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Robert Pinsky: Online Resources

Compiled by Peter Armenti, Digital Reference Specialist

Robert Pinsky, U.S. Poet Laureate, 1997-2000
Robert Pinsky,
U.S. Poet Laureate, 1997-2000

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. This guide compiles links to resources on Robert Pinsky 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.

WATCH: Poetry in Translation: A poetry reading by poet Robert Pinsky
and translated by Alberto Ambroggio.


Library of Congress Web Site
   •Press Releases, Articles
   •Audio and Video
   •Print Resources
External Web Sites
   •Biographical Information, Poetry
   •National Poetry Project
   •Interviews, Articles, and Conversations
   •Audio Recordings
   •Articles, Essays, and Other Prose by Robert Pinsky
   •Teaching Aids
   •Book Reviews
   •Robert Pinsky in the News

Library of Congress Web Site


Biography of Robert Pinsky from the Poetry & Literature Center

Press Releases, Articles

Official press release announcing Robert Pinsky's appointment as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry

Related article from the Library of Congress Information Bulletin

Official Press release announcing Robert Pinsky's appointment to a second term as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry

Related article from the Library of Congress Information Bulletin

Official Press release announcing Robert Pinsky's appointment to an unprecedented third term as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry

Audio and Video


Poet and the Poem Series, November 10, 1999 (direct link; 58:16)



"Poetry in Translation," October 7, 2014 (56:46)

"Poetry in the Public Sphere," May 13, 2002 (50:56)

"Poetry and American Memory," October 8, 1998 (1:27:16)

Print Resources

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

Pinsky, Robert

Works about Robert Pinsky can be found in the Library of Congress online catalog under the following subject heading:

Pinsky, Robert Interviews

Link disclaimerExternal Web Sites

Biographical Information, Poetry

Academy of American Poets
A biography of Robert Pinsky, samples of his poetry and prose, and links to external resources.

Boston University Faculty Page
A biography of Robert Pinsky.

Poetry Foundation
A biography of Robert Pinsky, bibliography of his writings, and links to more than one dozen online poems.

Steven Barclay Agency
A biography of Robert Pinsky.

National Poetry Project

Favorite Poem Project
The Favorite Poem Project was developed by Robert Pinsky and designed for Americans to share their favorite poems. The Favorite Poem Project Web site includes 50 short video documentaries showcasing individual Americans reading and speaking personally about poems they love.

Overview from the Library of Congress Information Bulletin

Interviews, Articles, and Conversations

"Favorite Poem Project to Celebrate 20th Anniversary"
BU Today, September 11, 2017

"How Does Robert Pinsky Pen a Protest Poem?"
Forward, August 8, 2017

"Rhyme and Reason: Where the Teachers Go for Their Poetry Fix"
The Boston Globe, July 28, 2017

"When Robert Pinsky Wrote a Video Game"
The New Yorker, January 21, 2016

"Two New Warren Professors: Robert Pinsky and Howard Eichenbaum"
BU Today, September 22, 2015

"TV Confessions: Robert Pinsky"
The Boston Globe, May 28, 2015

"Robert Pinsky on the Music of Poetry", April 16, 2015

"Pinsky on Poetry: Teachers should ‘Do No Harm,’ from Dodge Fest"
Morristown Green, October 24, 2014

"Found in Translation" - Interview with Robert Pinsky
Portland Monthly, December 2010

"Robert Pinsky"
Interviewed by Michael Shea, The Southeast Review, November 6, 2009

"Thrilling Difficulty: An Interview with Robert Pinsky"
Interviewed by Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Guernica, November 2007

"Spreading the Word"
Interviewed by Kiera Butler, Mother Jones, October 16, 2007

Interview with Robert Pinsky
The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, v. 1, no. 1, 2004

"The Poet as City Planner: An Interview with Robert Pinsky"
Interviewed by Tony Barnstone and Shawn Fitzpatrick, Poetry Flash no. 287, April/May 2001

The Road Taken: Interview with Robert Pinsky
Online NewsHour Extra, September 2000

Pinsky: A 'Hard Act to Follow'
Interviewed by Jamie Allen, CNN News, August 18, 2000

"An Interview with Robert Pinsky, Poet Laureate"
Interviewed by Felix Carroll, Cape Cod Times, 2000

"Robert Pinsky's Grand Slam"
Interviewed by Anne-Marie Cusac, Utne Reader, September/October 1999

