Poetry

Poetry in all its forms including classic selections from our Literature Department, Haikus, poetry for children, and poetry with special appeal for tweens and teens. Read poets from diverse cultures and in other languages, as well as watch documentaries about poets and fictional films based on their lives or featuring their poetry.

Poetry

Links

  • American Life in Poetry

    Former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser posts a short poem each week. You can also browse the archive.
  • An Incomplete History of Slam: A Biography of an Evolving Poetry Movement

    This website focuses on the development of slam poetry and slam poetry contests from the 1970s to now.
  • Favorite Poem

    The website from former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky dedicated to celebrating, documenting and promoting poetry's role in Americans' lives. Contains many videos of people reading their favorite poems.
  • Poetry 180

    From the Library of Congress, this project aims to post one poem for each day of a typical school year. From their site: “Poems can inspire and make us think about what it means to be a member of the human race. By just spending a few minutes reading a poem each day, new worlds can be revealed.”
  • Poetry Magazine

    Read the latest issue, read and listen to articles and podcasts in the archive.
  • Poets.org

    “Launched in 1996, Poets.org is the award-winning website of the Academy of American Poets. Visitors to Poets.org will find thousands of poems as well as hundreds of poet biographies, essays, interviews, and poetry recordings—with new material being added constantly. Also available are resources such as the National Poetry Map, a national events calendar, and poetry lesson plans for teachers. Poets.org receives a million visitors each month, making it the most popular site about poetry on the web.”
  • Representative Poetry Online

    An incredible set of poetry indexes, including poets, alphabetically by last name or chronologically, poems, by title, first line or last line, a timeline, of poets, poems, and events, a calendar, the year's days, a keyword search of words in the poem, a glossary, of poetic terms and form, a writings on poetry, by great poets and reader, a bibliography and links.

Poetry - Poets on Film by explore

Documentaries about poets and fictional films based on their lives or featuring their poetry.

View the full list

Poetry in Translation (6 items)

Take pleasure in reading poets from other languages and cultures.

Poetry - Novels in Verse (19 items)

Poetry with special appeal for tweens and teens.

Poetry - Haiku (13 items)

A poetry form which transcends its traditional roots.

Poetry - Great Contemporary Poetry (5 items)

Selections from the Literature Department.

Poetry - Children's Poetry for Everyone (7 items)

The young and the young at heart will relish children’s poetry for all ages.

Poetry - New Poetry for Children (16 items)

Enjoy new poetry books for children

Electronic Resources

Upcoming Events


Blog Posts

Philadelphia is Looking for Its Next Youth Poet Laureate

Are you a creative, engaged student who is passionate about writing, reading, performing, and experiencing poetry? Are you equally passionate about working with your peers and other students to do the same? If so, apply to become our…

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Listen to Poetry

As we close out April and National Poetry Month, while many of us are in slow-down mode and many others of us are working extremely hard, let’s give ourselves a moment to pause and breathe and hear something good.  You may…

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Enjoy Poetry from Home with the Free Library!

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month ? With over 100 styles of poetry, it might feel overwhelming to actually write a poem! There are sonnets, haikus, limericks, acrostic, cinquians, couplets, and so much more!…

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Celebrating National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month , and every year I immediately think of my favorite poet, Langston Hughes. Many of his poems have been made into picture books with beautiful illustrations, but what about the man himself? Of course there…

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Picture Book Highlights | Brown: A Deep and Varied Joy

Magnificence sometimes appears in the most commonplace observations. In the poetic celebration of self and nature,  Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration is a series of young brown girls admiring the many different browns…

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Picture Book Highlights | 'Tis the Season... and the Times

Sometimes you come across a small book that holds much more than what you see between the cover. Migrations: Open Hearts, Open Borders   is just such a wonder.  This timely and heartening work, the fruition of an exhibit by…

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A New Poet Laureate for Philadelphia...

The Free Library is excited to announce that Trapeta Mayson has been appointed the 2020-2021 Philadelphia Poet Laureate . A committee of poets, educators, and arts-organization professionals selected Trapeta from a wildly impressive…

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The Remarkable Afterlife of Emily Dickinson

An early letter by Emily Dickinson. Two months ago, I spent an evening in a dimly lit room scrutinizing the handwriting of a long-dead person with a group of mostly strangers. Scraps of 150-year-old paper were passed around for us to…

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#OneBookWednesday | Surfacing the Edge: Reading Contemporary Native Poets

Recently, my One Book, One Philadelphia coworker-in-crime wrote a blog post about poetry events happening at the Free Library this fall, including a public talk with U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo . I readied myself to meet Ms. Harjo…

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Song-Poems Concert Series Returns to Literature Deparment This Fall

The 'Song-Poems' concert series , which debuted in the Spring of 2019, is finishing up this calendar year with three special events. The concert series invites Philadelphia-based musicians to come into the library and utilize…

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Poetry Comes to the Free Library This Fall

One of my favorite poetry presses recently printed out bookmarks that said: "Who needs poetry?" This question was a little tongue in cheek, but I think, in earnest, a valid question. "Need" is a curious word. If we…

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Fall 2019 Author Events: Cultural Connections

During this fall season of Free Library Author Events , we’re seeing a lot of cultural connections between our authors and speakers. Let’s talk about the events taking place two days in a row, both off-site at the same…

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Meet the 2019-2020 Youth Poet Laureate!

I’ll let constellations form and fall off this tongue Mold planets out of clay with clay with these hands, Create a whole universe behind these eyes I’ll spread myself across the sky in thick, bright strokes, and leave a…

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You Can’t Kill a Poet

You Can’t Kill a Poet is a Philadelphia-based reading series for LGBTQ readers which just celebrated its 5th anniversary!  The series is held at different locations throughout the city, including Tattooed Mom , South…

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The Poetry to the People Tour Is Coming to Philadelphia!

At the Free Library of Philadelphia, we know firsthand that access to books and other media can change lives. The Poetry to the People tour is dedicated to increasing such access—so we’re obviously thrilled to be one of the…

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Raquel Salas Rivera Receives Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship

Here's some exciting news to close out National Poetry Month : Philadelphia Poet Laureate Raquel Salas Rivera has been selected by the Academy of American Poets as one of 13 recipients of a new fellowship award ! Rivera, who was…

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Poetry Reading Circle: Celebremos Global Peace!

A Voice for Peace, Concord, and Harmony: XIII International Poetry Festival in Philadelphia will congregate poets from Latin America, Spain, and the United States in an evening of verse and music on May 1. Each poet will read one piece,…

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Book Donation to Recognize and Celebrate Polish Literature

The Free Library was fortunate to recently receive a donation of books by Polish authors that were translated into English, along with books in Polish for both adults and children. The books were donated by the Polish Book Institute , a…

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The Poets of WW1

As long as there has been war, there’s been writing about war, whether in poetry or prose, exploring not only its glory and valor but its brutality and cost. "The Great War" — what we now call World War I—as…

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Podcasts