The U.S.’s Poet Laureate (short for Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress) is the official poet of our nation. Their job is to raise awareness and appreciation for poetry. The Poet Laureate is appointed every year by the Librarian of the United States Congress. The role was modeled on the Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, but there are records of the position going back as far as the 1300s in Italy. Our current Poet Laureate is Natasha Trethewey.
The word “laureate” comes from the Latin for “crowned with laurels” (laureatus). The laurel was attributed to the Greek god Apollo, where the leaves would be made into a crown to honor poets.