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I highly suggest you play hooky from work today and scoot over and read this article from the NY Times on the new US Poet Laureate, Kay Ryan, who will be replacing Charles Simic.

The article includes this rather fantastic explanation of how she became a writer:

“I so didn’t want to be a poet,” Ms. Ryan, 62, said in a phone interview from her home in Fairfax, Calif. “I came from sort of a self-contained people who didn’t believe in public exposure, and public investigation of the heart was rather repugnant to me.”

But in the end “I couldn’t resist,” she said. “It was in a strange way taking over my mind. My mind was on its own finding things and rhyming things. I was getting diseased.”

Awesome, yes?

The NYT have also posted a Web Extra of her work.