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Books & Authors

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month! Celebrate by reading poetry—or writing your own—with the help of the items below. You can find even more poetry resources with our poetry database, Columbia Granger's World of Poetry*.

Reading Poetry

 The 20th Century in Poetry
This groundbreaking anthology presents over 400 poems written during the 20th century. The authors give an overview of each period of history, while notes to the poems place each one in its historical context and trace the century's poetic development. Concise biographies for each poet complete the anthology. 

 Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond
This book celebrates the artistic and cultural forces flourishing today in the East, bringing together an unprecedented selection of works by South Asian, East Asian, Middle Eastern and Central Asian poets as well as poets living in the Diaspora. 

 Modernist Women Poets: An Anthology
The 20th century was a time of great change, particularly in the arts, but seldom explored were the female poets of that time. With an introduction and detailed annotation throughout to guide the reader, this wonderful collection of poems will bring together the great female writers of the modernist period and deconstruct the language and writing that surfaced during that period.

 Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry
This is not just another poetry anthology. It is a gathering of poems that demonstrate what happens when writers in a marginalized community collectively turn from dedicating their writing to political, social and economic struggles, and instead devote themselves to the art of their poems and to the ideas they embody. 

 Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology
This revised and expanded edition features 114 poets, 557 poems and 15 poetics essays, addressing important recent movements such as Newlipo, conceptual poetry and Flarf. Bringing together foundational postmodern poets and new voices, "Postmodern American Poetry" is the essential collection for a new generation of readers.

 Looking Out, Looking In: Anthology of Latino Poetry
A comprehensive anthology that focuses on poetry from the four largest Latino groups in the United States: Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans, Puerto Ricans and Dominican Americans. Includes works from more than 80 Latino poets writing from the mid-twientieth century to the present, dealing with a variety of issues from those specific to the Hispanic experience to more universal concerns.

Writing Poetry

 A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver
With passion, wit and good common sense, the celebrated poet Mary Oliver tells of the basic ways a poem is built: meter and rhyme, form and diction, sound and sense. Drawing on poems from Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop and others, Oliver imparts an extraordinary amount of information in a remarkably short space.


 The Shape of Poetry: A Practical Guide to Writing Poetry by Peter Meinke
Focusing on the foundations of poetry, this reference teaches aspiring poets the mechanics of writing verse. Offering advice on the abstract poetic notions — what makes good poetry, the meaning and inspirations of poetry — and the concrete — how to start a poem, how to craft its shape, and how to use various poetic forms — this concise and insightful book provides inspiring and practical instruction.

 The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within by Stephen Fry
Many of us have never been taught to read or write poetry and think of it as a mysterious and intimidating form. Fry sets out to correct this problem by giving aspiring poets the tools and confidence they need to write poetry for pleasure. Fry is a wonderfully engaging teacher and writer of poetry himself, and he explains the various elements of poetry in simple terms, without condescension.

 The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets by Ted Kooser
In theses pages are tools and insights, the instructions (and warnings against instructions) that poets can use to hone their craft into art. Using examples from his own rich literary oeuvre and from the work of a number of successful contemporary poets, the author schools us in the critical relationship between poet and reader that is fundamental to poetry's ultimate purpose: to reach other people and touch their hearts. 

 Singing School: Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry by Studying with the Masters by Robert Pinsky
Quick, joyful and playfully astringent, with surprising comparisons and examples, this collection takes an unconventional approach to the art of poetry. Instead of rules, theories or recipes, Pinsky emphasizes ways to learn from great work: studying magnificent, monumentally enduring poems and how they are made. 

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