Poets Laureate Anthology
written by Elizabeth Hun Schmidt
W W Norton & Company | ISBN 9780393061819
Paperback – 816 pages
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This is the first anthology to gather poems by the forty-three Poets Laureate of the United States. As a record of poetry it is groundbreaking, charting the course of American poetry over the last seventy-five years. At the same time, it is a pleasure to read, full of some of the world's best-known poems and many new surprises. Elizabeth Hun Schmidt has gathered poems by each of the forty-three poets who have been named America'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, containing much of the best poetry written in America over the last century. The foreword is by Billy Collins.