Full Title: “United States of Poetry: An Overview of Poet Laureates in the U.S. (via Book Riot)”
What do Rita Dove, W.S. Merwin, and Louise Glück have in common? Other than being renowned American poets, all three were U.S. Poet Laureates at some point. Given America’s long history of poetry, it is unsurprising that there are official roles dedicated to celebrating and promoting this revered art form.
Appointed annually by the Librarian of Congress, the Poet Laureate usually engages in a community-oriented project with national reach. The current Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo — the first Native American to hold the position — has worked to shed light on Native American poetry and how it adds to the overall tapestry of American poetry. She has worked on the first historically comprehensive anthology of Native American poetry in When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through. Her signature laureate project, “Living Nations, Living Words,” is a digital compilation of samplings by 47 contemporary Native poets from across the nation.