The Library of Congress announced Thursday the appointment of W.S. Merwin as the 2010-2011 U.S. poet laureate. In a 60-year career, Merwin, 82, has won two Pulitzer Prizes, most recently in 2009 for his collection The Shadow of Sirius, as well as countless other honors. His spare, meticulously crafted poems have often dealt with such subjects as myth, memory, the environment and war. When he first received the Pulitzer in 1971, he used the occasion to speak out against the Vietnam War. The post of U.S. poet laureate is largely ceremonial; it comes with a stipend of $35,000. Merwin told the Washington Post he planned to travel to the Library of Congress for readings and other events a couple of times a year. He is the 17th person to hold the post, established in 1985; his predecessor was Kay Ryan.