May 20, 1993 |
Rita Dove, who stirred her imagination by creating her own comic books as a child, has been named the nation's poet laureate by the Library of Congress. At 40 she's the youngest poet and first black person named to the post, and the second woman. "This will ruin my life but it's an incredible honor," said Dove, a creative writing prof at the University of Virginia. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1987 with her third book of poetry, Thomas and Beulah. Born in Akron, Ohio, she's married to German novelist Fred Viebahn and they have a daughter, Aviva, 10. "I tell my students, you shouldn't feel you have to get a job in literature in order to be a poet," said Dove, who will assume her post in October.
December 29, 2011 |
HAIKU: A leading lady in poetry embraces Philadelphia Sonia Sanchez, a retired Temple University professor and an award-winning poet, educator and activist, will be Philadelphia's first poet laureate. Mayor Nutter was to make the announcement this morning in City Hall. "I considered it quite the honor," Sanchez, 77, told the Daily News yesterday. "I accepted this post because you really want to remind the city, the country and the world that poetry reminds us of the best in ourselves and others . . . it brings us to that avenue where conversation will be discussed.
May 11, 2011 |
O Philadelphia! My Philadelphia! Rise up and hear the bells! We are getting a poet laureate! Camden, home of Walt Whitman, will shame us no more. Mayor Nutter recently announced that Philadelphia - city of clamorous larynx and dexterous middle digits! - will establish through its Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy an official Poet Laureate program. Chief Cultural Officer Gary Steuer, who will chair the planning committee, "hopes the poet laureate can be announced sometime this fall.
December 29, 2011 |
For years, people have called her the "unofficial poet laureate of Philadelphia. " Now it's official. Sonia Sanchez, 77, poet, teacher, mentor, activist, and revered Philadelphian, will be named the city's first poet laureate by Mayor Nutter in an 11 a.m. ceremony Thursday at City Hall. Sanchez is the author of at least 18 books of poetry, as well as plays and children's books. She has long been one of the city's most visible and active writers, readers, teachers, and activists for peace and social equality.
June 26, 2002 |
Between cursing a missed FedEx delivery and reading from his new book of sonnets, Gerald Stern exercised the vocal cords that in his youth made him a soprano. First, he played a cantor, chanting a prayer in Hebrew. Then came a less austere maxim that he had been teaching his girlfriend's 10-year-old son. "A purely decorative poet," he said on the porch of his Lambertville home, "deserves to have their head cut off. " Stern, 77, is a wordsmith for the people, and not just because his verses capture the Rust Belt through the eyes of an immigrant's son. Playful and affable, Stern is New Jersey's first poet laureate.
July 21, 1995 |
It offers neither a regular paycheck nor medical benefits. It is no guarantee of recognition. Nevertheless, dozens of wordsmiths brandishing thousands of stanzas want to become Bucks County's poet laureate. Bucks County, you see, is rich in poets. There's the Doylestown actress. The Langhorne mail carrier. The retired book publishing executive. The community college professor who just won a Pew Fellowship. "There just seems to be a wealth of poets here," said Stanley W. Heim, senior associate professor of English at Bucks County Community College, 1980 poet laureate, and director of the annual poet hunt.
August 6, 2000 |
Pulitzer Prize winner Stanley Kunitz, 95, will become the 10th poet laureate of the United States in the fall, the Library of Congress announced last week. He published his first book of poetry in 1930 and has since produced nine more. He will succeed Robert Pinsky, who has held the post for three years. The new laureate said the appointment came as a great surprise and he accepted on the assurance that he would not need to move to Washington. "The reason I decided to accept this honor is that I want to do something for the young in this country," he said.
March 29, 2011 |
A few days ago, the Guardian in London boldly put out a list of the top 10 American poems. It was sobering reading, largely because only one of the poets is still alive. John Ashbery, a masterly wordsmith, is 83. He was born the same year as the present U.S. poet laureate, whom I am certain only a tiny percentage of us could name. Can you? Did you know we had one? It's William Stanley Merwin - a wonderful, if sometimes opaque, poet, who lived in Scranton from the age of 11, but moved to Hawaii in the 1970s.
October 30, 1998 |
Ted Hughes, revered in Britain for his literary brilliance but better known in the United States for his failed marriage to Sylvia Plath, has died in England at age 68. Mr. Hughes, the poet laureate of England, succumbed to cancer Wednesday at his home in Devon, according to an announcement from his publisher, Faber & Faber. The cancer was discovered 18 months ago, but Mr. Hughes kept the diagnosis quiet. Roger Straus, president of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Mr. Hughes' American publisher, issued a statement calling Mr. Hughes' death "a loss to all lovers of poetry on both sides of the Atlantic.