Who to follow for National Poetry Month—and maybe all year long
This is a must-stop online, with its opportunities to be featured, articles on classic and modern poems, and great classroom tips for how to read and write poetry. There’s also the offer of a $1, 000 Poetry for Life Scholarship.
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.
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.
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.
We 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.
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.
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.
While this site deals with the world of literature as a whole, it also shares a wide variety of international poetry. As their stated mission notes, they seek to “open doors for readers of English around the world to the multiplicity of viewpoints, richness of experience, and literary perspective on world events offered by writers in other languages.” You’ll find new voices here that you might not find elsewhere. Explore.
How to Write a Poem uses images like the buzz, the switch, the wave—from the Billy Collins poem “Introduction to Poetry”—to guide writers into new ways of writing poems. Excellent teaching tool. Anthology and prompts included.
“How to Write a Poem is a classroom must-have.”
—Callie Feyen, English Teacher, Maryland