Growing up in Belgrade in the 1930s and 1940s, Charles Simic emigrated to Chicago in his late teens, attending college classes at night and working at the Sun-Times during the day. He said he started to write poetry to impress girls. He published his first collection, What the Grass Says, in 1967 and received a Pulitzer Prize for The World Doesn’t End in 1990. He was the 2007–2008 U.S. Poet Laureate.