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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"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

itoggle caption Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

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

itoggle caption Courtesy of Knopf

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

itoggle caption Holly Wright/Farrar, Straus and Giroux