The Poets Laureate Anthology by Elizabeth Hun Schmidt

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The first anthology to gather poems by the forty-three poets laureate of the United States.

As a record of poetry, The Poets Laureate Anthology is groundbreaking, charting the course of American poetry over the last seventy-five years, while being, at the same time, a pleasure to read, full of some of the world’s best-known poems and many new surprises. Elizabeth Hun Schmidt has gathered and introduced poems by each of the forty-three poets who have been named our nation’s poets laureate since the post (originally called Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress) was established in 1937. Poets range from Robert Pinsky, William Carlos Williams, and Elizabeth Bishop to Charles Simic, Billy Collins, and Rita Dove. Schmidt’s spirited introductions place the poets and their poems in historical and literary context and shine light on the interesting and often uneasy relationship between politics and art. This is an inviting, monumental collection for everyone’s library, containing much of the best poetry written in America over the last century. 43 black-and-white photographs

About Elizabeth Hun Schmidt

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Elizabeth Hun Schmidt , a former poetry editor at the New York Times Book Review , is the editor of the acclaimed anthology Poems of New York and The Poets Laureate Anthology . She lives in New York City and currently teaches American literature at Sarah Lawrence College. Billy Collins has published six collections of poetry, including Questions About Angels and The Art of Drowning, Picnic, Lightning, his latest, sold more than 25,000 copies in its first year. He teaches at Lehman College of the City University of New York and at Sarah Lawrence College. He was named U.S. Poet Laureate in June 2000.
Published October 4, 2010 by W. W. Norton & Company. 816 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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The Guardian

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Elizabeth Hun Schmidt's reverse chronology – from current laureate WS Merwin back to Joseph Auslander in 1937 – provides a comprehensive overview via generous biographical introductions to, and selections of poetry from, the 43 holders of the post including Lowell, Bishop, William Carlos Williams...

Jan 29 2011 | Read Full Review of The Poets Laureate Anthology

Publishers Weekly

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The United States has a long tradition of choosing a national poet, though the term poet laureate only came to be used here after 1985.

Oct 25 2010 | Read Full Review of The Poets Laureate Anthology


For each poet, the anthology begins with a passage or quotation of the writer’s reflection on the role or purpose of poetry, followed by a succinct biography that often touches on the work accomplished by the poet in their tenure as a laureate.

Apr 26 2011 | Read Full Review of The Poets Laureate Anthology

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