Robert Pinsky, U.S. Poet Laureate: A Resource Guide
American poet Robert Pinsky served as U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry from 1997-2000 at the Library of Congress. This guide provides access to selected print and online resources related to Pinsky’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: July 21, 2020
Last Updated: November 30, 2020
On March 28, 1997, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the appointment of Robert Pinsky to be the 9th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. Pinsky was the first and only poet laureate to serve three terms, finishing his duties in spring 2000. Upon his appointment, Dr. Billington said:
We are fortunate to have a poet of Robert Pinsky's versatility and wide interests as Poet Laureate. His accomplishments in translation, his interest in making poetry accessible through digital technology on the Internet, and his own probing poetry promise an exciting year for us in Washington.
Pinsky took up his duties in fall 1997, opening the Library's annual literary season in October with a reading of his work in the Coolidge Auditorium. He closed his three-year tenure as Poet Laureate on May 10th, 2000, with another reading of his work in the Coolidge Auditorium.