Calendar | Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library unveils poetry exhibit          Send a link to a friend

Exhibit highlights Illinois poets and library collection

[March 30, 2007]  SPRINGFIELD -- In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library presents "Chapter and Verse: Connecting to Poetry in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library," on display now through September. This temporary exhibit highlights poetry found in the collection of the library as well as popular Illinois poets.

"It was astounding to me how much poetry we were able to find once we began to look," said Gwen Podeschi, reference librarian at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. "It's been fun exploring all these works of art -- and I hope our visitors enjoy it as well."

Featured in the exhibit are Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay's poetry and art. On display are "The Tree of Laughing Bells," "The Lotus and the Rose," and the series of six "Village Improvement Parade" images in the library's collection, as well as the version of "Lucifer" in the collection, "Machinery" and several smaller sketches. Also on display is the handwritten version of "Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight," dated Nov. 19, 1930, and signed by Lindsay.

The exhibit also features the four poet laureates of Illinois. Four panels celebrate the work of Howard B. Austin, honored by Gov. Henry Horner in 1936; Carl Sandburg and Gwendolyn Brooks, both appointed by Gov. Otto Kerner, in 1962 and 1968; and Kevin Stein, the current poet laureate, appointed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich in 2003. Austin's family kindly assisted the library in its efforts to gather the works of this largely unpublished central Illinois poet whose good-natured address in song to Gov. Horner at a Democratic women's meeting was rewarded with the poet laureate designation.

[to top of second column]

Also on display is the oldest item in the exhibit, a 1792 broadside titled "The Columbian Tragedy," celebrating the courage of officers and soldiers killed in a conflict, as well as a tribute to the state song, "Illinois, Illinois."

A selection of manuscript poems are also displayed, including a Valentine's Day composition by a young Susan Lawrence Dana. Poetry books bound in gilt-lettered leather, marbled paper and wood, and the delightful miniature books published by publisher Ward Schori of Evanston are among the other items in the collection.

Campaign songs, political satire and tributes written to celebrate the passing of Ulysses S. Grant and other Illinois citizens are here, as well as poetry and images from the American Civil War. A collection of "carrier's addresses" is on display from 19th-century newspapers. These addresses accompanied the New Year's Day newspapers and gave a digest of the year just passed and thoughts on the year just begun. Cases on the second floor have also been used to present poems from around the state.

The library will be scheduling additional programming to coincide with the exhibit through its closing in the fall. The items in the exhibit include selections from the published, audiovisual and manuscript collections of Illinois historical materials.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. For more information, visit

[Text from file received from Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum]

< Tourism index

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor