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Richard Wilbur: Online Resources

Compiled by Peter Armenti, Digital Reference Specialist

Richard Wilbur, U.S. Poet Laureate, 1987-1988
Richard Wilbur
U.S. Poet Laureate, 1987-88

On April 17, 1987, Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin appointed Richard Wilbur the second Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. In making the appointment, Boorstin described Wilbur as "a poet for us all, whose elegant words brim with wit and paradox. He is also a poet's poet, at home in the long tradition and traveled ways of the great poets of our language. And he is a cosmopolitan citizen of the world of letters, whose essays and translations help us to the poets of other languages. His poems are among the best our country has to offer." Wilbur served one term as poet laureate, ending his duties in spring 1988.

This guide compiles links to resources on Richard Wilbur throughout the Library of Congress Web site, as well as links to external Web sites that include features on his life or selections of his work. To suggest additions to this guide, please contact the Digital Reference Section.

Richard Wilbur reading from his poetry, Oct. 5, 1987. From the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature.


Library of Congress Web Site
   •Print Resources
External Web Sites
   •Biographical Information, Poetry
   •Interviews, Articles, and Conversations
   •Audio Recordings
   •Articles and Essays by Richard Wilbur
   •Literary Criticism
   •Resources for Study and Teaching
   •Book Reviews
   •Richard Wilbur in the News

Library of Congress Web Site

(Some links open PDF files. Download a free version of the Adobe Reader.)


"Richard Wilbur is Appointed New Poet Laureate" (PDF, 376 KB)
Library of Congress Information Bulletin, April 27, 1987

Print Resources

Works by Richard Wilbur in the Library of Congress online catalog can be found under the following author heading:

Wilbur, Richard, 1921-

Works about Richard Wilbur can be found in the Library of Congress online catalog under the following subject headings:

Wilbur, Richard, 1921
Wilbur, Richard, 1921---Bibliography.
Wilbur, Richard, 1921---Correspondence.
Wilbur, Richard, 1921---Criticism and interpretation.
Wilbur, Richard, 1921---Criticism and interpretation--Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Wilbur, Richard, 1921- [from old catalog]
Wilbur, Richard, 1921---Interviews.
Wilbur, Richard, 1921---Musical Settings.

Link disclaimerExternal Web Sites

(Some links open RealAudio files. Download a free version of RealPlayer software.)

Biographical Information, Poetry

Academy of American Poets
Biography of Richard Wilbur, samples of his poetry, and links to external resources.

Poetry Foundation
Biography of Richard Wilbur, bibliography of his writings, and links to more than 30 online poems.

Interviews, Articles, and Conversations

The World is Fundamentally a Great Wonder: A Conversation with Richard Wilbur
Conversation with Arlo Haskell, Littoral (journal of the Key West Literary Seminar), October 21, 2009

Richard Wilbur: A Conversation
Interviewed by Sunil Iyengar, Contemporary Poetry Review, January 2009

"Former Freight Hopper Makes Good"
Conversation with D. H. Tracy, Poetry Foundation, April 7, 2006

"A Poet Still: Richard Wilbur at 85"
Amherst, Summer 2005

"The Overlooked Master: How Poetic History Conspired against Richard Wilbur"
Slate, November 29, 2004

"A {Certain} Logic"
Interviewed by Peter Davison, The Atlantic Online, September 9, 1999

"A Conversation with Richard Wilbur"
Interviewed by Paul Mariani, Image 12 (Winter 1995)

"Washington Talk: Poet Laureate; Avoiding the Pitfalls of Verse for Hire"
The New York Times, October 27, 1987

"Richard Wilbur is Named Nation's Poet Laureate"
The New York Times, April 18, 1987

"The Art of Poetry"
Interviewed by Helen McCloy Ellison, Ellesa Clay High, and Peter A. Stitt. The Paris Review, no. 72 (Winter 1977)

Audio Recordings

Mark Strand: 2010 Key West Literary Seminary (1:06:52)
Recording from the Key West Literary Seminar, January 2010

Richard Wilbur: 2003 Key West Literary Seminar (1:03:12)
Recording from the Key West Literary Seminar, January 2003

Richard Wilbur: Great American Poet (57:21)
Writer's Voice, August 13, 2009

Al Filreis on Richard Wilbur's "Cottage Street, 1953" (Direct link; 7:41)
From PennSound

Atlantic Monthly Online - Wilbur Reads Selected Poems

Audio of Wilbur Reading Selected Poems
Internet Poetry Archive

Garrison Keillor Reads Selected Poems by Wilbur
The Writer's Almanac (audio available for poems from 2001-present)

The Poet Richard Wilbur (47:59)
The Connection, WBUR, July 15, 2005

Richard Wilbur Reads "The Prisoner of Zenda"
The Academy of American Poets

Richard Wilbur Reads "The Writer" (01:52)
NPR, May 26, 2006

Richard Wilbur Talks about his Translation of Mallarmé's "The Tomb of Edgar Poe" (10:43)
The Poetry Foundation, April 19, 2006

A Reading in Tribute to Elizabeth Bishop (18:22)
Key West Literary Seminar, 1993


Richard Wilbur with Roger Rosenblatt (08:10)
92Y Blog, May 20, 2009

Second John Holmes Memorial Poetry Reading (01:21:56)
Friends of the Tufts Libraries, April 5, 2006

Animated Video of "Some Words Inside of Words" (02:59)
Poetry Everywhere

Video Interview and Readings
Peoples Archive, May 12, 2004

Articles and Essays by Richard Wilbur

Wilbur on "The Book That Changed My Life"
National Book Foundation

Literary Criticism

"Joining World and Mind: On the Poetry of Richard Wilbur"
Contemporary Poetry Review, January 2009

"Richard Wilbur: A Critical Survey of His Career"
Dana Gioia Online. First published in World Poets, v. 3 (Scribners, 2000)

"A Certain Slant of Light: Richard Wilbur as Translator of French" (PDF, 254 KB)
Meta 44, no. 2, 1999 (pp. 295-311).

Resources for Study and Teaching
Critical information on Wilbur from Thomson Gale's Poetry Criticism series.

Heath Online Instruction Guide for Richard Wilbur
Houghton Mifflin, HM WriteSPACE Web site

Modern American Poetry
Excerpts of criticism about Wilbur's poetry, biographical information, full-text of a 1995 interview, and links to external resources.

Reading Wilbur's "The Death of a Toad" (PDF, 176 KB)
Literary Cavalcade, September 2004

Book Reviews

Collected Poems, 1943-2004 (2005)

Contemporary Poetry Review

Expansive Poetry Online

The Guardian

The New York Times

The New Yorker

The Weekly Standard

The Pig in the Spigot (2000)

The New York Times

Mayflies: New Poems and Translations (2000)

The New York Times

Runaway Opposites (1995)

The New York Times

New and Collected Poems (1988)

The New York Times

Richard Wilbur in the News

Google News search on Richard Wilbur

Blog entries on Richard Wilbur, via Technorati

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