Carmen Gimenez Smith visits NPR headquarters in Washington on Monday. Claire O'Neill/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire O'Neill/NPR

Monica Youn visits NPR headquarters in Washington on Friday. Doriane Raiman/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Doriane Raiman/NPR
iStock Photo

Poet-for-hire Zach Houston works at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco. Houston says he is paid about $2 to $20 for each poem. Ralph Wiedemeier/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ralph Wiedemeier/NPR

Marie Howe is the author of three collections of poetry. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.

Brad Fowler/courtesy of the author hide caption

toggle caption Brad Fowler/courtesy of the author

Teju Cole is a Nigerian-American writer, photographer and art historian. He is the author of the 2012 PEN/Hemingway Award-winning Open City. Teju Cole hide caption

toggle caption Teju Cole

Nikky Finney is an award-winning poet and the Provost's Distinguished Service Professor of English at the University of Kentucky. Noah Adams/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Noah Adams/NPR

The Beauty And Difficulty Of Poet Nikky Finney

"Art is about being provocative," says the award-winning poet. "Art is also about beauty and if you leave the latter out, the former doesn't matter."

Listen Loading… 7:13
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Melanie Taube/NPR

Poet Kevin Young visits NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Friday as a NewsPoet guest. Doriane Raiman/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Doriane Raiman/NPR

Poet Adrienne Rich received several notable awards over the course of her career, including a MacArthur Fellowship, the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and the Frost Medal. Stuart Ransom/AP hide caption

toggle caption Stuart Ransom/AP

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor