April 20, 2022 at 6PM

Join us for a live reading of contemporary poetry that speaks to Lincoln’s unfinished work.

In honor of National Poetry Month and in partnership with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, join us for a live poetry reading that speaks to Lincoln’s words and ideas.

President Lincoln and his family moved out to the Cottage seeking refuge during one of the most uncertain times in our nation’s history – the Civil War. Today, we experience uncertainty as we navigate a global pandemic, natural disasters, and the ongoing legacies of slavery, which are all testing our human spirit. Join us for an evening of poetry where two Poetry Fellows will read their selected works in dialogue with one another, inspired by Lincoln’s unfinished work and the solace he found while in residence at the Cottage.

This program is free and open to the public. Please register to reserve your space.

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Natalie Illum

Natalie E. Illum is a poet, disability activist and singer living in Washington DC. She is a four-time recipient of the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities Literary fellowship, and a multiple Pushcart prize, Best of the Net, and Best New Poet nominee. She was a founding board member of mothertongue, a LGBTQA open mic that lasted 15 years. She competed in the National Poetry Slam circuit and was the 2013 Beltway Grand Slam Champion. She has an MFA from American University. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter as @poetryrox, and as one half of All Her Muses @allhermusesdc, whose debut album will be released in 2022.

Alexa Patrick

Alexa Patrick is a singer and poet from Connecticut. She holds fellowships from Cave Canem, Obsidian, The Watering Hole, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Alexa was the 2019 Head Coach of the D.C. Youth Slam Team, and has held teaching positions through Split This Rock, The University of the District of Columbia, and the Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan University. You may find Alexa’s work in publications including The Quarry, The Rumpus, CRWN Magazine, and The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic. Her debut collection Remedies for Disappearing will be published by Haymarket Books in 2023.


Covid-19 Safety

It is recommended that visitors three years and older wear face masks when inside buildings on the grounds. This event will take place outdoors at President Lincoln’s Cottage, on our spacious South Lawn. When possible staff and visitors will maintain 6-feet of social distancing to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure.

Armed Forces Retirement Home

President Lincoln’s Cottage is on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home. Security for the Armed Forces Retirement Home requires visitors to show valid identification at the security gate in order to enter the property.  Please be prepared to show your ID.

Exploring beyond the boundaries of President Lincoln’s Cottage is not permitted and results in trespassing on federal property.


Please note that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. Choosing to visit President Lincoln’s Cottage, you voluntarily assume all risks related to COVID-19 exposure. By completing this transaction, you agree to wear a mask at all times, maintain social distancing, and observe all posted guidelines. More information and details about our safety guidelines are available on our website.

All events are considered public events for the purpose of photography and video.


Questions? Contact President Lincoln’s Cottage with any questions at 202-829-0436 or [email protected].