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Friday, August 03, 2007

A New Poet Laureate

It was not long ago that another blogger poet Cindy turned me on to a poet that had somehow slipped under my radar in spite of his acclaim. I've previously mentioned this in earlier blog posts. The poet is Charles Simic. Imagine my surprise when reading my e-mail, I learned that Simic has been named to fill the Poet Laureate post this fall replacing Donald Hall who will only serve one term due to his health.

This is somewhat a bittersweet moment in my view as I have especially enjoyed the Hall period. Hall was such a refreshing voice to me following Ted Kooser. Kooser is enjoyable, but in my view lacking in the depth that Hall's work shows. Additionally, while Kooser was and remains a strong advocate for broadening the consumer base of poetry, I believe he has done so at the expense of dividing those in the literary arts themselves.

Simic is an immigrant. He was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in1938. Living as a child under the shadows of Hitler and Stalin. His family came to the U.S. in 1953.

Like Kooser, Simic is not a difficult read. Like Hall, there is clearly more depth to his work. He is no Bly or Ashbery, but he is a brilliant mind and I have enjoyed what work of his I have read. I believe he'll bring a positive voice to the position.


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