Simon Armitage frowns with dignity after being awarded the Commander of the British Empire medal at Buckingham Palace in 2010. Though he began the nomination process for the Oxford post as an underdog, he emerged from the ensuing drama with the professorship. WPA Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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Irish poet and playwright William Bulter Yeats was born on June 13, 1865. Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Corbis

Before William Faulkner became a Nobel Prize-winning novelist, he published some unsuccessful poetry. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Poet Richard Blanco says that appearing at President Obama's second inauguration made him feel as if, for the first time, he "had a place at the American table." Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

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

itoggle caption Gary Kazanjian/AP

Daisy Armstrong began performing poetry when her mother took her to a youth poetry group. Soon, she was winning competitions — but she was also kicked out of school after a slam poetry tour. Daniel Schaefer/Courtesy of hide caption

itoggle caption Daniel Schaefer/Courtesy of

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand (right) with Mexican author and Nobel Prize winner for literature, Ocatavio Paz, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, in 1995. Strand has died of cancer at age 80. Joe Cavareta/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Joe Cavareta/AP

Fourth-grader Isiah Soto digests some history during independent reading time. Emily Hanford/American Public Media hide caption

itoggle caption Emily Hanford/American Public Media

Young poets Monica Mendoza (clockwise from top left), Erica Sheppard McMath, Obasi Davis and Gabriel Cortez have written about how Type 2 diabetes affects their families and communities. Courtesy of The Bigger Picture hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of The Bigger Picture