Charles Wright Named Poet Laureate

Charles Wright

Author Photo: Dan Addison

The Library of Congress revealed today that Charles Wright will succeed Natasha Trethewey as the nation’s Poet Laureate. Trethewey, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for her 2006 collection Native Guard and the author of several books of poetry, most recently Thrall: Poems (2012)was appointed Poet Laureate in June of 2012.

According to The New York Times, Librarian of Congress James Billington found Wright’s “combination of literary elegance and genuine humility” compelling and his poems “haunting.”

Wright, a Southern poet and also a Pulitzer winner for his book Black Zodiac (1998), has authored over two dozen collections of poetry, his most recent, Caribou, came out earlier this year from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. In an interview with Wright at Paris Review, poet and literary critic J.D. McClatchy says that Wright’s work “stands out among his generation of poets for the austere luxuriance of its textures, its mingling of domestic subjects and foreign methods, and its bold and unpretentious ambition.”

As Poet Laureate, Wright will serve a one year term, which may be extended for a second year. Although the Poet Laureate position does not come with many formal responsibilities, according to the Library of Congress website, the position is meant to “raise the national consciousness to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry.”

Read more about Charles Wright’s appointment to Poet Laureate here.