An Interview with Robert Pinsky
Resonance Publications, August 1999

"An Interview With Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky"
Interviewed by by Evelyn McDonnell, Village Voice, April 13th, 1999

"The Poet Laureate and the Fraygrants"
Slate, September 5, 1998

An Interview with Robert Pinsky
Archived version of Poetry Daily page; interview originally published in Meridian, Spring 1998

Interview with Robert Pinsky
Interviewed by by J.M. Spalding, The Cortland Review, March 1998

"In Intervals: Robert Pinsky and Tom Sleigh in Conversation"
Interviewed by Tom Sleigh, The Academy of American Poets, October 1, 1997

"Pinsky's Progress: America's Poet Laureate Tries to Bridge the Gap Between Poetry and the World"
Boston Phoenix, April 1997

"Poetry and Education: Robert Pinsky on the Future of Poetry"
Interviewed by Joyce Wilson, Poetry Porch 3, April, 1996

"Poetry, Computers, and Dante's Inferno: An Online Conference with Robert Pinsky"
Transcript of a live online conference with Robert Pinsky as it appeared in The Atlantic Monthly Online on the America Online network, April 19, 1995

"Image and Text: A Dialogue with Robert Pinsky and Michael Mazur"
Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities. Occasional Papers. December 1994

Interview with Robert Pinsky
Interviewed by Kevin Shay, Concord Grape, June 1991

Interview with Robert Pinsky
Every Writer's

Modern American Poetry
Three interviews with Robert Pinsky

Poets Q&A: Robert Pinsky
Smartish Place

Audio Recordings

Radio Programs

"Poet Robert Pinsky Champions Poetry in America" (49:06)
On the Point, WCAI, December 29, 2015

"Poetry, Aloud" (26:06)
The Leonard Lopate Show, March 30, 2009

"Robert Pinsky: The Last Public Poet" (22:23)
Radio Boston, WBUR, March 22, 2011

"Reading Aloud with Robert Pinsky" (53:13)
The Book Bench (The New Yorker blog), April 27, 2009

Poets Laureate Talk about Their Art (segment begins at 22:51)
Minnesota Public Radio, May 13, 2009

Robert Pinsky on EasySpeaks (1:30:00)
EasySpeaks, June 17, 2008

Robert Pinsky Considers Guantanamo Poetry (04:50)
The World, May 22, 2007

Robert Pinsky (33:30)
The Kojo Nnamdi Show, WAMU, December 29, 2005

Robert Pinsky discusses An Invitation to Poetry (16:22)
The Leonard Lopate Show, September 8, 2004

Robert Pinsky (47:47)
The Connection, NPR, September 7, 2004

Robert Pinsky (09:51)
Weekend Edition Sunday, NPR, September 8, 2002

Robert Pinsky: "Poems to Read" (51:32)
The Diane Rehm Show, WAMU, July 15, 2002

Former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky (11:18)
Fresh Air, NPR, September 21, 2001

Pledge Allegiance Pause (02:49)
February 28, 1998

Magnetic Poetry (59:00)
Talk of the Nation
, NPR, February 11, 1998

America's Wordsworth (09:46)
The Online NewsHour, April 2, 1997

Poetry in Performance (28:57)
What the Word Radio Program, Modern Language Association

Other Audio

"Poetry Podcast: Robert Pinksy Reads Elizabeth Bishop" (23:05)
The New Yorker, April 15, 2015

"Modernism and Memory" (49:48)
Recording from the Key West Literary Seminar, January 2010

"Poetry and Documentary Expression": A Conversation with Robert Pinsky
Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, October 30, 2006

King David (52:34)
Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders, October 23, 2005

Robert Pinsky at John Carroll University
February 19, 2005

Internet Poetry Archive
Robert Pinsky introduces and reads nine poems

Poet Robert Pinsky takes on King David (28:30)

Fooling with Words
Includes reading of "ABC" and interview segment

Robert Pinsky Reading and Interview
This Wired for Books feature includes two interviews and a poetry reading

Robert Pinsky, Reading from The Inferno of Dante: A New Verse Translation

Video (includes television programs, readings, and animated poetry)

FSG Reading Series (26:20)
March 23, 2011

Robert Pinsky moderates a metaphor competition between Stephen Colbert and Sean Penn in a segment for Comedy Central's The Colbert Report.

