The Unofficially Official List of Top Poetry Sites

When was the last time you saw a list for The Top 10 Poems I Meant to Read and Never Did, The Year’s Worst Poetry Readings, or Five Poems I Wish I’d Written for My Kids? Even when listmania strikes at the end of the year, the odds are enormous that “Best of…” and “Worst of…” won’t feature poetry. It’s time for our own Unofficially Official List of Top Poetry Sites.

How to Read a Poem

This is a must-stop online, with its opportunities to be featured, highlight of one of the best books on poetry you’ll find anywhere, and the offer of a $1,000 Poetry for Life Scholarship.

American Life in Poetry

An initiative of U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, ALPoetry offers weekly a free, downloadable poem with commentary. It also boasts an archive of hundreds of poems that are frequently humorous, sometimes deeply moving, and always speak to place and what is uniquely American in spirit.

From the Fishouse

Emphasizing poetry as oral tradition, this site showcases poets with fewer than two published collections. What matters are not the names on the poems but the poems themselves, presented in their creators’ voices. With more than 500 audio files, the site offers users insights into how emerging poets think about and practice their craft.

Modern American Poetry Site

The serious student or teacher of poetry cannot go wrong with MAPS, which comprises more than 30,000 pages of online biographies, critical essays, syllabi, and images for more than 160 modern poets. For some poets, it’s the only source for scholarly commentary. Detailed analyses of poems and poetry-related ephemera are noteworthy.


Not everyone can “get” a poem by reading it. MotionPoems animates words in ways that uncover meaning through wonderfully creative use of music and graphics.


No site does a better job than PennSound of documenting, preserving, and making easily accessible historic and contemporary sound recordings you’ll find nowhere else.

Poets & Writers

I like how poets are singled out among the larger group of writers here. The trove of resources includes unparalleled databases of literary magazines, presses, agents, contests, writers’ tools, and readings and workshops. The “My P&W” community is active and supportive.

Poetry Foundation

Cheeky Harriet, the foundation’s blog, makes clear that poetry doesn’t equate to the stiff and stuffy. Notable site features include a Learning Lab, children’s poetry, podcasts, video, and selections from the estimable Poetry magazine. Poems are searchable by school/period, regions, and century and can be accessed using the latest technology.

Poetry International Web

Start in Afghanistan and end in Zimbabwe, but let PIW take you on your global poetry tour. You won’t need a passport to cross borders and listen to the many voices you’ll hear only in this international community. In addition to informative articles, audio/video recordings, and interviews, PIW offers thousands of poems in their original language and English translations.

Tweetspeak Poetry

An engaging magazine-style site with poetry reviews and essays on craft, accompanied by beautiful photography; an e-daily with unique monthly themes and art, Every Day Poems, that celebrates words’ power to move us, surprise us, or make us laugh; the award-winning T. S. Poetry Press; a newly launched store; and a supportive community that was among the first to use Twitter to write collaborative poetry.

Photo by Claire Burge. Used with permission. Post by Maureen Doallas, author of Neruda’s Memoirs: Poems.


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  1. says

    You’re very welcome, Megan. There are many more sites, some of which are in the sidebar of my blog. I think, however, that most people can’t argue with my choices here.

    I probably should note that Kooser is a former U.S. Poet Laureate, who served from 2004 to 2006. Our current PL is Philip Levine. I like Kooser’s down-to-earth perspective on poetry. He features some wonderful poems. Kooser’s own site, btw, is worth a visit (

  2. says

    Thanks very much, Maureen. I only knew about two of these, so I’ll enjoy exploring more (starting with American Life in Poetry, since Kooser’s Home Repair Manual is one I keep going back to).

    One of my favorite features at is their “For Educators” section. So helpful for a home educator.

  3. says

    Maureen, excellent post and thanks for the links.

    I wanted to invite you to take a look at a collaborative poetry app I just made. It’s called Poe-uh-three,

    Why three? Initially I imagined users will write collaborative haikus; one line each.

  4. says

    I wanted to invite you to look at my website is a communitiy for poets who like to share and write micropoetry.

    Micropoetry is a collective term for a variety of different forms of short poetry. As a poetic artform, it doesn’t really have any rules. Although it does consists of certain forms of short poetry with fixed rules such as haiku, tanka, senryu and gogyohka.



  5. says

    From, Ashby McGowan
    Well done with the website!

    CV2. A project I am involved with is multi-voice theatrical poetry. I have helped set up a multi-voice group in Glasgow, Chromatic Voices 2. There is an article about my multi-voice writing in the poetry mag, Infinity’s Kitchen. And there are various articles on the web by me about multi-voice. Just Google, “multi-voice poetry”. (e.g. )
    My multi-voice work has been featured on National Radio and performed at the Scottish Parliament. I have written for Amnesty, and for the United Nations (who said my poem was “beautiful”). I have performed as part of a multi-voice group at many Human Rights events and at many different Theatres.
    Multi-voice is a new and exciting poetry form which allows the performers to emphasise emotions and actions in the poem by means of precise vocal interactions. It can even be used to perform a poem in one language and provide the translation at the same time. It is not a gimmick.
    I am (honestly) trying to start up multi-voice groups around the World. Please contact me if you are interested. And please look at the film links.
    Ashby McGowan

    A recently filmed poem about Humanity, Equality, and Dignity.

    Chromatic Voices 2 Live at Seeds of Thought
    (performing, Poems Against War.)

    link to part 2

    I have a multi-voice website. Web address is:
    And a human rights poetry website at:

  6. says

    There are over 1000 poems on my site. I do not charge to enter these poems on my site.
    No “x bucks a month” to view the poems, comment on them, or just enjoy them.
    Not even if you read some of mine on there.Stop by and have a look. NO I won’t put your stuff in a boo on a C D and sell copies of it. Have made one red cent off these poems in over 25 years of showing them on the net. Marv from MN


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