Quiz about US Poets Laureate
Quiz about US Poets Laureate

US Poets Laureate Trivia Quiz


Here are ten famous American poets I hope you've read. Have fun!

A multiple-choice quiz by shvdotr. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
shvdotr
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
383,811
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
233
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. The first official U.S. Poet Laureate was the only person to win the Pulitzer Prize for both poetry and fiction in the 20th century. His fiction work was "All the King's Men" (1947). He won the Pulitzer for Poetry in both 1958 and 1979. Who was this literary giant who passed away in 1989? Hint

Robert Penn Warren
Robert Edward Lee
Robert Johnson
Robert Pinsky

2. Although born in California, this Poet Laureate, appointed in 1958, is often thought of as a New England poet. Which four-time Pulitzer Prize winner in Poetry is known for such poems as "Mending Wall", "Birches", and "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening"? Hint

Juan Felipe Herrera
William Carlos Williams
Walt Whitman
Robert Frost

3. This poet was the first African American to be named Poet Laureate since Congress formally established the position in 1968. She served from 1993 to 1995. She received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1987 for "Thomas and Buelah." She was only the second African American to win the prize. Who is this poetess whose notable works also include "Sonata Mulattica" and the play "The Darker Face of the Earth"? Hint

Dolly Parton
Rita Dove
Sylvia Plath
Emily Dickinson

4. This poet laureate is a Serbian-American born in Yugoslavia. He won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for "The World Doesn't End" after being a finalist in 1986 and 1987. Who is this Poet Laureate from 2007-09 whose works also include "Unending Blues," and the 1996 National Book Award for Poetry finalist "Walking the Black Cat"? Hint

Dylan Thomas
e. e. cummings
John Masefield
Charles Simic

5. This Georgia-born poet read his poem "The Strength of Fields" at the inauguration of President Jimmy Carter. Poet Laureate from 1966 to 1968, he may be best known for his 1970 novel "Deliverance." Who was he? Hint

Allen Tate
Theodor Geisel
James Dickey
Tennessee Williams

6. Our next poetess was U.S. Poet Laureate in 1985-6 and the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, for her 1950 work, "Annie Allen." Her lengthy 1968 poem "In the Mecca" was nominated for the National Book Award for poetry. Who was this poet and member of the National Women's Hall of Fame? Hint

Gwendolyn Brooks
Phillis Wheatley
Maya Angelou
Ai

7. This Poet Laureate, who served in 2011-12, was best known for his poems about the working-class Detroit of his childhood. His "The Simple Truth" won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1995. Who was this son of Jewish immigrants who twice won the National Book Award for Poetry (1980 and 1991)? Hint

Langston Hughes
Paul Simon
Philip Levine
Charles Bukowsky

8. Born in Tennessee, this Poet Laureate (2014-2015) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry three times before winning it in 1998 with "Black Zodiac." Finalist works were "The Southern Cross" in 1982, "The Other Side of the River" in 1985, and "Chickamauga" in 1995. Who was he? Hint

Bob Dylan
Charles Wright
Allen Ginsberg
T.S. Eliot

9. "Wild Iris" won Poet Laureate (2003-4) the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1993. Her "Faithful and Virtuous Night" won the 2014 National Book Award for Poetry. Name this daughter of an Hungarian Jewish immigrant. Hint

Joni Mitchell
Louise Glück
Sylvia Plath
Joy Harjo

10. This Poet Laureate, serving in 1947-8, also won two Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry, for "Lord Weary's Castle" in 1947 and in 1974 for "The Dolphin." Who was this poet whose biographer, Paul Mariani, called "the poet-historian of our time," and whose famous New England literary family could trace ancestry back to the Mayflower? Hint

Robert Nesta Marley
Robert Pinsky
Robert Lowell
Robert Montgomery Knight


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The first official U.S. Poet Laureate was the only person to win the Pulitzer Prize for both poetry and fiction in the 20th century. His fiction work was "All the King's Men" (1947). He won the Pulitzer for Poetry in both 1958 and 1979. Who was this literary giant who passed away in 1989?

Answer: Robert Penn Warren

Although the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress had been informally referred to as America's "Poet Laureate" since Joseph Auslander was named to the post in 1937, Warren, who was actually named to the post for the second time in 1986 after having served in 1944-45, was the first to officially hold the position of Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.

He served in 1986 and 1987. The holder of the position is appointed in October of each year and serves until May. Warren was a charter member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers and one of the founders of New Criticism as well as the founder of "The Southern Review" with Cleanth Brooks.
2. Although born in California, this Poet Laureate, appointed in 1958, is often thought of as a New England poet. Which four-time Pulitzer Prize winner in Poetry is known for such poems as "Mending Wall", "Birches", and "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening"?

