Damn. Didn't they know I was available?
I think Charles Simic is a terrific choice to follow Donald Hall as the next Poet Laureate, and reveals an unexpected diversity in his selection.
From a New York Times article (may need subscription to view):
Charles Simic, Surrealist With Dark View, Is Named Poet Laureate
Charles Simic, a writer who juxtaposes dark imagery with ironic humor, is to be named the country's 15th poet laureate by the Librarian of Congress today.
Mr. Simic, 69, was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and immigrated to the United States at 16. He started writing poetry in English only a few years after learning the language and has published more than 20 volumes of poetry, as well as essay collections, translations and a memoir.
A retired professor of American literature and creative writing at the University of New Hampshire, he won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1990 and held a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant from 1984 to 1989.
He succeeds Donald Hall, a fellow New Englander, who has been poet laureate for the past year.
The post of poet laureate has existed since 1987, although there were
27 consultants in poetry to the Library of Congress before that.
Laureates receive a $35,000 award and a $5,000 travel allowance.