Definition of poet laureate in US English:

poet laureate


  • 1An eminent poet traditionally appointed for life as a member of the British royal household.

    In 1999, Andrew Motion was appointed poet laureate of Great Britain for a term of ten years, the first time in British history that the honor was not granted as a lifetime position. In the US, an unofficial poet laureateship has existed since 1937, although the position was not compensated until 1985, when the honorific title “Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress” was changed to “Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.” The first official American poet laureate was Robert Penn Warren, and since then the post has been filled by such well-known poets as Richard Wilbur, Howard Nemerov, Mark Strand, Robert Hass, and Robert Pinsky. The appointment is for one year only, with the possibility of renewal, and although the official duties are limited to one poetry reading and one public lecture, the poet laureate usually takes it upon himself or herself to promote poetry and to encourage its reading and appreciation

    • ‘As well as the Thatchers, the village was also once home to Sir John Betjeman, the former Poet Laureate and was the birthplace of Thomas Hughes, the author of Tom Brown's School Days.’
    • ‘Andrew Motion, the Poet Laureate, has written a new poem especially for this two-part series.’
    • ‘John Dryden was appointed the first Poet Laureate.’
    • ‘Ted Hughes the Poet Laureate was aware of Grimshaw and his impact on the community.’
    • ‘Oxford educated, lecturer, professor, editor, author, biographer, prize-winner and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Andrew Motion was appointed Poet Laureate in 1999.’
    • ‘On the death of Ted Hughes, Armitage was much fancied as the next Poet Laureate.’
    • ‘The extensive library owned by the late Poet Laureate, Ted Hughes, has been sold to an American university.’
    • ‘Its chairman was Robert Bridges, the Poet Laureate and a founder of the Society for Pure English, and its honorary secretary Arthur Lloyd James, a Welsh phonetician at the School of Oriental and African Studies, U. of London.’
    • ‘Hopefully it will receive more respect than the last addition to the Square, which was the seat carved from a tree trunk and ‘blessed’ by the Poet Laureate, Seamus Heaney.’
    • ‘The West Yorkshire house in which the late Poet Laureate, Ted Hughes, was born is up for sale, almost 75 years on from his birth.’
    • ‘The whole project was supported by John Betjeman, Poet Laureate at the time, who described Denmark Hill Station as ‘a very fine Victorian thing, a monument to South London prosperity’.’
    • ‘Across the country poets, from amateurs to the Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, will be spreading the power of the verse.’
    • ‘Only the long-lived Wordsworth, who was to be appointed Poet Laureate in 1843 in succession to Southey, could still be described as ‘flourishing’.’
    • ‘During the 1920s John Masefield, the future Poet Laureate, published two novels set in the imaginary Latin American republic of Santa Barbara, Sard Harker and ODTAA.’
    • ‘‘The prize, once described by Andrew Motion, the present Poet Laureate, as the one ‘most poets want to win’, is awarded by the Poetry Book Society.’’
    • ‘He gives a little whooping chuckle and his eyes flash behind his trademark thick-framed glasses as he tells the story of how he and Andrew Motion, the national Poet Laureate, dropped into Buck House.’
    • ‘Although William Wordsworth was a popular poet, even appointed Poet Laureate in 1843, in his lifetime his writings on the Lake District far outsold any of his volumes of verse.’
    • ‘He was also considered for the Poet Laureateship in 1999 after the death of Ted Hughes (the Poet Laureate writes for state occasions and is considered as part of the Royal Household).’
    • ‘William Wordsworth was appointed Poet Laureate - the day before his 73rd birthday.’
    • ‘No better time, then, to publish a special photo essay celebrating what was perhaps the most dramatic Ashes series of them all, with words by the Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion.’
    1. 1.1 A poet appointed to, or regarded unofficially as holding, an honorary representative position in a particular country, region, or group.
      ‘the poet laureate of young America’
      • ‘His poems and short stories never won wide acclaim, but his skills were sufficient to win for him the title of poet laureate of South Dakota.’
      • ‘Would you keep reminding me that patience is one of the first qualities of a good poet laureate?’
      • ‘She was appointed poet laureate of Illinois in 1968 and has been perhaps more active than many laureates.’
      • ‘For poet laureate, I would go for the North Carolinian, Carl Sandburg here.’
      • ‘The clover was suggested by Mrs. Ella Higginson, who lived in Bellingham and was the poet laureate of Washington at that time.’
      • ‘‘You do have long thoughts,’ says Glasgow's poet laureate, regarded as one of the most important Scottish poets of his generation.’
      • ‘His proclamation marked a radical departure from earlier forms and secured his position as the poet laureate of American romanticism.’
      • ‘Robert Pinsky, then the poet laureate of the United States, disagreed.’
      • ‘Randall was named poet laureate of Detroit in 1981 by Mayor Coleman A. Young.’
      • ‘I should very likely be offered a job at a prestigious university, or made poet laureate of New Jersey, or urged to run for President.’
      • ‘They call me a ‘baseball essayist,’ or a ‘baseball poet laureate,’ and I hate that.’
      • ‘She says she plans to sit down with members of the literary community to discuss how to use the position of poet laureate to promote poetry in Edmonton.’
      • ‘Edwin Morgan was recently appointed the poet laureate of Scotland.’
      • ‘At least thirty-four American states have a state poet laureate.’
      • ‘As of tomorrow, former poet laureate Robert Pinsky undertakes the duties of the Washington Post Book World Poet's Choice columnist.’
      • ‘Marilyn Nelson, Connecticut's poet laureate, said that she had accepted the White House invitation and had planned to wear a silk scarf with peace signs that she commissioned.’
      • ‘Poet Louise Gluck was just named poet laureate of the US.’
      • ‘Brooks was also the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Endowment for the Arts and was the poet laureate for the State of Illinois.’
      • ‘Sonia Sanchez brought her brand of poetry to Temple and became the unofficial poet laureate of Philadelphia, winning dozens of writing awards.’
      • ‘For her 50 years of contribution to Caribbean culture, she was named Jamaica's national poet and poet laureate in 1986.’


poet laureate

/ˌpōət ˈlôrēət/