Robert Pinsky tells VOA about his life as poet laureate

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Robert Pinsky, whose has a new collection of poems coming out soon, talked to the Voice of America about, among other things, his tenure as poet laureate between 1997 and 2000:

Pinsky (Photo: Juliet van Otteren)

He resists the idea that he was an ambassador for poetry as many characterize the Poet Laureate’s role. “I was not an ambassador for poetry,” as if he were a salesman for a brand of soap.

“I hope I wasn’t even an advocate for poetry,” he says. “I hope I was like that ape that has a good tasting piece of fruit in its hand and say to another ape, ‘Mmm. Tastes good.’” And a lot of the time I was not doing it at all, I was asking other people to do it and listening to what they had to say.”

Robert launched the ongoing Favorite Poem Project.  It invites everyday people to introduce a poem that is meaningful to them, and then recite it on video for others.

Handsome fella, too.


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