by Peter Armenti, Digital Reference Specialist
U.S. Poet Laureate, 2007-08
Courtesy of Philip Simic.
On August 2, 2007, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington
announced the appointment of Charles Simic to be the 15th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. On making the appointment, Billington said, "The range of Charles Simic’s imagination is evident in his stunning and unusual imagery. He handles language with the skill of a master craftsman, yet his poems are easily accessible, often meditative and surprising. He has given us a rich body of highly organized poetry with shades of darkness and flashes of ironic humor."
Simic served one term as poet laureate, finishing his duties on May 8, 2008. On his activities as poet laureate, Simic has said:
I did 15-20 readings, at least twenty interviews, and many other appearances during that year related to my being the Poet Laureate. I didn't initiate any projects, since whatever occurred to me didn't seem feasible.... I had an idea for regional anthologies of poetry that would attract lots of readers, because the poet and poems would all come from their neck of woods, but realized no publisher would be interested in such a project since permissions for such anthologies cost a lot and it's unclear how well they would actually sell.
For more on Simic's experience as poet laureate, see "Confessions of a Poet Laureate."
This guide compiles
links to resources on Charles Simic throughout the Library
of Congress Web site, as well as links to external Web sites
that include features on Simic’s life or selections
of his work.
LISTEN: John Ashbery and Charles Simic reading and discussing their poems, November 24, 1975. From the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature.
Library of Congress Web Site
•Biographical Information, Poetry, and Prose
•Press Releases, Articles
•Audio and Video
•Biographical Information, Poetry
•Interviews, Articles, and Conversations
•Audio and Video Recordings
•Online Prose by Simic
•Charles Simic in the News
Library of Congress Web Site | External
Biographical Information, Poetry, and Prose
of Charles Simic from the Poetry & Literature
Profile of Simic in the Wise Guide
Text of Charles Simic's poem "In the Library"
Text of Charles Simic's poem "The Partial Explanation"
Charles Simic's advice on writing poetry
Press Releases, Articles
Official press release announcing Charles Simic's appointment
as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry
August 2, 2007
"‘Meditative, Surprising, Accessible’: Librarian Appoints Charles Simic Poet Laureate"
Library of Congress Information Bulletin, September 2007
Audio and Video
"Simic on the Art of Translation" (52:52)
May 8, 2008
2007 National Book Festival Webcast (52:51)
September 29, 2007
Charles Simic: Book Festival 07 Podcast (29:29)
September 4, 2007
Poet and the Poem (56:00 - scroll down page to access audio; transcript)
Works by Charles Simic in the Library of Congress online
catalog can be found under the following author heading:
Simic, Charles, 1938-
Works about Charles Simic can be found in the Library of
online catalog under
the following subject headings:
Simic, Charles, 1938-
Simic, Charles, 1938- Aesthetics.
Simic, Charles, 1938- Authorship.
Simic, Charles, 1938- Criticism and interpretation.
Simic, Charles, 1938- Interviews.
Simic, Charles, 1938- Musical settings.
Biographical Information, Poetry
Academy of American Poets
A biography of Charles Simic, samples of his poetry and prose,
and links to external resources.
Blue Flower Arts
A biography of Charles Simic, information about his most recent books, and links to high-resolution images.
Griffin Poetry Prize 2005
A biography of Charles Simic, samples of his poetry, and audio and video clips of Simic reading his poetry.
A biography of Charles Simic accompanied by audio recordings of Simic reading several poems.
A biography of Charles Simic, bibliography of his writings, selected bibliography of material about the poet, and links to several poems.
Interviews, Articles, and Conversations
(Download the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view PDF documents.)
