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Former Illinois Poet Laureates

Here you will be introduced to the poets who served as our state's previous Laureates: Howard Austin, Carl Sandburg, and Gwendolyn Brooks. You will discover their personal histories and how those events figured in the poetry they created over their lifetimes. You will also learn a bit about the aesthetic qualities of their work and how this work was received by their readers. Perhaps most importantly, you will be able to read samples of their poetry and to enjoy hearing some of these poems read aloud. Doing so, you will come to appreciate how these wonderful poets express as well as embody our state's rich poetic heritage.