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Charles Simic, U.S. Poet Laureate: A Resource Guide

About Charles Simic at the Library of Congress

Charles Simic served as the Library of Congress's 15th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry from 2007 to 2008. The links below provide more information about Simic's activities at the Library, including webcasts, blog posts, and related news releases.

On August 2, 2007, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the appointment of Charles Simic to be the 15th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. On making the appointment, Billington said,

"The range of Charles Simic’s imagination is evident in his stunning and unusual imagery. He handles language with the skill of a master craftsman, yet his poems are easily accessible, often meditative and surprising. He has given us a rich body of highly organized poetry with shades of darkness and flashes of ironic humor."

Simic served one term as poet laureate, finishing his duties on May 8, 2008. On his activities as poet laureate, Simic has said:

"I did 15-20 readings, at least twenty interviews, and many other appearances during that year related to my being the Poet Laureate. I didn't initiate any projects, since whatever occurred to me didn't seem feasible.... I had an idea for regional anthologies of poetry that would attract lots of readers, because the poet and poems would all come from their neck of woods, but realized no publisher would be interested in such a project since permissions for such anthologies cost a lot and it's unclear how well they would actually sell."

For more on Simic's experience as poet laureate, see "Confessions of a Poet Laureate." External

Charles Simic has been featured on both the Poetry and Literature Center's blog, From the Catbird Seat, and on the Library's main blog. Those blog posts are linked below.

The Library of Congress features several recordings of Charles Simic reading and discussing his poetry and the poetry of other poets. These are listed below.


Other Recordings