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.
Leaves stacked against a black background

Eight Poems of Gratitude

Let us pause now and give thanks.
Photograph: Beah Richards in a still from the film, "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner."

The Poem That Inspired Radical Black Women to Organize

Beah Richards is best known as an actor, but in 1951 she wrote a sweeping poem that influenced the Civil Rights Movement.
Electric Fan

The Linguistic Case for Sh*t Hitting the Fan

Idioms have a special power to draw people together in a way that plain speech doesn't.