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Poet Laureate

Want To Understand The Voice Of America? Read This Crowdsourced Poem

The Huffington Post | Katherine Brooks | Posted 03.30.2016 | Arts

How do you capture the mood of America? In the age of #OscarsSoWhite and #MakeAmericaGreatAgain, the answer is: head to Twitter. In all its forms, soc...

Virginia Poet Laureate Ron Smith Discusses the Seven Deadly Sins

Stuart Gunter | Posted 03.10.2016 | Arts
Stuart Gunter

Ron Smith is the Poet Laureate of Virginia. Through his teaching and writing, he carries the mantle of poet with pride and humility: proud in the crea...

3 Things The New U.S. Poet Laureate Knows About Love

OWN | Lisa Capretto | Posted 09.21.2015 | OWN

Love is without question among the most written-about subjects in literature. It is also one of the most complicated. Countless authors and poets have...

Juan Felipe Herrera 101: A look at the Poetry and Politics of the U.S. Poet Laureate

Poetry Foundation | Posted 08.09.2016 | Books
Poetry Foundation

For Juan Felipe Herrera, the first Chicano to be named U.S. poet laureate, migration is both his biography and a major component of his poetic style. The child of migrant farm workers, Herrera grew up following harvests from San Diego to San Francisco, and his writing has likewise displayed a remarkable range.

Suffering Doubts About Your Writing? Four Time-Tested Tips to Help You in Your Darkest Hours

Holly Robinson | Posted 07.08.2016 | Books
Holly Robinson

1. Work with Your Hands: There is something satisfying about handiwork, because you can see the physical results of your labor. Whether you're baking bread, knitting a scarf, or weeding your garden, making something with your hands can set your mind on fire.

Virginia Gentlewomen

Jill S. Tietjen | Posted 06.06.2015 | Women
Jill S. Tietjen

The daughter of a free white man and an enslaved black woman, she sued for her freedom. Through petition, her case was sent to the Virginia General Assembly and she was freed in 1656.

Mark Strand

Peter Clothier | Posted 02.01.2015 | Books
Peter Clothier

My friend Mark Strand died last week at the age of 80. I say "my friend" not because we were close. We were not. But because he was once a good friend to me at a moment when I needed one. I can say without exaggeration that he changed my life.

Watch: Going Home With Maya Angelou

Bill Moyers | Posted 10.12.2014 | Politics
Bill Moyers

In this first of two programs celebrating her extraordinary life and legacy, I revisit an episode from his 1982 series Creativity in which Angelou and I returned to the small town of Stamps, Arkansas, where she spent much of her childhood.

In Maya Angelou's Words, Anything Was Possible

Kevin Powell | Posted 07.28.2014 | Black Voices
Kevin Powell

Hers was a life born of nothingness, of vicious sexual assault, of shattered boulevards and smashed glass windows. But from the muck of that life, Maya Angelou became a voice for girls, for women, and even for boys like me.

MoMA's Poet Laureate Spars With Colbert

The Huffington Post | Katherine Brooks | Posted 07.24.2013 | Arts

If you didn't already know, the Museum of Modern Art has a resident poet of sorts. His name is Kenneth Goldsmith, author of "Seven American Deaths and...

Natasha Trethewey Begins her Domestic Work as Poet Laureate

Nicole Brittingham Furlonge | Posted 09.25.2012 | Arts
Nicole Brittingham Furlonge

This month, Pulitzer Prize winning poet Natasha Trethewey officially began her stint as Poet Laureate of the United States. One of Trethewey's poems that I return to often is "Housekeeping."

Reading Great Writers' Worst Books

Peter Brown Hoffmeister | Posted 10.28.2012 | Books
Peter Brown Hoffmeister

This summer, I found myself re-reading Alice Walker's The Color Purple, a book that is both wonderful and awful. After finishing, I asked myself, "Why do some books by great authors (or parts of books by great authors) work so well, while others fail?"

