Happy National Poetry Month! To celebrate, we pulled together our best stories about poetry with free links to poems from contemporary and classic American poets.
February 18, 2021
Poems by Black poets, including Morgan Parker, Hanif Abdurraqib, Simone White, Terrance Hayes, and more.
February 28, 2020
Scholars once doubted that pre-literate peoples could ever have composed and recited poems as long as the Odyssey. Milman Parry changed that.
November 5, 2020
Beah Richards is best known as an actor, but in 1951 she wrote a sweeping poem that influenced the Civil Rights Movement.
April 22, 2020
There’s a constant attention to the burdens of history in Robert Hayden’s poems. Even amid the beauties of life, the ghosts of the past linger.
April 15, 2020
In the poet’s work, the small and ordinary rise to the level of heroic adventures. If we value human life, then we should value what makes up a life.
March 10, 2019
Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, shocked the establishment by publishing poems and plays under her own name.
July 10, 2018
One day in 1971, the hard-drinking Beat poet Lew Welch walked into the woods of Nevada County and disappeared, possibly angling to be eaten by vultures.
May 4, 2018
The Anthropocene requires a new history to explain how humans transform the planet. The work of poet John Clare is a good place to start.
April 11, 2018
Creature of the court, royalist and fop, dandy and dilettante, John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester, knew how to scandalize with verse.
April 4, 2018
The loss and recovery of a poetic genre shows how the canon of literary history treats women writers the moment they start to gain attention and approval.
July 27, 2018
Summery poems by Mary Oliver, Matthew Zapruder, and other poets, along with seasonal paintings by Claude Monet and other artists.
October 27, 2016
Sylvia Plath was born on October 27, 1932, and became in her short life one of the most influential poets of the era.
February 2, 2018
Poems by African-American poets, including Gwendolyn Brooks, Kwame Dawes, Rita Dove, Langston Hughes, Tyehimba Jess, Kevin Young, and more.
February 24, 2015
Like many of her poems, Emily Dickinson's "The Snow That Never Drifts" presents a riddle for the reader
October 4, 2016
An essay from poet Dorothea Lasky on poetry, ghosts, and the shared imagination.
July 6, 2016
Langston Hughes' poetry was influenced by the drag scene in 1920s Harlem.
March 7, 2018
Ten poems by the accomplished poet and teacher Lucie Brock-Broido.
September 22, 2016
She can pack a room with her prose, but Maggie Nelson's got a poet's ear.
March 30, 2018
The first African American of either gender to publish a book of poetry has remained a controversial figure in the black community.
September 23, 2015
Since she first came to prominence, Taylor Swift's songs have been read autobiographically.
May 31, 2016
Before Walt Whitman was a famous poet, he was a scandalous poet, but before even all that he was in the thick of local and national politics.
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