Answer: Robert Frost

In 1961, just two years before his death, Frost read his poem, "The Gift Outright" at the inauguration of President Kennedy. In 1960 he was awarded the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal. He also received over 40 honorary degrees, including from such universities as Oxford, Cambridge, and Princeton, as well as two from Dartmouth, although he never graduated from college himself.
3. This poet was the first African American to be named Poet Laureate since Congress formally established the position in 1968. She served from 1993 to 1995. She received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1987 for "Thomas and Buelah." She was only the second African American to win the prize. Who is this poetess whose notable works also include "Sonata Mulattica" and the play "The Darker Face of the Earth"?

Answer: Rita Dove

Dove also served as the Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2004 to 2006. She has received 25 honorary doctorates, including from Yale University in 2014. She has also received the 1996 National Humanities Medal from President Clinton, the 2009 Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, and the 2011 National Arts Medal from President Obama.
4. This poet laureate is a Serbian-American born in Yugoslavia. He won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for "The World Doesn't End" after being a finalist in 1986 and 1987. Who is this Poet Laureate from 2007-09 whose works also include "Unending Blues," and the 1996 National Book Award for Poetry finalist "Walking the Black Cat"?

Answer: Charles Simic

Simic also won the 2007 Wallace Stevens Award and the 2011 Frost Medal. The former came from the Academy of American Poets and included a monetary award of $100,000. He has taught at the University of New Hampshire since 1973.
5. This Georgia-born poet read his poem "The Strength of Fields" at the inauguration of President Jimmy Carter. Poet Laureate from 1966 to 1968, he may be best known for his 1970 novel "Deliverance." Who was he?

Answer: James Dickey

Dickey served in the Air Force in both World War II and the Korean War. Following the Korean War he taught at the University of Florida and then worked several years at writing copy for Coca Cola and Lays Potato Chips. About his advertising career he said, "I was selling my soul to the devil all day...and trying to buy it back at night." From 1968 until his death in 1997 he taught at the University of South Carolina.

His 1965 work, "Buckdancer's Choice: Poems" won the National Book Award.
6. Our next poetess was U.S. Poet Laureate in 1985-6 and the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, for her 1950 work, "Annie Allen." Her lengthy 1968 poem "In the Mecca" was nominated for the National Book Award for poetry. Who was this poet and member of the National Women's Hall of Fame?

Answer: Gwendolyn Brooks

Brooks published her first poem, "Eventide," when she was 13 years old, and had published 75 poems by the age of 16. Her work caught the eye of both James Weldon Johnson and Langston Hughes and who both commended her work. She also kept in contact and communication with both poets. She was appointed Poet Laureate for Illinois in 1968 and held the post until her death in 2000.
7. This Poet Laureate, who served in 2011-12, was best known for his poems about the working-class Detroit of his childhood. His "The Simple Truth" won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1995. Who was this son of Jewish immigrants who twice won the National Book Award for Poetry (1980 and 1991)?

Answer: Philip Levine

In 1950 Levine earned an A.B. Degree from Wayne State University in Detroit and went to work for Chevrolet and Cadillac. He continued writing poetry while working for the automotive firms doing what he called "stupid jobs." His other awards include the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from the Modern Poetry Association, the Levinson Prize from Poetry Magazine, and the National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship.
8. Born in Tennessee, this Poet Laureate (2014-2015) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry three times before winning it in 1998 with "Black Zodiac." Finalist works were "The Southern Cross" in 1982, "The Other Side of the River" in 1985, and "Chickamauga" in 1995. Who was he?

Answer: Charles Wright

Wright began writing poetry while stationed in Italy in the U.S. Army for four years in the mid-Fifties. He also later was a Fulbright Scholar at the Sapienza University in Rome and at the University of Padua. In 1982 he shared the National Book Award for Poetry. He is currently an English professor at the University of Virginia, and is a chancellor of The Academy of American Poets.
9. "Wild Iris" won Poet Laureate (2003-4) the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1993. Her "Faithful and Virtuous Night" won the 2014 National Book Award for Poetry. Name this daughter of an Hungarian Jewish immigrant.

Answer: Louise Glück

In 1999 Glück's "Vita Nova" earned her the Bollinger Prize. Awarded by Yale University, this prize was established by American philanthropist Paul Mellon in 1948 and is given in recognition of the best new work of verse in the previous two years. Daniel Glück, Louise's father, was the brother-in-law of Sundel Doniger, a Jewish Polish immigrant, who invented the X-Acto Knife with Glück's assistance.
10. This Poet Laureate, serving in 1947-8, also won two Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry, for "Lord Weary's Castle" in 1947 and in 1974 for "The Dolphin." Who was this poet whose biographer, Paul Mariani, called "the poet-historian of our time," and whose famous New England literary family could trace ancestry back to the Mayflower?

Answer: Robert Lowell

Lowell's 1959 opus "Life Studies" won the National Book Award for Poetry, and is considered Lowell's most influential work. Well-known poets of the Lowell family include Amy Lowell, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry posthumously in 1926, and James Russell Lowell, a member of the 19th Century group known as the Fireside Poets.
Source: Author shvdotr

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