly illuminated volumes

Singer-songwriter and visual artist Solange has launched a free library of rare works by Black authors, available to borrow on a first-come, first-served basis.

Singer and Artist Solange Debuts Free Library of Rare Books by Black Authors

Readers in the U.S. can borrow 50 titles, including collections of poems by Gwendolyn Brooks and Langston Hughes and a sci-fi novel by Octavia Butler

The Surprising Artistic Life of Ancient Sparta

Poets and lyricists populated the Greek civilization

A monument in Thermopylae to King Leonidas.

Sparta Was Much More Than an Army of Super Warriors

Fierce? Yes. Tough? You bet. But the true history of the Greek civilization had a lot more nuance

Some of the details between the film and its source material are, of course, different, but the themes at their respective hearts remain consistent.

'The Green Knight' Adopts a Medieval Approach to 'Modern' Problems

A new film starring Dev Patel as Gawain feels more like a psychological thriller than a period drama

Plath's recipe cards and rolling pin reflect her love of cooking—and her conflicted relationship with domestic life.

Explore Sylvia Plath's Love Letters, Recipe Cards and Tarot Deck

A trove of the American poet's personal possessions recently sold at auction for more than $1 million

Highlights of the upcoming sale include this 1841 birthday note from Emily Brontë to her sister Anne.

Unseen Trove of Literary Treasures, From Emily Brontë's Handwritten Poems to Robert Burns' Musings, Up for Sale

Sotheby's is set to auction a private collection of 500 manuscripts, first editions, letters and papers linked to famed British authors

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