"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

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

itoggle caption Culture Club/Getty Images

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

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

itoggle caption Courtesy of Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Amiri Baraka, shown here in 1972, was a renowned poet whose politics strongly shaped his work. Julian C. Wilson/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Julian C. Wilson/AP