Poet Laureate

A poet laureate (plural: poets laureate) is a poet officially appointed by a government, or conferring agency, who is often expected to compose poems for special events and occasions. As for Britain, the term dates back to the appointment of Bernard André by Henry VII of England; but in reality it was a very ancient tradition, dating back to the first days of classical civilization, to associate laurel with proficiency in arts and poetry, or with victory . Indeed, after the classical age, Albertino Mussato and Francesco Petrarca were Italian poets laureate well before than André. In modern times, the title may also be conferred by an organization such as the Poetry Foundation, which has a designated Children's Poet Laureate. Other examples are the Pikes Peak Poet Laureate, which is designated by a "Presenting Partners" group from within the community; the Minnesota Poet Laureate chosen by the League of Minnesota Poets (est. 1934); the Northhampton Poet Laureate chosen by the Northhampton Arts Council, and the Martha's Vineyard Poet Laureate chosen by ten judges representing the Martha's Vineyard Poetry Society.

Today, over a dozen national governments continue the poet laureate tradition.

Read more about Poet Laureate:  Background

Famous quotes containing the word poet:

    The momentary charge at Balaklava, in obedience to a blundering command, proving what a perfect machine the soldier is, has, properly enough, been celebrated by a poet laureate; but the steady, and for the most part successful, charge of this man, for some years, against the legions of Slavery, in obedience to an infinitely higher command, is as much more memorable than that as an intelligent and conscientious man is superior to a machine. Do you think that that will go unsung?
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)