Howard Nemerov, U.S. Poet Laureate: A Resource Guide
American poet Howard Nemerov served as U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry from 1988-1990 at the Library of Congress. This guide provides access to selected print and online resources related to Nemerov’s life and work.
Maura Byrne, Intern, Poetry and Literature Center
Anne Holmes, Digital Content Manager, Poetry and Literature Center
Peter Armenti, Reference Specialist, Researcher and Reference Services Division
Created: November 17, 2020
Last Updated: November 17, 2020
Howard Nemerov was the second poet to serve as both Consultant in Poetry and Poet Laureate. On February 20, 1963, Librarian of Congress L. Quincy Mumford named Howard Nemerov the fourteenth Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. Nemerov served one term as Consultant, ending his duties in spring 1964.
On May 16, 1988, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington appointed Nemerov the third Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. In making the announcement, Dr. Billington said,
Howard Nemerov has given America a remarkable range of poetry from the profound to the poignant to the comic. He is also an outstanding critic, essayist, fiction writer, and teacher.
Nemerov took up his duties as poet laureate in fall 1988, opening the Library’s annual literary season on October 3rd with a reading of his work in the Coolidge Auditorium. Nemerov served two terms as poet laureate, giving his final reading at the Library on May 3, 1990.