We are all weighed down by our problems, be it the state of the world or a bad haircut. Kay Ryan offers at least a temporary way to get relief from our woes: poetry. The California poet, who wrote under the radar for many years, gained much attention in 2004—and all she had to do was win the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly prize, which comes with a walloping $100,000. Ryan once wrote, “But I ask, is there a sensation more exquisite than the feeling of having the burden of oneself borne off by a poem?” If anyone’s poetry can lift a burden, it’s Ryan’s. Often compared to Emily Dickinson and Marianne Moore, Ryan’s poems are concise and brief, many times with only a few words per line. And although they may appear simple on the surface, her acute observations and clever wit carry more meaning with each reading of a poem. If nothing else, Ryan lifts our burden of reading stodgy poetry. Ryan discusses her work at 7:30 p.m. at the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Elizabethan Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. $12. (202) 544-7077.