Kay Ryan, an openly lesbian poet, has been named the new poet laureate. From the Atlantic's archives, one of her poems:


Like a storm
of hornets, the
little white planets
layer and relayer
as they whip around
in their high orbits,
getting more and
more dense before
they crash against
our crust. A maelstrom
of ferocious little
fists and punches,
so hard to believe
once it's past.

(Image by Flickr user Chealion)