Since 1937, the responsibility of the US Poet Laureate has been to raise America’s appreciation of poetry by giving a series of poetry readings and lectures at libraries and other public venues. In this class, we look at some of the women and men who have been honored to fill this position, starting with Joy Harjo, currently holding a very rare third term and a former student and teacher at UNM. We also sample the poetry of several other honorees, including Billy Collins, Kay Ryan, Donald Hall, and Louise Gluck.

Norma Libman has been teaching courses in Literature and History for OASIS for more than 20 years. She has degrees in Education and Literature and is a lecturer and a journalist with more than 500 published articles in newspapers nationwide. She is the author of two award-winning books, Lonely River Village, a novel about Nu Shu, a secret women’s language, and a memoir, The Story of the Story.