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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.


U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. 1997-2000. Photo credit: External

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.

This guide provides an overview of print and online resources related to Robert Pinsky's life and work. To suggest additions to this guide, please contact the Researcher and Reference Services Division.

Contact Information for Robert Pinsky

If you would like to contact Robert Pinsky please direct your inquiries as suggested below:

  • Reading and Event Requests: Contact the Steven Barclay Agency External, which represents Robert Pinsky, if you would like to schedule Pinsky for a reading or other event.
  • Permissions Requests: Contact the publisher of the poem or work written by Robert Pinsky that you'd like to use.
  • Reference Questions: Use the Library's Ask a Librarian service.