We’re in a bookish mood this week at the ModCloth offices, with several of our resident wordsmiths off at the AWP Conference in Washington, D.C. promoting our new anthology and running a panel on fashion writing. So, who better than the literate and stylish Annie of Time Enough for Drums to give us a tour of D.C.?
“Washington, D.C. usually calls to mind two things: politics and historic landmarks. In between your tour of the White House or car trip out to Mount Vernon, you can explore Washington by virtue of its lesser known literary heritage,” says Annie. “Whilst planning this tour to coincide with ModCloth’s launch of The Written Wardrobe, I was truly taken aback by the rich literary heritage of this city. For one, be sure to take advantage of The Poetry Foundation’s Washington, D.C. Poetry Tour, a free online audio tour of the city’s poetic past that you can listen to on your audio player while exploring Washington. Here are just a few other sites and locations, all with literary significance, to explore…”
1. “Washington has a unique commitment to the works of Shakespeare. Be sure to catch a matinée at the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Or, stop in the Folger Shakespeare Library, which holds the largest collection of Shakespeare materials, some of which are on display for the public.”
2. “While you’re in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, be sure to stop by the Library of Congress for some exploring and people-watching. Did you know the Library holds 500 miles of reference materials, including the original Gutenberg Bible? The main hall of the Library, the Thomas Jefferson Building, opened in 1897 and resides across the street from the Capitol. I love the dreamy aesthetic of the Jefferson Building, captured by the classicist architecture and ornate marble décor found indoors. It’s enjoyable to gaze down into the main reading room, with old volumes cataloged on vintage shelves, from the second floor visitor’s gallery, or wander about the Library’s massive columns and archways. Be sure to stop by for the Poetry at Noon series, in which three guest poets offer a free reading to the public.”
3. “If you need a quick bite to satisfy your appetite, pop into the historic Willard Hotel for their famous Peacock Alley Afternoon Tea service. The lavish décor feels nothing short of a fairy tale. And you’ll be in good company: Mark Twain composed two books in the rooms and corridors of this hotel in the early 1900s.”
4. “No trip to Washington would be complete without wandering through the Adams Morgan neighborhood with its romantic townhouses and sidewalk cafés. The area is known as a haven for artists and progressive thinkers. Busboys and Poets, a bookstore, café, and performance space all in one, is no exception. Busboys and Poets is located in the U Street Corridor, an area once nicknamed “Black Broadway” in homage to the large number of African American artists and residents of the neighborhood in the 1910s and 1920s. Busboys and Poets itself is named after the beloved Langston Hughes, who once called D.C. home.”
5. “A trip through any artsy neighborhood would not be complete without a search for local vintage treasures. Meeps is a personal favorite.”
What would you add to this tour of D.C.?