The East Room, the most coveted concert hall in Washington, will be the setting on May 11 for “An Evening of Poetry.”

Elizabeth Alexander, poet and author, on tap to read at the White House (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

The lineup also includes Elizabeth Alexander, who created a poem for the president’s inauguration; the hip-hop artist and actor Common; poet and artist Kenneth Goldsmith; installation artist Alison Knowles and songwriter and singer Aimee Mann.

Mrs. Obama will follow the pattern she has set of having hundreds of students over to the White House for an afternoon workshop before the special event. Some of the evening’s performers will join the discussion. Also Mrs. Obama will discuss a new report from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH) with the scholarly title of “Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools.”

Here’s Billy Collins in full form: