Kay Ryan is a United States Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winning poet. Her collections of poetry include most recently the 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Best Of It, New and Selected Poems” (Grove Press, 2010); "The Niagara River" (2005); "Say Uncle" (2000); "Elephant Rocks" (1996); and "Flamingo Watching" (1994). Her most recent book of poems, “Erratic Facts”, was published by Grove Press in October 2015.
About her work, J.D. McClatchy has said: “Her poems are compact, exhilarating, strange affairs, like Erik Satie miniatures or Joseph Cornell boxes. She is an anomaly in today’s literary culture: as intense and elliptical as Dickinson, as buoyant and rueful as Frost.”
Ryan’s awards include a MacArthur “Genius” Award; The National Humanities Medal awarded by President Obama in 2012; the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Ingram Merrill Award. In 2017 she was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters and in 2006 was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets in 2006. In 2008, she was appointed the Library of Congress’s sixteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.
Ms. Ryan’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies in collaboration with the poetry colloquium of the department of literature.
Photo credit: Christina Koci Hernandez
Food for Thought: Podcast with Kay Ryan