Herrera, Juan Felipe April 13, 2016 Juan Felipe Herrera has been named Poet Laureate for the second time. Juan Felipe Herrera has been selected as the 21st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for a second term by Acting Librarian of Congress David Mao. He will serve a six-year term that begins on January 20, 2017.
He is known for his modern Spanish poetry and has been called "the most important Spanish-language poet of his generation".
Born in Madrid in 1945, he graduated from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain, with a degree in English and American Literature. He went on to receive a M.A. in Hispanic Studies from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and held several teaching positions before becoming director of the Department of Language Education at the Universidad Central del Caribe in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. In 2000, he became professor of Creative Writing at the University of Houston, where he still teaches today.
His first collection of poems, The Book of Unknown Americans, was published in 1978.
With Presidents' Day approaching in the United States, we're thinking a lot about the Poets Laureate, the nation's official poets. The Librarian of Congress appoints the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress for a one-year term that runs from October to May. The consultee is required by law to give an annual poetry reading at the Library of Congress during the first week of April.
The President can choose anyone he wants as poet laureate, but it usually goes to someone who is well known and has had some success with their poems. In recent years, poet laureates have included Nobel Prize winners Edwin Arlington Robinson and Robert Frost.
Formal ceremonies honoring the poet laureate are held in Washington, D.C., after they have been appointed by the President. A poem written by the poet laureate is also read at these events.
In addition to being honored at formal events, most recently has been successful singer/songwriters have received several thousand dollars to write new songs for use in advertising campaigns. One such campaign was the "I'm Feeling Lucky" ad campaign that ran from 2005 to 2007. Another was the "America Walks" program that used poems to encourage people to get out and walk around their cities.
There have been many other campaigns over the years using poems as ads.
20th of December, 1985 The poet laureate's formal title is "Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry." On December 20, 1985, Congress passed legislation creating this title (Public Law 99-194). The job was designated "Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress" from 1937 to December 20, 1985. Before that time, there had been a library assistant position called "poet-laureate," which became obsolete when the job was made a part-time one.
The office is not required by law to be a full-time post. However, since the appointment of Robert Pinsky in 1998, it has always been an elected position. Pinsky has held the office for five years. When he leaves office in 2003, he will have served three consecutive terms as poet laureate. The next person appointed to the position will be able to serve only three consecutive terms themselves.
Each state has the option of having their own poet laureat. So far, only two states have chosen to do so: Illinois and Michigan. Alaska and Vermont also have legislation pending before their legislatures would create the position, but no vote has been taken on these proposals.
In addition to being poet laureate, Pinsky is also a professor of poetry at Columbia University. He has been a member of this faculty since 1973. Prior to that time, he worked as a freelance writer and editor. His first book of poems was published in 1955.
From 1937 through 1986, the post was known as "Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress," and from 1986 to the present, it was known as "Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry." On December 20, 1985, Congress passed Public Law 99-194, changing the name, which took effect on January 3, 1986. The bill was sponsored by Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) and co-sponsored by 39 other senators. The purpose of the law was to have the Library of Congress appoint a poet who would serve as an honorary consultant to the library. The law was enacted during the administration of President Ronald Reagan, who had made support for the arts a priority issue.
The first seven poets appointed under the new title were announced in a press release on March 4, 1987. They are Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, John Berryman, W. D. Snodgrass, Carl Sandburg, Louis Zukofsky, and George Stanley. In October 1991, Lawrence Joseph was named the ninth poet laureate, but he died before his appointment took effect. In 1992, Congress passed legislation creating a $1 million fund to be distributed over several years among the remaining candidates who had applied for the post. The money is to be used by the Library of Congress to establish a permanent position as poet laureate. The position remained vacant until February 25, 1998, when Maya Angelou was selected by Congress as its tenth poet laureate. She served until June 30, 2006, when she resigned.
The Librarian of Congress selects a poet for the position of Poet Laureate, certifies that the poet is willing and competent to serve, and then appoints the poet to the office. The appointment lasts for one year and can be renewed once. There has never been more than one Poet Laureate at a time.
The position was created in 1943 by President Roosevelt who appointed W. H. Auden. He was followed by Robert Lowell in 1971 and Elizabeth Bishop in 1979. Louise Bennett Houghton was the first woman to hold the post; she served from 1953 to 1959. In 2009, Barack Obama chose Dr. Maya Angelou to be the ninth U.S. Poet Laureate. She died in April 2014.
In addition to being president, Auden was also an ordained priest. Upon hearing he had been chosen as Poet Laureate, he said "I'm afraid I'm going to have to refuse this honor... As a Christian I cannot accept it if they told me today was my birthday." However, he later changed his mind and accepted the position.
Auden's duties as Poet Laureate included organizing new poetry readings by American poets and promoting their work. He also delivered two lectures each year before groups of college students. These lectures were called "Concerning Contemporary Poetry".
Joy Harjo is the incumbent. Harjo, Joy The Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, often known as the United States Poet Laureate, is the country's official poet. She was selected by President Barack Obama and inaugurated in 2013.
She has been called "the first woman and first Native American to hold this position."
Harjo has published five collections of poetry including Heaven, Earth, and Trade Winds (1986), which won the National Book Award for Poetry
She lives in New Mexico with her family.
Get more information on this topic at The National Poetry Center.