Philip Levine, the 18th Poet Laureate of the United States, will give his inaugural reading on October 17 at the Library of Congress.

When Levine spoke with the Post upon receiving the honor, he said his career started with a simple passion: “It began with a love of just the language. There was nothing that I had ever read that moved me as powerfully as some of the poetry I read. . . .Poems were something I could memorize and carry with me, and recite them in my head, and live with them.” (Read the rest of the story on Levine here.)

The reading is free and open to the public. It will take place at 7:00 in the Coolidge Auditorium on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, at 10 First Street SE and serve as the opening to the Library’s 2011-2012 literary season. A book-signing will follow the reading. No tickets or reservations are required for the event.