Born: 1 September 1945
Birthplace: San Jose, California
Best known as: The 16th Poet Laureate consultant to the Library of Congress
Kay Ryan of California became the 16th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2008. Raised in the San Joaquin Valley and Mojave Desert, Ryan spent her professional career teaching English at College of Marin in Kentfield, California and writing poems. Known as a bit of a loner, Ryan writes poems that are famously short, clever and thoughtful, and her collections have earned numerous awards, including a Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and several Pushcart Prizes. Her books include Dragon Acts to Dragon Ends (1983), Strangely Marked Metal (1985), Elephant Rocks (1996) and Say Uncle (2000).
The term of the Poet Laureate runs from October to May… The original title of the position was Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (1937-86); it was changed in 1985 to Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress… The job of Poet Laureate pays $35,000… Ryan will be the 10th woman to hold the position since 1937.
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