A Conversation with Robert Pinsky (1:53:50)
MIT World, February 23, 2006

Pinsky Reads Several Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1:55:55)
WGBH Forum Network, June 28, 2003

Poetry Panel with Robert Pinsky, George Plimpton, and Richard Howard (55:45)
The Charlie Rose Show
, April 27, 2000

"Samurai Song"
In this YouTube video, Pinsky walks down the street, enters a building, enters an elevator, and recites "Samurai Song" while it ascends.

Big Think
A series of videos featuring Robert Pinsky reading his poetry, as well as his thoughts on the arts and and other aspects of American culture and society

Robert Pinsky, U.S. Poet Laureate, Visits Ohio University(28:49)
intouch, WOUB TV

Robert Pinsky Reads "ABC"

Online NewsHour Poetry Readings

Reading "9/11"
Reading from "An Explanation of America"
Reading an excerpt from "December Blues"
Reading "Jar of Pens"
Reading a poem about tennis
Reading Emily Dickinson, #249--"Wild Nights - Wild Nights"
Reading Countee Cullen's "Incident"
Reading translated poems by Mahmoud Darwish and Yehuda Amichai
Reading E. E. Cummings' "The Passing of the Year"
Reading Robert Frost's "Mending Wall"
Reading John Hollander's "Sparklers"
Reading Thomas Hardy's "The Darkling Thrush"
Reading a Robert Herrick Christmas carol
Reading Horace's "To Licinius"
Reading Philip Levine's "What Work Is"
Reading Lynne McMahon's "Spring"
Reading Marianne Moore's "What Are Years"
Reading Alan Shapiro's "The Courts at Lawton Street"
Reading Charles Simic's "Empire of Dreams"
Reading Su Tung-p'o's "Children"
Reading Mark Turpin's "The Box"
Reading Rosanna Warren's "Child's Room in Autumn"
Reading William Wordsworth's "Mutability"
Reading W. B. Yeats's "The Lake Isle of Innisfree"
Remembering poet A. R. Ammons
Remembering poet Agha Shahid Ali

Articles, Essays, and Other Prose by Robert Pinsky

*More than 50 articles written by Pinsky for Slate magazine

*More than 20 columns by Pinsky written between March 30, 2009 and April 29, 2009 for Poems Out Loud

"A Provincial Sense of Time"
Writers on America, U.S. Department of State, 2002

Transcript of Stanford University Commencement Address
June 13, 1999

Robert Pinsky Keeps a Weeklong Online Journal at Slate magazine. See entries for:

December 7-11, 1998
December 31 1996-January 3, 1997
August 19-23, 2006

"Robert Pinsky, The Art of Poetry No. 76"
The Paris Review no. 144 (Fall 1997)

Teaching Aids
Critical information on Pinsky from Thomson Gale's Poetry Criticism series.

Favorite Poem Project Teaching Resources
Lesson plans, ideas for school events, and other resources for teachers seeking to incorporate the Favorite Poem Project into the the classroom.

Gulf Music - Reading and Discussion Guide (PDF, 48.6 KB)
A discussion guide to Pinsky's Gulf Music prepared by Nancy Hayes Clune for the Massachusetts Center for the Book.

Modern American Poetry
Includes criticism of three of Pinsky's poems, interviews with Pinsky, the text of one of his essays and his 1999 commencement speech at Stanford University, and related resources for understanding his life and work.

Book Reviews

At the Foundling Hospital (2016)

Los Angeles Times

The Washington Post

Selected Poems (2011)

Jounal Sentinel

The Washington Post

Gulf Music: Poems (2007)

The Boston Globe

The Life of David (2006)

The American Spectator


San Francisco Chronicle

Jersey Rain (2000)

Michigan Quarterly Review

Rain Taxi

The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996 (1997)

Boston Review (second review on Web page)

The Want Bone (1991)



Quickmuse Poetry Compositions
Watch Robert Pinsky match up against a fellow poet and compose a poem live, in 15 minutes, on a theme selected by the site editors. Dates for previous sessions are:

October 4, 2007
October 17, 2006
May 30, 2006

Internet Movie Database Listing
Includes a reference to Pinsky's appearance on The Simpsons

Slate Poetry Archive
Poems selected by Robert Pinsky, Slate's poetry editor

Robert Pinsky in the News

Google News search on Robert Pinsky

Blog entries on Robert Pinsky, via Technorati


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