Kay Ryan

(September 21, 1945 / San Jose, California)

Kay Ryan
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an American poet and educator. She has published seven volumes of poetry and an anthology of selected and new poems. Ryan was the sixteenth United States Poet Laureate, from 2008 to 2010.


Ryan was born in San Jose, California, and was raised in several areas of the San Joaquin Valley and the Mojave Desert. After attending Antelope Valley College, she received bachelor's and master's degrees in English from University of California, Los Angeles. Since 1971, she has lived in Marin County, California, and has taught English part-time at the College of Marin in Kentfield. Carol Adair, who was also an instructor at the College of Marin, was Ryan's partner from 1978... more »

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Best Poem of Kay Ryan


Patience is wider
than one once envisioned,
with ribbons of rivers
and distant ranges
and tasks undertaken
and finished with modest
relish by natives
in their native dress.
Who would have
guessed it possible
that waiting is
sustainable— a place
with its own harvests.
Or that in time's
fullness the diamonds
of patience couldn't be
distinguished from
the genuine in
brilliance or hardness.

Read the full of Patience

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