Thursday, July 01, 2010

Lĭt / uh / ruh / sē Äw / fĭs

Librarian of Congress Appoints W.S. Merwin Poet Laureate
Library of Congress: July 1, 2010


Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today announced the appointment of W.S. Merwin as the Library’s 17th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2010-2011.

Merwin will take up his duties in the fall, opening the Library’s annual literary series on Oct. 25 with a reading of his work.

"William Merwin’s poems are often profound and, at the same time, accessible to a vast audience," Billington said. "He leads us upstream from the flow of everyday things in life to half-hidden headwaters of wisdom about life itself. In his poem ‘Heartland,’ Merwin seems to suggest that a land of the heart within us might help map the heartland beyond—and that this ‘map’ might be rediscovered in something like a library, where ‘it survived beyond/ what could be known at the time/ in its archaic/ untaught language/ that brings the bees to the rosemary.’"

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

During a 60-year writing career, Merwin has received nearly every major literary award. He is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, just recently in 2009 for "The Shadow of Sirius" and in 1971 for "The Carrier of Ladders." In 2006, he won the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt Prize from the Library of Congress for "Present Company." His retrospective collection "Migration: New and Selected Poems" won the 2005 National Book Award for poetry. READ MORE !

Background of the Laureateship
The Poet Laureate is selected for a one-year term by the Librarian of Congress. The choice is based on poetic merit alone and has included a wide variety of poetic styles.

The Library keeps to a minimum the specific duties required of the Poet Laureate, who opens the literary season in October and closes it in May. Laureates, in recent years, have initiated poetry projects that broaden the audiences for poetry.

Kay Ryan launched "Poetry for the Mind’s Joy" in 2009-2010, a project that focused on the poetry being written by community-college students.

Check It Out @ Burbank Public Library

The Shadow of Sirius
W S Merwin - Copper Canyon, 2008
811 M576 MERWI

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