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Resources For Poetry By Recent U.S. Poets Laureate   Tags: poetry, poets, writing  

A resource of interest for Creative Writing students at Southern Illinois University, providing information and links to other sites concerned with poetry and Poets Laureate.
Last Updated: Sep 4, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Recent U.S. Poets Laureate

1993-1995: Rita Dove

1995-1997: Robert Hass

1997-2000: Robert Pinsky

2000-2001: Stanley Kunitz

2001-2003: Billy Collins

2003-2004: Louise Gluck

2004-2006: Ted Kooser

2006-2007: Donald Hall

2007-2008: Charles Simic

2008-2010: Kay Ryan

2011-2012: Philip Levine

2012-2013: Natasha Trethewey


  • Library of Congress Poet Laureate Website
    The Library of Congress has a site devoted to past and present Poets Laureate with additional guides and links.
  • Poetry Foundation
    Publisher of Poetry Magazine. Profiles American poets, the Poets Laureate among them.
  • Academy of American Poets
    Profiles of American poets, plenty of links and resources.
  • Poet's House Library
    A national archive of 50,000 volumes of poetry, great source for work by all Poets Laureate.
  • The Library as Incubator Project
    A gateway to primary source material locations, core websites, important small presses, benchmark collections--anything to do with poetry. A site for writers, artists, and librarians--created by three library science students!
  • United States Poet Laureate
    Contains a list of Poets Laureate since 1937 with many links including readings by U.S. Poets Laureate at the Key West Literary Seminar.
  • What is a Poet Laureate?
    Details about the history and duties of the U.S. Poets Laureate

Books by the Current Poet Laureate Available @ Morris Library

Cover Art
Domestic Work - Natasha Trethewey
Call Number: PS3570.R433 D66 2000
ISBN: 1555973094
Publication Date: 2000-08-01
Ms. Trethewey's debut work, winner of the 1999 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. As the title implies, she explores the various forms of labor, reminding one of Philip Levine's What Work Is. Plain, simple language but great depth of emotion. Important also because it's a truly American story she tells and fits nicely into a future American poet laureate's profile.

Cover Art
Beyond Katrina - Natasha Trethewey
Call Number: PS3570.R433 B49 2010
ISBN: 9780820333816
Publication Date: 2010-09-01
The book's subtitle, A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, is quite apt. Trethewey turns to prose poems in this meditation on the changing cultural narratives of the Gulf Coast before and after Katrina. As reviewer Beth Ann Fennelley writes, "Trethewey's leifmotif is the different roles stories play before, during, and after tragedy." Another book adding to her reputation and eventual selection as Poet Laureate.

Cover Art
Thrall - Natasha Trethewey
Call Number: PS3570.R433 T47 2012
ISBN: 9780547571607
Publication Date: 2012-08-28
In this book, following her Pulitzer-prize winning Native Guard, Trethewey unearths a genre of Mexican colonial painting known as Casta painting, which depicts a complicated taxonomy of mixed-race children produced by a variety of interracial unions. Her other work explores race in America in general, but this book turns inward to her own mixed-race heritage, ending with a indictment of her white father's racial condescentions and insensitivities. Thrall was published just after her appointment as our current Poet Laureate.


Additional Titles by Natasha Trethewey Available through I-Share

Cover Art
Bellocq's Ophelia - Natasha Trethewey; Trethewey
ISBN: 1555973590
Publication Date: 2002-04-01
In her second book, Trethewey imagines the life of Ophelia, a prostitute in the red-light district of New Orleans in the early 1900s.

Cover Art
Native Guard - Natasha Trethewey
ISBN: 0618604634
Publication Date: 2006-03-06
Native Guard projects slavery into the present of a former slave fighting as part of the Native Guard, later the Corps d’Afrique -- black soldiers supporting the war against the Confederacy. Trethewey fits content to form as she employs pantoum, ghazal, and unrhymed sonnets in these historically-based poems that ask the question, "Why the rough edge of beauty?"


Links To Morris Library & I-Share Catalogs, Plus WorldCat

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Theories of Time and Space--Natasha Trethewey

You can get there from here, though
there’s no going home.

Everywhere you go will be somewhere
you’ve never been. Try this:

head south on Mississippi 49, one-
by-one mile markers ticking off

another minute of your life. Follow this
to its natural conclusion – dead end

at the coast, the pier at Gulfport where
riggings of shrimp boats are loose stitches

in a sky threatening rain. Cross over
the man-made beach, 26 miles of sand

dumped on a mangrove swamp – buried
terrain of the past. Bring only

what you must carry – tome of memory
its random blank pages. On the dock

where you board the boat for Ship Island,
someone will take your picture:

the photograph – who you were –
will be waiting when you return



This guide was created and is maintained by David Bond.

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