Was I running a blog? Has it been a year? Let’s just say LONG story and leave it at that shall we? Meanwhile, what you really want follows here:
On the eve of National Poetry Month, I thought I’d compile some useful resources. I’m a longtime member of both the AAP, AWP, and the PSA–which are amazing organizations. And I was thrilled to see the new incarnation of the Internet Poetry Archive while spelunking the web tonight. Plus Bill & Ted’s Excellent Poetry Adventures (couldn’t resist the reference–Billy Collins and Ted Kooser), along with Pinsky’s Fave Poem Project, are extremely all-ages friendly and aimed at a wide audience. Two of my favorite sites–and my homepages at various points (bumped out by the NYT)–are Poetry Daily and Verse Daily.
It should probably be noted–most of what I’m handing you is contemporary American poetry. In many cases, work written in the last decade. Not to say that there isn’t value in the canon of work worldwide that has preceded this present bounty–but most people know about Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson. However, if you’re one of the, say, 98% of the American public that’s never read a contemporary poem, here’s a chance to change that.
And, BTW, Jack Prelutsky is now the official U. S. Children’s Poet Laureate. Other children’s poets of note include Eve Merriam, Shel Silverstein, Bruce Lansky (See Giggle Poetry below), David McCord, Karla Kuskin, and Judith Viorst (who also does adult work). My favorite books of children’s poems are Viorst’s “If I Were in Charge of the World” and an anthology called “Reflections on the Gift of the Watermelon Pickle.” Prelutsky’s newer work is also top notch. Well-known poets Gwendolyn Brooks and T.S. Eliot have also produced volumes for children (Eliot’s Book of Practical Cats is where the musical came from).
So, the somewhat haphazard list:
Billy Collin’s Poetry 180 site (also follow the links to the Library of Congress poetry resources)
Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry page (syndicated newspaper column using one accessible contemporary poem with Kooser’s brief analysis of it)
America’s Favorite Poem Project
Internet Poetry Archive
Academy of American Poets (AAP or just “the Academy”)
Poetry Society of America (PSA)
Poets & Writers (the industry–the po-biz–magazine)
AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs)
Council of Literary Magazines and Presses
Voice of the Shuttle (a scholarly clearinghouse including lots of real academic articles on poetry)
PSI (Poetry Slam Incorporated–these are the Chicago folks who started it and still do it better than anybody else)
Poetry Magazine and The Poetry Foundation (more Chicago folks–and the only money in the po-biz)
CAPA (Contemporary American Poetry Archive–electronic versions of out-of-print contemporary poetry books)
Scholastic’s Writing With Writers Poetry Section
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