Michael Castro photo by Philip Deitch

St. Louis’ first-ever poet laureate is the recipient of the 2017 Tradition of Literary Excellence Award.

Michael Castro is a widely published poet and translator. His poetry has appeared in many literary magazines and anthologies, as well as in 11 books and chapbooks. He is also a founder of the literary organization and magazine River Styx, which has been in continuous operation since 1975. He has spread the word of poetry off the page for decades, organizing readings and hosting three literary radio programs. He has read his poems on four continents, including many collaborative performances with musicians. His oral work is recorded on seven albums. With his fellow poet, Gabor G. Gyukics, he has translated modern Hungarian poetry, resulting in five books.

Castro’s latest, We Need to Talk: Selected Poems 1970-2016, is due out in November 2017.

Castro will receive the award on Friday, Oct. 27, at University City’s City Hall. The Tradition of Literary Excellence Award is funded by the Municipal Commission of Arts & Letters of University City and conferred by the Saint Louis Literary Consortium. It recognizes “the work of a living local author whose literary achievement has won national and international acclaim and, in so doing, has contributed to the distinction of the St. Louis area, upholding its tradition as a center of literary excellence.”

The ceremony, which begins at 7 p.m., will also recognize the new St. Louis youth poet laureate and two local literary organizations. For ticket information, visit literarystl.com