Test Your Knowledge of Poet Laureates

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By jwblackwell

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9 Questions

Who were the first poets to be crowned poets laureate after the classical age?

When was the royal office of Poet Laureate in England established?

Which organization can also confer the position of Poet Laureate?

How many national governments continue the poet laureate tradition?

Who is the current Poet Laureate of the United States?

Who was the first National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States?

Which American states do not currently have a state Poet Laureate position?

Who was the first Poet Laureate of Minnesota?

Who is the current Poet Laureate of Wyoming?

Summary

Poet Laureate Summary

  • A poet laureate is a poet officially appointed by a government or conferring institution.

  • The first poets to be crowned poets laureate after the classical age were Albertino Mussato of Padua and Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) of Arezzo in 1315 and 1342, respectively.

  • The royal office of Poet Laureate in England dates from the appointment of John Dryden in 1668.

  • The position of Poet Laureate may also be conferred by organizations such as the Poetry Foundation.

  • The position of Poet Laureate is popular with regional and community groups.

  • There are over a dozen national governments that continue the poet laureate tradition.

  • The laurel was used to form a crown or wreath of honour for poets and heroes in ancient Greece.

  • The term "laureate" has come to signify recognition for preeminence or superlative achievement.

  • The Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate is appointed as an officer of the Library of Parliament.

  • New Zealand has had an official poet laureate since 1998.

  • England's Poet Laureate is attached to the royal household and became a regular institution after John Dryden's appointment in 1668.

  • Other, non-official, laureate titles include the Children's Laureate and the Poetry Foundation's Young People's Poet Laureate.Poet Laureates in the United States

  • The United States Library of Congress appoints a Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, now called Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, with a stipend of $35,000, to oversee poetry readings and lectures and promote poetry.

  • Ada Limón is the current Poet Laureate of the United States. Previous Poet Laureates include Joy Harjo, Tracy K. Smith, Juan Felipe Herrera, and Billy Collins.

  • Amanda Gorman was the first National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States, appointed in 2017.

  • Some American states and cities have also created a position of Poet Laureate. States include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, and Oklahoma.

  • Massachusetts and Pennsylvania do not currently have a state Poet Laureate position.

  • The Poet Laureate of the District of Columbia was created in 1984 but has only had two appointees since then.

  • Poets Laureate in the United States may serve for life or for a set term, depending on the state or city. Some positions come with a stipend, while others are unpaid.

  • Each state has its own process for selecting a Poet Laureate, usually involving the governor or a state arts council.

  • Poets Laureate may be nationally or locally prominent, and some also hold positions as professors or writers in residence.

  • Robert Bly was the first Poet Laureate of Minnesota, and Joyce Sutphen succeeded him. Gwen Westerman is the current Poet Laureate of Minnesota.

  • Virginia's Poet Laureate position is currently vacant, and Wisconsin does not have a Poet Laureate position.

  • Poets Laureate may be asked to write poems for special events or occasions, but this is not a requirement of the position.Poet Laureates by State: A Comprehensive List

  • Oklahoma's current poet laureate is Jay Snider

  • The first poet laureate of Oregon was Edwin Markham in 1923; Anis Mojgani is the current poet laureate.

  • Samuel John Hazo was Pennsylvania's first and only poet laureate from 1993 to 2003.

  • Florence Van Leer Earle Coates was elected poet laureate of Pennsylvania by the state Federation of Women's Clubs in 1915.

  • Michael Steven Harper served as Rhode Island's first poet laureate from 1988 to 1993.

  • Archibald Rutledge was the first poet laureate of South Carolina, serving from 1934 to 1973.

  • Charles "Badger" Clark was the first poet laureate of South Dakota appointed in 1937.

  • Margaret Britton Vaughn is the current Poet Laureate of Tennessee, serving her lifetime appointment since 1999.

  • The state of Texas established a Poet Laureate in 1932.

  • Utah has appointed a Poet Laureate since 1997, with Lisa Bickmore appointed in April 2022.

  • Robert Frost was the first poet laureate of Vermont, serving from 1961 to 1963.

  • The Commonwealth of Virginia has appointed a Poet Laureate since December 18, 1936; the current Poet Laureate is Luisa A. Igloria.

  • The State of Washington has officially appointed a Poet Laureate since 2007; Rena Priest is the current Poet Laureate, serving until 2023.

  • Armin Tolentino is the current Clark County Poet Laureate, serving 2021-2024.

  • Karl Myers served as the first poet laureate of West Virginia from 1927 to 1937.

  • Dasha Kelly Hamilton is the current Poet Laureate of Wisconsin, serving 2021–2022.

  • Eugene Gagliano has been the Poet Laureate of Wyoming since July 2016.

Description

How much do you know about Poet Laureates? Test your knowledge with this quiz that covers the history and current status of Poet Laureate positions around the world, including the United States. Discover interesting facts about the laureate tradition and learn about notable past and present Poet Laureates. From state appointments to national titles, this quiz has it all. Challenge yourself and see how much you know about this esteemed position in the world of poetry!

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