U.S. Poet Laureate

In 1937, the Library of Congress created a Consultant in Poetry position, which in 1986 was renamed the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. This poet, who is appointed annually by the Librarian of Congress and serves a term from September to May, "seeks to raise the national consciousness to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry." The current Poet Laureate of the United States is Tracy K. Smith

Joseph Auslander

Joseph Auslander

Joseph Auslander was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1897. The first consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress, he was the author of several poetry collections, including The Unconquerables: Salutes to the Undying Spirit of the Nazi-Occupied Countries (Simon and Schuster, 1943).

William Stafford

William Stafford

Born in 1914, William Stafford's first major collection of poems, Traveling Through the Dark, was published when he was forty-eight years old and won the National Book Award in 1963. He went on to publish more than sixty-five volumes of poetry and prose. In 1970, he was the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (a position currently known as the Poet Laureate).

Howard Nemerov

Howard Nemerov

Born on February 29, 1920 in New York, New York, Howard Nemerov displayed an early interest in the arts, as did his younger sister, the photographer Diane Arbus.

Richard Wilbur

Richard Wilbur

The author of numerous books of poetry, Richard Wilbur was a recipient of the Wallace Stevens Award and served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1961 to 1995.

Robert Pinsky

Robert Pinsky

The author of several collections of poetry, Robert Pinsky won the 1997 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for his book The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996

Robert Hayden

Robert Hayden

Robert Hayden's poetry, which explored his concerns about race and African-American history, gained international recognition in the 1960s, and Hayden eventually became the first black American to be appointed as consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress. 

Robert Hass

Robert Hass

Robert Hass, who won the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for his collection Time and Materials, served as poet laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997 and as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2001 to 2007.

Robert Frost

Robert Frost

One of the most celebrated figures in American poetry, Robert Frost was the author of numerous poetry collections, including including New Hampshire (Henry Holt and Company, 1923). Born in San Francisco in 1874, he lived and taught for many years in Massachusetts and Vermont. He died in Boston in 1963.

Mona Van Duyn

Mona Van Duyn

Born in Iowa in 1921, poet Mona Van Duyn published many collections of poetry and served as the U.S. Poet Laureate from 1992-1993.

Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks

Pulitzer Prize winner Gwendolyn Brooks, who wrote more than twenty books of poetry in her lifetime, was the first black woman appointed Poet Laureate of the United States.

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