"A Q&A with Poet Charles Simic"
Concord Monitor, September 13, 2015
"Charles Simic’s Stones: Three Speculations"
Samizdat Blog, June 14, 2015
"A Pair of Poets Laureate for the Price of One"
The Washington Post, May 1, 2015
"Charles Simic Writes in Bed"
The Boston Globe, February 21, 2015
"Why I Still Write Poetry"
The New York Review of Books blog, May 15, 2012
"The Wolf Interview: Charles Simic"
The Wolf 24, March 2011
"Interview with Poet Charles Simic"
genemyers.com, September 11, 2011
"Serbian Roots, American Spirit: An Interview with Charles Simic"
Balkan Insight, May 25, 2011
"SESSIONS: Charles Simic on Confessions of a Poet Laureate"
nthWORD, April 18, 2011
"Charles Simic: Cheerful Pessimist"
BOMBlog, May 17, 2010
"A Conversation with Charles Simic"
Booth 1, no. 1, May 2009
"Conversation With a Literary Giant"
The Cornell Daily Sun, October 7, 2008
"Charles Simic and Tomaž Šalamun"
BOMB Magazine, September 2008
"Back to Poetry, After a Year Promoting It"
Concord Monitor, July 27, 2008
"1968: Interview With Charles Simic"
AARP The Magazine, March 25, 2008
"An Interview With Charles Simic"
Integral Options Cafe, August 10, 2007
"A Poet Who Deserves His Laurels"
By Jay Parini, Guardian Unlimited: Arts Blog, August 6, 2007
"More Than a Laureate"
By Adam Kirsch, New York Sun, August 6, 2007
Interview with Charles Simic
The Paris Review
Interviewed by Mark Ford, Issue 173, Spring 2005
The Bloomsbury Review (PDF: 84KB)
Interviewed by Ray Gonzalez, v. 22, no. 2, 2002
The Atlantic, January 10, 2001
The Cortland Review
Interviewed by J.M. Spalding, August 1998
Conversation at Memphis State University, River City Writer's Series, March 16, 1993
Interview with Charles Simic
Pogledi, August 1991
Audio and Video Recordings
Charles Simic Reads "Stone" (01:52)
Poetry Everywhere, PBS, March 3, 2011
"A Reading by Charles Simic" (55:24)
Lowell Humanities Series, Boston College, March 12, 2009
Robert Lowell Memorial Lecture: Charles Simic (58:58)
February 19, 2009
Charles Simic: How a Lost Pearl Became a Poem (49:09)
Open Book, Slate V, December 2008
"Charles Simic: From Belgrade to Poet Laureate"
NewsHour Poetry Series, September 26, 2007
Hans Magnus Enzensberger with Charles Simic (33:35)
Lannan Foundation, December 11, 2002
Search results for Charles Simic
"I and You" (31:52)
Cross Cultural Poetics, KAOS-FM, March 2009
Simic Reflects On Poet Laureate Honor (07:02)
Weekend Edition Sunday, NPR, August 5, 2007
UNH Authors' Series: Poet Charles Simic (27:12)
New Hampshire Outlook, April 4, 2006
The Voice at 3:00 a.m. (29:59)
New Hampshire Public Radio, November 2, 2003
Charles Simic (47:50)
The Connection, NPR, May 19, 2003
Charles Simic: Essential American Poets (11:07)
The Poetry Foundation (recorded in Key West, Fl., 2003)
Charles Simic (28:17)
Bookworm, KCRW, September 23, 1999
"Charles Simic Reads Sharon Olds" (23:14)
The New Yorker Poetry Podcast, October 18, 2017
"Conversation with Faculty and Students" (49:51)
UNLV Digital Commons, October 21, 2008
"Charles Simic Reads Selected Poems" (13:52)
The New York Review of Books, October 20, 2008
"Interview: Charles Simic" (25:15)
Writers at Cornell, October 2, 2008
"A Night of Poetry with Charles Simic" (39:45)
The City University of New York Lecture Series, April 30, 2008
2008 Virginia Festival of the Book (1:08:00)
Charles Simic reads with Charles Wright, April 8, 2008
"Charles Simic, Thomas Lynch, Anthony Hopkins"
Bob Edwards Weekend, August 2007
Charles Simic (Direct link; 15:28)
Poetry Foundation podcast, May 1, 2007
"Charles Simic with David Lehman" (1:13:59)
Lannan Readings and Conversations, March 14, 2007
"An Interview with Charles Simic, Poet"
Interviewed by Belinda McKeon. The Irish Times, July 23, 2005
Charles Simic: 2003 (07:32)
Key West Literary Seminar, 2003
The Cortland Review
Charles Simic reads "Leaving an Unknown City" (00:40)
Online Prose by Simic
The New York Review of Books Blog
Blog posts written by Simic from October 2009 to present.
Review of Philip Roth's Indignation
The New York Review of Books, October 9, 2008
"Charles Simic's Insomnia: Presence, Emptiness, and the Secular Divine" (PDF: 88KB)
J. Heath Atchley, Literature and Thelogy, v. 17, no. 1, March 2003
Critical information on Simic from Thomson Gale's Contemporary Literary Criticism series
Orphan of Silence: The Poetry of Charles Simic (PDF: 855KB)
Goran Mijul, doctoral dissertation, Faculty of Letters, University of Fribourg, Switzerland, 2002
"Stone, by Charles Simic"
"White Dawns, Black Noons,Twilit Days: Charles Simic's Poems Before Poetry"
Lysaker, John T. (Northwestern University, 2001)
The Lunatic (2015)
The New York Times
The Life of Images: Selected Prose (2015)
The New York Times
New and Selected Poems: 1962-2012 (2013)
The Boston Globe
Santa Barbara Independent
The Washington Post
Master of Disguises (2010)
The Kenyon Review
The Renegade: Writings on Poetry and a Few Other Things (2009)
New Hampshire Magazine
That Little Something (2008)
Cordite Poetry Review
The New York Times (free subscription may be required)
The Monster Loves his Labyrinth: Notebooks (2008)
My Noiseless Entourage (2005)
One Poet's Notes
The Voice at 3:00 a.m.: Selected Late and New Poems (2003)
Charles Simic in the News
News search on Charles Simic
Blog entries on Charles Simic, via Google Blogs