Kay Ryan Named U.S. Poet Laureate

Posted on July 18, 2008

Kay Ryan has been named as the next U.S. Poet Laureate. She won the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize in 2004 and has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Kay was once rejected by the poetry club at UCLA, amazingly enough. What sweet revenge this must be. She initially didn't want to be a poet and the New York Times calls her a "sly outsider."

Kay told the New York Times, "I so didn't want to be a poet. I came from sort of a self-contained people who didn't believe in public exposure, and public investigation of the heart was rather repugnant to me."

Kay found poetry irresistable in the end. She says, "It was in a strange way taking over my mind. My mind was on its own finding things and rhyming things. I was getting diseased."

Here is Kay Ryan reading at the 2008 National Book Festival.

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