TITLE: Poet Laureate Kay Ryan's Farewell Reading
SPEAKER: Kay Ryan
EVENT DATE: 05/20/2010
RUNNING TIME: 61 minutes
Poet Laureate Kay Ryan concludes her second and final term as Poet Laureate at the Library of Congress with a reading from her newest volume of poetry "The Best of It: New and Selected Poems," published in March 2010. During Ryan's highly successful two-year tenure as the 16th Poet Laureate of the United States, she launched "Poetry for the Mind's Joy," a project that focuses on the poetry being written by community college students.
Speaker Biography: Born and reared in California, Kay Ryan taught remedial English part-time for 30 years at the College of Marin in Kentfield, Calif. She once thought about growing up to be a carpenter, or perhaps a stand-up comedian. As a poet, Ryan has enriched the landscape of American poetry with her precise and often slyly humorous verse. Ryan's many awards include the 2005 Gold Medal for Poetry from the San Francisco Commonwealth Club; the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from The Poetry Foundation in 2004; a Guggenheim fellowship the same year; and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship as well as the Maurice English Poetry Award in 2001. This spring Ryan was the Mohr Visiting Poet at Stanford University. Ryan has succeeded a long line of distinguished poets who served as Poet Laureate, including most recently Charles Simic, Donald Hall, Ted Kooser, Louise Gluck, Billy Collins, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass and Rita Dove.