From Megan Romer, your About Books & Literature Editor
The very idea that even amidst wars and recessions and crime and heatwaves and terrible pop music trends, we still have a Poet Laureate in the United States... well, it's a nice one, isn't it? It gives me a little bit of hope, at any rate.
Our newest Poet Laureate, Emory University professor and Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey, is the first Southern American poet to be honored with the title in a quarter-century, and one of the youngest Laureates we've had in decades. Learn more about her poetry and her work.
The "laureate" part of the "Poet Laureate" title comes from the ancient Greek tradition of placing wreaths made of bay laurel on the heads of heroes and victors. Don't worry, though, I've been duly assured that Ms. Trethewey will not be required to wear a wreath of any kind on her head during her tenure.
"We should read poetry because only in that way can we know man in all his moods -- in the most beautiful thoughts of his heart, in his farthest reaches of imagination, in the tenderness of his love, in the nakedness and awe of his soul confronted with the terror and wonder of the Universe."