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The Library of Congress > Poetry & Literature > Current Poet Laureate: Charles Wright

Chalres WrightCharles Wright, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2014- Photo by Holly Wright

On June 12th, 2014, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the appointment of Charles Wright as the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. Charles Wright was born in Pickwick Dam, Tennessee on August 25, 1935. He is the author of 24 poetry collections, two books of essays, and three books of translation. His many honors include the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Bollingen Prize, the Ruth Lilly Prize from the Poetry Foundation, and the International Griffin Poetry Prize, as well as the 2008 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize in Poetry from the Library of Congress.

Wright, the 20th Poet Laureate, will take up his duties in the fall, opening the Library’s annual literary season with a reading of his work at the Coolidge Auditorium on Thursday, September 25th.
“Charles Wright is a master of the meditative, image-driven lyric,” said Billington of the appointment.

“For almost 50 years his poems have reckoned with what he calls ‘language, landscape, and the idea of God.’ Wright’s body of work combines a Southern sensibility with an allusive expansiveness, for moments of singular musicality.”

Wright succeeds Natasha Trethewey as Poet Laureate and joins a long line of distinguished poets who have served in the position including Philip Levine, W. S. Merwin, Kay Ryan, Charles Simic, Donald Hall, Ted Kooser, Louise Glück, Billy Collins, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass, and Rita Dove.

Learn more about Charles Wright

Mary Bomar, National Parks Service
Mary Bomar,
National Parks Service

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