Poet Laureates From Around the World Who Identify as LGBTQ
A Poet Laureate is an honourary position assigned to an individual poet of high regard in their community. The appointment is generally made by a political body to recognize the poet's talent, popularity, creativity and contribution for their compositions on a wide range of topics relevant to society. Its purpose is to link the field of literature with the political state or community, and the Poet Laureate becomes an ambassador for the craft of poetry. They are appointed with a mandate to compose poems for special events and occasions to the community, and it can often be a posting for life.
Poet Laureates have existed since their first appointments in Italy in the fourteenth century. There is usually no material financial compensation that comes with the appointment, but it is one of prestige and recognition. Poet Laureates tend to enhance the public profile and awareness of poetry itself.
There are a number of high profile LGBTQ Poet Laureates around the world. Perhaps the best known contemporary Poet Laureate is Great Britain's Carol Ann Duffy, though she was preceded by the famous gay poet Alfred Tennyson appointed by Queen Victoria and considered the best individual to hold the title since its creation in 1668. Notable American Poet Laureates include Audre Lorde and John Lawrence Ashbery. The first transgender Poet Laureate is believed to be TC Tolbert of the city of Tucson, Arizona.
We have identified the following notable Poet Laureates who identify as LGBTQ. Simply click on their names to read their fascinating biographies.
- Antler, Milwaukee
- John Lawrence Ashbery, New York State
- Elizabeth Bishop, United States
- Eloise Klein Healy, Los Angeles
- Richard Howard, New York State
- Audre Lorde, New York State
- William Morris Meredith, Jr., Library of Congress
- Jackson Neal, Houston
- Jeff Poniewaz, Milwaukee
- Raquel Salas Rivera, Philadelphia
- TC Tolbert, Tucson