Robert Pinsky visits NPR headquarters in Washington D.C., on Thursday. Ebony Bailey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ebony Bailey/NPR

Natasha Trethewey, 46, is among the youngest U.S. poet laureates and the first to hail from the South since Robert Penn Warren was named by the Library of Congress in 1986. Joel Benjamin/ hide caption

itoggle caption Joel Benjamin/

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

itoggle caption Claire O'Neill/NPR

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

itoggle caption Doriane Raiman/NPR

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

itoggle 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

itoggle 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

itoggle caption Teju Cole