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tenderness between the two of you

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The laureate has few official duties and poets have used the job to pursue a range of personal projects, from Billy Collins’ “Poetry 180,” which encourages the reading of verse in high school, to Robert Hass’ “Watershed” conference on nature writing.

“I don’t want to overextend myself, but at the same time I would like to use the `bully pulpit,’ as they call it, to bring attention to some of my concerns,” Levine says.

“There’s a great deal of American poetry that’s hardly known and that should be known. As a poet who didn’t get published for a long time, I know what it’s like to not to be read. The other thing I’d like to do is reach out to readers. I would like to bring attention to the kind of people I’ve written about.”