Robert Pinsky

Robert Pinsky is a Massachusetts-based poet.

Selected Works:

Landor's Poetry; Democracy, Culture and the Voice of PoetryThe Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems, 1966-1996


1997–2000 Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress; 1996 Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems, 1966-1996); 1988 Nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism (Poetry and the World)

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Which one or two American books or plays would you yourself recommend to the foreign leaders? Why did you choose these particular works?

Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark

Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man

Three great versions of American provinces and dreams, isolation and community.

Who in your childhood—for example, parent or teacher—encouraged you to read books, and which one or two books do you remember most fondly?

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

The poems of Walter de la Mare

A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson

Which books by writers of the other G8 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom) have been most important to you as a writer?

The Hebrew Bible

The Odyssey

The Inferno of Dante

The poems of Arthur Rimbaud

The poems of Charles Baudelaire

Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

Red Cavalry by Isaac Babel

What is the Power of the Word Exhibit?

Power of the Word: Leaders, Readers and Writers is the first online exhibition of The American Writers Museum. As world leaders gather in the U.S. this spring, The American Writers Museum Foundation is inviting American writers and readers to explore the power of the word and join in a discussion of how American books can help readers in other parts of the world better understand our culture.

Leaders Gallery

An exploration into what some of the world’s most powerful leaders like to read, and how reading has influenced them.

Writers Gallery

American writers comment on their early experiences with reading and name the books they think world leaders should read in order to better understand American culture.

Readers Gallery

An interactive, open forum where readers are invited to join the discussion by answering the question: Which American works of literature do you think leaders from other nations should read in order to gain a better understanding of America?

We would like to thank our exhibit sponsors for their generous support:


What is The American Writers Museum?

The mission of The American Writers Museum Foundation is to establish the first national museum in the United States dedicated to engaging the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, our culture and our daily lives. Learn more at