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Robert Burns at 250:
Poetry, Politics & Performance

Preliminary Program

Symposium: February 24-25, 2009
Mumford Room, 6th Floor
James Madison Memorial Building
101 Independence Avenue, SE
Library of Congress, Washington, DC

To mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Scotland’s national poet, the Library of Congress, in collaboration with The Scottish Government, presents a free public symposium on the life and work of Robert Burns and his impact on America and American culture.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

3:00-3:15 Welcome – Peggy Bulger, Director, American Folklife Center.
Cate Newton, Director of Collections & Research, National Library of Scotland. [read bio]
3:15-4:00 Keynote Address: Burns, Politics, and Politicians
4:00-4:45 America's Bard - Robert Crawford, Professor of Literature, University of St. Andrews. [read bio]
4:45-5:30  Poetry reading and concert - Billy Kay [read bio], Margaret Bennett [read bio], and Ed Miller. [read bio]

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

9:30-10:00 Coffee
10:00-10:15 Welcome to Symposium
10:15-12:00 Panel 1:  Burns and His World
  • Robert Burns, A Biography – Nat Edwards, National Library of Scotland. [read bio]
  • 18th-Century Scotland & 18th-Century America – Ted Cowan, University of Glasgow. [read bio]
  • Robert Burns & the Scots Language – Billy Kay, Odyssey Productions. [read bio]
12:00-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:30 Panel 2: Burns and Traditional Culture
  • Robert Burns & Scottish Traditional Song – Valentina Bold, University of Glasgow. [read bio]
  • Robert Burns: A Life in Song – Margaret Bennett, Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama [read bio] and Ed Miller, folklorist and musician. [read bio].
2:45-3:45 Panel 3: Poetry, Celebrity, and the Public
  • Remarks - Kay Ryan, Poet Laureate of the United States. [read bio]
  • Panel Discussion - Kay Ryan, Poet Laureate of the Unites States; Robert Crawford, University of St. Andrews [read bio]; Myra Sklarew, Professor Emerita, American University [read bio]; Patricia Gray, Director of the Poetry Center, Library of Congress (moderator). [read bio]
3:45-4:15 Coffee
4:15-5:30 Panel 4: The Contemporary Bard
  • Burns & the Library of Congress – Stephen Winick, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. [read bio]
  • Tomorrow's Bards: Promoting Reading and Literacy in Scotland and the United States - John Cole, Director, Center for the Book, Library of Congress [read bio]; Cate Newton, Director of Collection Development, National Library of Scotland [read bio]; Marc Lambert, Chief Executive, Scottish Book Trust. [read bio].
5:30-5:40 Final Reading and Closing Remarks
5:40-7:00 Reception
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