Dizzy Gillespie

What Is Jazz Poetry?

The form flourished in the 1950s, as poets and musicians inspired each other to new heights.

British War Poet Edward Thomas

Tragically killed in action during the Battle of Arras in 1917, Thomas was on the verge of a breakthrough.
Richard Wright sits in an armchair with his hand to his chin, 1950s.

The Haiku of Richard Wright

As he lay bedridden with dysentery, the author wrote an astonishing number of haiku. What inspired him?
Six Tuscan Poets by Giorgio Vasari

The Heretical Origins of the Sonnet

The lyrical poetic form’s origins can be traced back earlier than Petrarch.
Reginald Dwayne Betts

Reginald Dwayne Betts

A 2012 essay from the American Poetry Review on poetry and the architecture of anger.
Clockwise: Nicole Sealey, Ishion Hutchinson, Marilyn Nelson, How Nguyen, Cathy Park Hong, WS Merwin

Sonnets by 11 Contemporary Poets

The name of this fourteen-line poetic form comes from the Italian sonetto, meaning "a little sound or song."
Cover for A Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear, c. 1875

There Once Was a Poem Called a Limerick

Whose history, they say, isn't quick. It's all such a muddle, it can leave you befuddled, whether you like the clean or the sick.
Clockwise: Kevin Young, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Alexander, Mary Jo Bang, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Jack Gilbert

10 Contemporary Elegies

In these poems of lament, the speaker expresses grief and sorrow.
From left to right: Langston Hughes, Robert Hayden, Emily Dickinson, and Beah Richards

Celebrating National Poetry Month

Our best stories about poetry and poems offer free links to poems from contemporary and classic American poets.

Poems by 10 Contemporary Black Poets

Poems by Black poets, including Morgan Parker, Hanif Abdurraqib, Simone White, Terrance Hayes, and more.