Dan Vera

The Poetry Office: A Photo Essay

The Poetry Room, the working space of the Poet Laureate, was furnished by philanthropist Gertrude Clarke Whittall, the longtime benefactor to the poetry programs at the Library of Congress.


Photo by Dan Vera

Poetry Room looking North. The bookcase at far right holds an impressive collection of poetry books by poets who have read at the Library of Congress.


Photo by Dan Vera.


Poetry Room looking South.


Photo by Dan Vera.


The Desk of the Poet Laureate in the Poetry Room at the Library of Congress.


Photo by Dan Vera.


In the Western corner of the office sits a bronze bust of Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt, namesake of the Library of Congress’s biennial Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, which honors the most distinguished book of poetry written by an American.


Photo by Dan Vera.


The view out of the Poetry Office is one of the most spectacular in the nation’s capital. With a clear view of the Capitol Building across the street from the Library and the Washington Monument beyond, on a clear day one can make out the National Cathedral off in the far distance.


Dan Vera is the co-editor of the anthology Imaniman: Poets Writing in the Anzaldúan Borderlands (Aunt Lute Books, 2016), and author of two poetry collections: Speaking Wiri Wiri (Red Hen Press, 2013), and The Space Between Our Danger and Delight (Beothuk Books, 2008). Vera’s work is featured online at the Poetry Foundation website and in college and university curricula, various journals, and anthologies including Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Anthology, the bilingual Al pie de la Casa Blanca/Knocking on the Door of The White House: Latino and Latina Poets in Washington, D.C., Queer South, Divining Divas, and Full Moon On K Street: Poems About Washington, DC. A CantoMundo and Macondo writing fellow, he’s a recipient of the Oscar Wilde Award for Poetry and the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize, as well as grants and fellowships from the DC Commission of the Arts & Humanities, the Humanities Council of Washington, DC, the Ragdale Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. His other projects include the small literary presses Poetry Mutual and Souvenir Spoon Books, and co-curating the literary history website, DC Writers' Homes. Born and raised in South Texas, he lives in Washington, DC. For more visit http://www.danvera.com. To read more by Dan Vera: Dan Vera: Winter 2006; Dan Vera: Evolving City Issue; Dan Vera: Split This Rock Issue; Dan Vera's Introduction to the US Poets Laureate Issue,Fall 2009; Dan Vera: Langston Hughes Tribute Issue; Dan Vera: Floricanto Issue.