Poet Allen Ginsberg reads his poem "Howl" outside the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., Oct. 19, 1994, before a hearing on the constitutionality of a FCC policy restricting indecent material. Dennis Cook/AP hide caption

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Philip Levine grew up on the outskirts of Detroit and began writing poetry when he was just 13 years old. "It was like I had never enjoyed anything in my life so much," he said. "It was utterly thrilling. I began to live for it." Gary Kazanjian/AP hide caption

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Atria Books

"I became a poet in Pittsburgh," says, poet and University of Pittsburgh professor Terrance Hayes, pictured above at his home. Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation hide caption

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Edward Hirsch has written several books of poetry, including For the Sleepwalkers, Wild Gratitude and Special Orders. Courtesy of Knopf hide caption

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A Poet On Losing His Son: 'Before You Heal, You Have To Mourn'

In Gabriel, Edward Hirsch delivers a 78-page elegy to his son. He says turning his memories into poetry "gave me something to do with my grief."

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Irish poet William Butler Yeats makes a recording for the radio. Scroll down to hear him read his poem "The Lake Isle of Innisfree." Culture Club/Getty Images hide caption

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Charles Wright, a retired professor at the University of Virginia, has been named the nation's next poet laureate. Holly Wright/Farrar, Straus and Giroux hide caption

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detail from cover of The Poetry of Derek Walcott Courtesy of Farrar, Straus, and Giroux hide caption

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