Kay Ryan

Poet Kay Ryan built her career out of writing simple, clean lines free of flourishes and fanfare. She self-published her first book at the age of 40 before being named U.S. Poet Laureate 25 years later. The Marin resident and Pulitzer Prize winner talks about her new collection, “Erratic Facts,” and where she finds inspiration.

Kay Ryan, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet & MacArthur fellow; former U.S. poet laureate; author most-recently of "Erratic Facts"

  • Bella

    Michael, you can talk about poetry any day as far as I’m concerned.

    • Noelle

      Yes, talking about poetry on Forum is so refreshing, a break from the often depressing news of the day. Those who don’t like to hear about poetry can change the channel and listen to KALW or KPFA.

  • Kenneth Jaffee

    The last time Kay Ryan was on Forum she told me that she does not always know where a poem will end when she starts one and since I have found that the same is true of life. I really love her work.

  • Rhoda Meade

    I was born, raised and educated in Ireland. I loved our Irish poets in particular W.B.Yeats, and Seamus Heany. I won medals at school for receiting poetry however I never tried writing poetry. Any tips on how I might get started? Thank you, Rhoda

  • I didn’t particularly enjoy poetry until an influential high school English teacher introduced the class to William Carlos Williams. It was like BOOM!–this stuff can actually be pretty cool!

    I took a Pre-Renaissance English Lit class at university that introduced me to the faerie world of Edmund Spenser, and I found that I could love non-modern poetry as well.

    A favorite is actually someone whom I grew up with–a friend of the family, Phil Weidman. He writes in a style that reminds me somewhat of Richard Brautigan or Gary Snyder, and appeared regularly in the Wormwood Review–check him out.

  • Michael Krasny PhD is such a remarkable man. I truly enjoyed the comfort level that exist btw Kay Ryan and Michael Krasny PhD. Kay, your poetry flows and paints a three dimensional picture in my mind.. Thank you for bringing the funk (w/ Thelonious Monk)!

  • Japhy Ryder

    Thank you for having Kay Ryan on… Amazing comments from her, you, and the listening audience… More please!

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor