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

About Charles Wright at the Library of Congress

Charles Wright served as the Library of Congress's 20th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry from 2014 to 2015. Prior to that, he was awarded the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize in Poetry from the Library of Congress in 2008. The links below provide more information about Wright’s activities at the Library, including webcasts, blog posts, and related news releases.

Before Charles Wright was appointed to be the 20th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, he received the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry in 2008. Wright accepted this award at the Library of Congress on April 28, 2008, reading selected poems at the event.

Charles Wright opened his duties at the Library of Congress as Poet Laureate on September 25, 2017, with a reading of his work in the Coolidge Auditorium. Wright succeeded Natasha Tretheway as laureate, who told the library:

I am delighted by the appointment of Charles Wright, a poet whose work I have long admired. His deep and abiding knowledge of poetry—his belief in its power to sustain us—makes him precisely the kind of advocate we need in the post.

Charles Wright decided to end his position as Poet Laureate with a moderated conversation between him and the 15th Poet Laureate, Charles Simic, instead of doing the traditional reading most Laureates do. The event was a continuation of ten letters between the two friends, published two decades before in the Gettysburg Review External.

Charles Wright 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 provides access to several recordings of Charles Wright reading and discussing his poetry as well as the poetry of other poets. These are listed below.


Audio Recordings