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Poet Laureate

Watch: Going Home With Maya Angelou

Bill Moyers | Posted 08.12.2014 | 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...

U.S. Poet Laureate Talks Inspiration, Poetry Stereotypes

AP | By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS | Posted 11.21.2012 | Books

CLEVELAND, Miss. -- Natasha Trethewey smashes stereotypes about poets. She's not stuffy. Or shy. Or aloof. As U.S. poet laureate, the 46-year-old des...

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.

Natasha Trethewey Named 19th U.S. Poet Laureate

AP | BRETT ZONGKER | Posted 08.06.2012 | Books

WASHINGTON — A poet-historian representing a younger generation of writers will soon take office on Capitol Hill, overlooking the politicians, i...

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.

How Much Does Your Amazon Ranking Increase When You Become Poet Laureate?

AP | By HILLEL ITALIE | Posted 10.11.2011 | Books

NEW YORK -- The country wants to know more about its next poet-in-chief. Sales have jumped for books by Philip Levine, a Pulitzer Prize winner who on...

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.

William S. Merwin Is Newest Poet Laureate: Merwin Poems, Prose, Audio And More From The Poetry Foundation

Posted 05.25.2011 | Books

More on Merwin The Poetry Foundation As we reported below, William Stanley Merwin has been named the 17th US poet laureate, succeeding Kay Ryan at th...

William S. Merwin Named Newest Poet Laureate

AP | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books

WASHINGTON — A writer who stopped using punctuation in the 1960s and spent much of the last 30 years secluded in Hawaii will become the nation's...

'Treasure Island' Sequel By Former Poet Laureate

BBC News | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books

Treasure Island ends with several pirates still marooned on the island, Long John Silver survives, and most of the loot remains in situ. In Return to...

David Beckham Gets An Ode From British Poet Laureate

AP | JILL LAWLESS | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books

LONDON — O Beckham, where art thou? David Beckham has become an unlikely muse to Britain's poet laureate, who has written a verse about the soc...