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California poet Kay Ryan has been chosen to succeed Charles Simic as the nation's seventeenth poet laureate; she will be officially named to the post on Thursday.
Considered something of an outsider, Ryan, 62 said, "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.
Here are a few of her poems. Ryan was chosen for the honor by Librarian of Congress, James Billington.