poet laureate

plural poets laureate or poet laureates

Definition of poet laureate

1 : a poet honored for achievement
2a : a poet appointed for life by an English sovereign as a member of the royal household and formerly expected to compose poems for court and national occasions
b : a poet appointed annually by the U.S. Library of Congress as a consultant and typically involved in the promotion of poetry
3 : one regarded by a country or region as its most eminent or representative poet

Examples of poet laureate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Finally, Sherman Phoenix is adding cultural and arts programs led by Dasha Kelly Hamilton, Milwaukee's poet laureate. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Sherman Phoenix small business hub is adding three more tenants in Milwaukee's Sherman Park area," 30 Nov. 2019 Sununu planned to nominate Alexandria Peary, of Londonderry, to be the next poet laureate, at Wednesday’s Executive Council meeting. USA TODAY, "Hershey beer, sassafras sickness, demolition mystery: News from around our 50 states," 3 Oct. 2019 The poet laureate position, maintained through the Library of Congress, comes with a beautiful office in the Jefferson Building and a modest stipend, but no official duties. Ron Charles, Washington Post, "Harjo will be the first Native American to hold the position.," 19 June 2019 Maria Sassi, who was the first poet laureate of West Hartford, will discuss the work of contemporary American poet Rita Dove. Carole Goldberg, courant.com, "Write Stuff: Bush daughters bringing ‘Sisters First’ discussion to Clinton, Quinnipiac professor talks identity politics," 5 Nov. 2019 Sergio is nearing the end of her term as the town’s first poet laureate. Peter Marteka, Courant Community, "Glastonbury Searching For A New Poet Laureate," 4 Apr. 2018 Inada was named the poet laureate of Oregon in 2006. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "The Asian-American Canon Breakers," 30 Dec. 2019 In an interview, the 65-year-old former L.A. poet laureate talked about the continuing relevance of his memoir and the challenge of turning his story into live drama. Patrick J. Kiger, Los Angeles Times, "Q&A: Why Luis J. Rodriguez is reviving ‘Always Running’ as a live show," 23 Aug. 2019 Selected by Rita Dove Image Rita Dove is a Pulitzer Prize winner and former United States poet laureate. Terrance Hayes, New York Times, "Poem: American Sonnet for My Past and Future Assassin," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'poet laureate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of poet laureate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of poet laureate was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

28 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Poet laureate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poet%20laureate. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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poet laureate


English Language Learners Definition of poet laureate

: a poet who is honored by being chosen for an official position by a ruler or government

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