U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey Strives to Revive the "Ghost of History"

Nancy Rubin Stuart | Posted 08.14.2012 | Books
Nancy Rubin Stuart

One of the nation's youngest Poet Laureates and the first Southerner to receive that award since 1986, Natasha Trethewey's work marries "the ghost of history" with emotive poetry.

New Laureate Is More Than the Sum of Her Parts

Marcia Dawkins | Posted 08.12.2012 | Home
Marcia Dawkins

As the product of a union that was still a crime in Mississippi when her parents married, and of a nation still bearing the scars of its broken union, Natasha Tretheway is the voice of a history that has been largely unwritten.

Does Tucson Need Three Poet Laureates to Bring It Back from the Brink of Censorship?

Jeff Biggers | Posted 06.02.2012 | Books
Jeff Biggers

Facing an unprecedented wave of censorship, Tucson has unabashedly staked out its claim as ground zero in the defense of poetry and literary arts.

San Antonio Names Tafolla First Poet Laureate, as Tucson Banishes Her Classics From Classrooms

Jeff Biggers | Posted 05.27.2012 | Books
Jeff Biggers

One of the most innovative poets and authors over the last 25 years, Tafolla's genre-bending bilingual verse from San Antonio's West Side barrio has given voice to several cherished volumes of poetry and stories.

What Happens When You Cut Arts Funding?

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg | Posted 05.22.2012 | Books
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

Most of us who create art dwell in the gap between what we know and don't know. All I need to know, I've learned by being a poet: keep my broken heart open, don't harden over what's too hard to feel, create what's ready, and persevere. It's my practice.

Paul Simon, Poet Laureate: Songwriter Makes the Case

Jesse Kornbluth | Posted 12.26.2011 | Entertainment
Jesse Kornbluth

2011-10-26-Screenshot20111026at10.32.03AM.jpg The proof is right in the open, for all who have ears -- Paul Simon, Poet Laureate.

What Work Is: What Labor Day, the Poet Laureate, Adderall, Mountain Biking, and the Philosopher Horace have in Common

Michael Henry | Posted 11.09.2011 | Denver
Michael Henry

Perhaps I needed to have already experienced Labor Day 2011 in order to begin contemplating the meaning of Labor Day, and the idea of labor, and how it relates to the craft of writing, and the work of our daily lives.

Philip Levine and Other Mediocrities: What it Takes to Ascend to the Poet Laureateship

Anis Shivani | Posted 10.13.2011 | Books
Anis Shivani

The truth about American poetry is that it is in very bad shape. The professional poetry establishment has taken care to mark serious criticism comin...

What Is The Point Of A Poet Laureate?

Andrew Losowsky | Posted 10.11.2011 | Books
Andrew Losowsky

The U.S. Poet Laureate is "the nation's official lightning rod for the poetic impulse of Americans" - that is, according to the Library of Congress, which each year selects the holder of the position. What does that description mean?

Philip Levine's Factory Stiffs, Society's Throw-Aways

Jan Herman | Posted 10.11.2011 | Books
Jan Herman

In 1991 a Los Angeles Times editor assigned me to write an appreciation of "What Work Is" by Philip Levine. Now Levine has been appointed poet laureate by the Library of Congress, and suddenly everybody is writing about him.

Narrative Magazine Friday Feature: U.S. Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin Shares A Poem

Posted 07.27.2011 | Books

Narrative Magazine: W. S. Merwin, Poet Laureate of the United States, has been writing his widely read poems for five decades. Throughout his poetry r...

WATCH: A Rare Look At Soviet-Era Political Cartoons

George Heymont | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
George Heymont

Using rarely seen footage from the Russian State Film Archives, documentarian Kevin McNeer has produced a fascinating documentary about the late Soviet political cartoonist and propaganda artist Boris Efimov.

Why Are US Literary Laureates Only Poets? Why Not a Dramatist?

Lauren Gunderson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
Lauren Gunderson

The country that invented musical theater should have a representational dramatist in its highest official center of literature.