poet laureate Archive

A Parliament of Poems: An Interview with Parliamentary Poet Laureate, George Elliott Clarke

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Given that Toronto poet, editor, critic, novelist and librettist George Elliott Clarke is Canada’s seventh official Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2016-17), I thought it would be interesting to explore some of his experiences now that he’s a bit more than halfway through his two-year term.

“Slipperiness of Signification”: An Interview with Lee Ann Roripaugh

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In her most recent book, Dandarians (Milkweed, 2014), Lee Ann Roripaugh writes in the borderland between poetry and prose, blurring boundaries and finding the unfamiliar music in everyday language. She is also the author of three previous books of poetry, including Year of the Snake, which won the Association

Half the World More: Juan Felipe Herrera and the Centering of Chicana/o Letters

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Juan Felipe Herrera being named our 21st U.S. Poet Laureate is special for a few reasons.  He is the first Latino U.S. Poet Laureate in history, but also an unlikely if necessary one.  It’s no obscure fact that his writing has historically been underappreciated, undercelebrated even. Herrera’s writing has

The Life and Poetry of Ted Kooser

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“I farm a little plot of things to say, with not much frontage on the busy road.” —Ted Kooser journal entry, December 7, 1972 quoted in The Life and Poetry of Ted Kooser by Mary K. Stillwell A lot’s happened for Ted Kooser since he wrote those lines more

Why Poetry Can’t Find Its Public, Part Two

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A couple months ago, my blog, “Why Poetry Can’t Find Its Public” nearly caused a riot. Teeth were bared! F bombs thrown! I wanted readers to learn from pop music’s ability to connect with more people. Readers translated this as a suggestion that poetry be like pop music, sell like pop music, sell out like