News service Plastic reports:

“First Lady Laura Bush has postponed an upcoming White House poetry symposium. A former librarian and schoolteacher, she has become something of a matron of letters and has sponsored a number of literary symposia since becoming First Lady. This latest symposium was intended to celebrate the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Langston Hughes. Mrs. Bush decided to scuttle February event after she got wind that a number of poets planned to use the event to deliver thousands of poems protesting her husband’s proposed (and probably forthcoming) war with Iraq,” Gorvernaut writes. “The poetic protest was the brainchild of Sam Hamill. When he received his invitation to the symposium, he decided not to attend. Instead, he asked his friends to submit poems protesting the war. Within days, he received nearly two thousands poems. Now that the symposium has effectively been scuttled, he has set up a website,, which publishes some of the poems and requests submission of more.

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