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Thursday, July 17, 2008
Kay Ryan: The Outsider

imageKay Ryan has been named the country’s 16th poet laureate. From the New York Times:

Known for her sly, compact poems that revel in wordplay and internal rhymes, Ms. Ryan has won a carriage full of poetry prizes for her funny and philosophical work, including awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1994, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, worth $100,000.

Still, she has remained something of an outsider.

“I so didn’t want to be a poet,” Ms. Ryan, 62, said in a phone interview from her home in Fairfax, Calif. “I came from sort of a self-contained people who didn’t believe in public exposure, and public investigation of the heart was rather repugnant to me.”

But in the end “I couldn’t resist,” she said. “It was in a strange way taking over my mind. My mind was on its own finding things and rhyming things. I was getting diseased.”

Read the full article. More of her work can be found at the Poetry Foundation.

Kay Ryan will host “Tenth Muse,” an evening of poetry at the Y in February with Sarah Lindsay, Kevin McFadden and Atsuro Riley.

Other big names populate the schedule for the Unterberg Poetry Center Reading Series in this upcoming season. Tickets go on sale July 31.




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