Thursday, July 17, 2008

New US Poet Laureate - Kay Ryan

California poet Kay Ryan is to be the 2008-2009 United States Poet Laureate, James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress announced today, taking over from Charles Simic in the Fall. Among speeches and readings which the Poet Laureate does for the Library Congress, Ryan mused, "Maybe I'll issue library cards to everyone." (Our favorite kind of literary official.)

Her poetry has been compared to Emily Dickinson's, and this was said by John Barr, president of The Poetry Foundation: "Halfway into a Ryan poem, one is ready for either a joke or a profundity; typically it ends in both. Before we know it the poem arrives at some unexpected, deep insight that likely will alter forever the way we see that thing."

Ryan is the author of six books of poetry, (none of which we yet have, but we'll get some.) Her most recent book. The Niagara River, is already in the Pasadena Public Library collection, accessible to both Glendale and Pasadena library card holders.

[Photo above by Peter DaSilva for The New York Times]

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