Given our devotion to literary fiction and non-fiction at Politics and Prose, it’s easy to overlook how much we also promote poetry and poets. In addition to the extensive poetry section in our fiction room, we offer an array of poetry classes. Poems are featured in District Lines, our P&P anthology of original works about our local community, and last spring an enthusiastic crowd participated in an event we hosted at Comet Pizza highlighting three poets published by Graywolf Press.

But poetry lovers have asked us to do more. And this spring we’re taking the request to heart by expanding P&P’s list of events devoted to poetry, including monthly readings with small groups of local poets and much-anticipated appearances by several Pulitzer Prize winners.

We begin with a trio of poets in a single event on Saturday, February 28, at 3:30 p.m. that focuses on nature. Jynne Dilling Martin will read from her first collection of poems, We Mammals In Hospitable Times, some of which were inspired by a six-week visit to Antarctica as part of a National Science Foundation artist-in-residence program. A veteran of the publishing world—she is publicity director at Riverhead Books—Martin in her poems captures the wonder of the natural world and laments our failings as stewards of the planet. Reading with Martin will be local poet Elizabeth Rees, author of Every Root A Branch, and award-winning nature writer Lisa Couturier, whose new volume of poetry is called Animals / Bodies.

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon will be at the store on Friday, March 6, at 7 p.m. to read from his new collection, One Thousand Things Worth Knowing.  A student of Seamus Heaney, Muldoon taught at Princeton and Oxford and over several decades has earned his own rank as one of the great modern Irish poets. Appreciated for being at once traditional and innovative, Muldoon’s work includes ballads, sonnets, and rhyming verses, often with a twist.

Another Pulitzer Prize winner and a former U.S. poet laureate, Charles Simic, is known for meditative, sardonic, and sometimes humorous poems that evoke the complications and paradoxes of life in lands marred by conflict (he grew up in Yugoslavia during World War II). Simic will be at the store on Wednesday, April 8, at 7 p.m. to read from two new works: The Lunatic, a collection of 70 new poems, and The Life of Images, which includes literary criticism, photography, musings on philosophy, and other offerings culled from his previous collections.

Also this spring we’ll host two celebrated American poets who are publishing memoirs. Tracy K. Smith, a 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner and professor of creative writing at Princeton, will read from her new book, Ordinary Light, on Saturday, April 11, at 6 p.m. at the Connecticut Avenue store, and on Sunday, April 12, at 6:30 p.m. at Busboys and Poets in Brookland. Elizabeth Alexander, a treasured national poet and local product (she graduated from Sidwell Friends School) who was tapped to compose a poem for President Obama’s first inauguration, will be at the store on Saturday, May 2, at 3:30 p.m. for her memoir, The Light of the World

Other poetry events to look forward to this spring (and to be held at the Connecticut Avenue store unless noted otherwise) include:

Saturday, April 25, at 1 p.m.:  Another duo of poets! Local poet and teacher Don Berger will read from a bilingual English-German collection called The Long Time. Poet, writer, and musician Terence Winch will also be on hand to read from his collection This Way Out.

Tuesday, April 28, at 7 p.m.: Terence Hayes, a MacArthur awardee who won the 2010 National Book Award for Lighthead, his fourth collection of poems, will read from his new book, How to be Drawn.

Tuesday, May, 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Busboys & Poets Brookland: A Four Way Books Reading with Elizabeth T. Gray, Josh Kalscheur, Paul Otremba, and Cynthia Cruz. (Four Way Books is a nonprofit literary press located in New York City, which publishes poetry and short fiction by emerging and established writers.)

Sunday, June 7, at 5 p.m: Acclaimed local poets Sandra Beasley and Kyle Dargan will appear together for their new works—Beasley’s Count the Waves and Dargan’s Honest Engine.

Sadly, we’ve had to cancel the event that had been scheduled March 1 with Pulitzer Prize-winner Jorie Graham due to illness. We hope to find another date for the event in the spring.

And for students of poetry looking for classes, this spring we’re offering a two-session follow-up to Gigi Bradford’s popular winter course on Jack Gilbert and Linda Gregg. It’s called Poetry Circle Intensive. Also on the schedule are Chris Giffin’s classes on Yeats and Heaney . These fill up quickly, so sign up soon if you’re interested, and keep an eye out for more classes coming this summer.

  --Brad and Lissa


Spring Member Sale

Friday, March 6 through Sunday, March 8

Mark your calendars for one of our favorite weekends of the year—three days of deals on almost everything in the store, even at our satellite locations in Brookland and Takoma!  During our Spring Member Sale members will receive 20% off most any item in our current in-store inventory that catches their eye—books, DVDs, and CDs.



Springtime in Paris

Sunday, May 3 to Saturday, May 9

Politics & Prose is delighted to offer, for our third year, a week in Paris in spring with a group of like-minded book-loving travelers. This trip concludes the day before U.S. Mother’s Day, which makes it an ideal getaway for mothers and the families’ celebrating them. This is not group travel as you know it. Instead, you’ll be introduced to some of the small gems of Paris—the lesser known museums, the spectacular parks, the off the beaten track cafés.



A Summertime Parisian Experience

July 18 to July 25 or
August 1 to August 8

Join us and a small group of like-minded book-loving travelers for an exclusive and affordable week in Paris. This is not group travel as you know it; you’ll be introduced to the small gems of Paris—the lesser known museums, the spectacular parks, the off the beaten track cafés. Whether or not you’ve been to Paris before, you’ll get to know the city in a more intimate way.



Children & Teens

New in Hardcover

Suzanne Slade
With Books and Bricks
(Albert Whitman, $16.99)


New in Paperback

Vanita Oelschlager
The Pullman Porter
(VanitaBooks, $8.95)


read more about these books.


Our Next Children's Event


Spaces Are Limited and Going Fast

We are pleased as ever to announce a new lineup of classes—well, maybe even more excited than usual as this is our Spring Class Schedule and does anything sound better than spring right now? The roster is packed with customer favorites and expanded to include new offerings we hope you'll enjoy. And the choices don’t end there—we’re now offering courses at our new locations, both at Politics & Prose @ Busboys and Poets Brookland (625 Monroe Street NE) and Politics & Prose @ Busboys and Poets Takoma (235 Carroll Street NW), in addition to the original Politics & Prose (5015 Connecticut Avenue NW). We hope you’ll find a subject to pique your interest at the location that’s most convenient.

register now


Ashland Writing Retreat

March 16 through March 21

Enjoy the perfect blend of solitude, companionship, personal
attention, and time for concentrated writing during this five-day workshop in March, led by acclaimed novelist Mary Kay Zuravleff. Whether you pen entries in a journal or are working on your third novel—whether you write fiction, memoir, or creative nonfiction—you’ll feel welcome. The retreat, limited to eight participants, provides the perfect blend of solitude, companionship, personal attention, and time for concentrated writing.



Hungry for Words: Food Writing Workshop

Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22

Truly great food writing informs, entertains and inspires. In this two-day weekend workshop offered by P&P and the The Writer's Center, acclaimed author Kathleen Flinn will guide participants through the art and craft of modern food writing, from understanding what made great food writers endure, varying approaches needed for different genres, generating ideas, assembling non-fiction book proposals, culinary travel writing, and the complexities of recipe writing. Writing exercises will be incorporated into the weekend.



Don't Miss...

Wednesday, March 18, 7 p.m.



Sunday, March 22, 5 p.m.



Supported Events

Reservations and tickets should be acquired from the hosting organization. Contact if you are planning an event and would like us to supply the books.

Saturday, March 21, 3:00 pm
at 4000 Cathedral Ave, Apt 332B
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