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How to Find Poetry You Like to Read

By Danielle Hanson

Last month I wrote an article for The Porch Press about National Poetry Month. In that article I quoted the statistic that nearly 12% of American adults read poetry, the highest in 15 years (according to the NEA). If you’re one of those readers, or if you’re interested in joining them, you probably know that it’s hard to find poetry you like. There’s an amazing volume and diversity of poetry available, but Goodreads and Amazon do a poor job of helping you find new poets based on ones you’ve enjoyed in the past.

Luckily, there are a lot of free sources of poetry you can use to get started. The websites Verse Daily and Poetry Daily anthologize poems published in magazines and books, offering a new poem/poet every day. Similarly, Poem-A-Day from the Academy of American Poets publishes a poem a day on its website. The poetry on each of these sites is varied and the quality is good. Based on which poems you connect with, you can track down books and other published work by the poet with an internet search. The Academy of American Poets website also has a searchable database of poems you can browse with keywords, allowing you to find the perfect poem for an occasion or topic. There are many free online journals you can discover through these sites (look at the acknowledgement of where the poem was first published). If you find some journals you like, you can use them to discover more new writers. If your taste is similar to mine, you can find recommended books of poetry on my website at or ask me for recommendations based on your taste.

Best of luck finding poetry you enjoy. It’s worth it!

The bird eats a building
The bird lands in a puddle,
instantly shattering the reflection of a building,
which she eats in pieces
like a cracker crushed in soup.
She dips her wings into pavement,
throws her head backwards,
gargles the second floor copier before flying away,
leaving the puddle to grow a skyscraper—
like Prometheus developing a new liver each night,
the price for stealing fire.

Reprinted from Ambushing Water, Brick Road Poetry Press

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