In this Sunday, Aug. 9, 2009 file photo, Lou Reed performs at the Lollapalooza music festival, in Chicago. (AP Photo/John Smierciak, File) by Hillel ItalieAP National Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Lou Reed, the punk poet of rock n’ roll who profoundly influenced generations of musicians as leader of the Velvet Underground and remained a vital solo performer for decades after, died Sunday age 71. Reed died in Southampton, N.Y. of an ailment related to his recent liver transplant, according to his literary agent, Andrew Wylie, who added that Reed had been in frail health for months. Reed shared a home in Southampton with his wife and fellow musician, Laurie Anderson, whom he married in 2008. Reed never approached the commercial success of such superstars as the Beatles and Bob Dylan, but no songwriter to emerge after Dylan so radically expanded the territory of rock lyrics. And no band did more than the Velvet Underground to open rock music to the avant-garde — to experimental theater, art, literature and film, to William Burroughs and Kurt Weill, to John Cage and Andy Warhol, Reed’s early patron.
U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey poses outside the president’s office at Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, file) by Zenitha Prince (NNPA)–African-American poet Natasha Trethewey has been reappointed to another term as Poet Laureate of the United States, “the nation’s official lightning rod for the poetic impulse of Americans,” according to the Library of Congress. Trethewey, the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University in Atlanta, is also serving a four-year term as the poet laureate of the state of Mississippi.