Poet Robert Pinsky

Listen / Download

In 1997, When Robert Pinsky was appointed the thirty-ninth poet laureate of the United States, his aim was to get more Americans without English degrees reading Longfellow, Dickens, Rita Dove, and Langston Hughes.

And so he did. His stint as the public face of American poetry ended last month. Throughout his term, he’s tried to get people to stop thinking about poetry as a scholarly pursuit, and start enjoying it. The measure of his success is not having created more poetry readings featuring prominent writers, it’s that regular people are in the audience.

He has been arguably the most visible and mainstream of poet laureates – on-line, on network televsion, on PBS. With his democratic attitude he created “The Favorite Poem Project” and invited all of us to think about the stanzas we cherish most. His dearest hope, he says on his way back to life as a regular poet, is that this particular effort changes the way poetry is taught in school.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Robert Pinsky, poet, Professor at Boston University, and author of Jersey Rain.