You know where to find it in the bookstore, but where can you find it on the web? Just in case you didn't know this (and where have you been? Under a rock somewhere?) there are loads of resources on the web for reading, publishing, even teaching poetry. There are e-zines galore, associations, graduate programs, small presses, and plenty of individual poets. The web has opened up a world of poetry for everyone. It's everywhere, in many guises and styles. And it's free! (Which is why poets mostly have other jobs; not that I think that's a bad thing.)
And take note all you book artists: these are people you'll want to hook up with to find great material to use in your books. It's not like it's a new idea; the Center for Book Arts sponsors an annual poetry chapbook contest (PDF) to give their letterpress and book arts students material to work with. In the class I took a couple of years ago, we made a broadsheet of a gorgeous poem by Gregory Pardlo that was part of a collection that later won awards. They also have a broadsides reading series. Most of the poets you'll find on the web would be very excited to work with you. Don't be shy.
These are some of the mainstream poetry associations, but they all have links to others, and you can find just about any kind of poetry you like somewhere, just by starting here.
- The Academy of American Poets
- The Poetry Society of America not to be confused with:
- The Poetry Society of the UK. I guess they thought of it first, so we had to distinguish ourselves.
- United Poets on the West Coast and
- Poets West in the Pacific Northwest
- And if you're in New York, there's Poets House, with its vast collection of poetry books and public reading room.
I use the term "schools" very loosely. These aren't MFA programs; they're more like the School of Hard Knocks Poetics, and some amazing people have come out of them. I know the ones in New York best, because well, that's where I live. Feel free to add others in the comments.
- St. Mark's Poetry Project
- Nuyorican Poet's Cafe
- Bowery Poetry Club
- Cowboy Poetry at the Bar-D Ranch
- Gathering of the Tribes
Individual Poets (some of my personal local favorites):
- Christine Hamm has a blog called this is all your fault. She posts poems and her schedule for readings there. If you're in NYC, go look her up at one of them, especially the Poetry Brothel, and don't miss her poems.
- Cheryl B's The B-List, with news about her regular Poetry vs. Comedy gigs at the Bowery Poetry Club and elsewhere, and a fantastic set of links to other poets, writers, writing sites, zines, etc.
- Bob Holman, proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club, poet, and poem pimp extraordinaire.
- Angelo Verga, one of my favorite Bronx poets.
- LivePoets.com has footage from a number of slams and spoken word performances.
- And if you want to know more about other poets, living and dead, and their poems, you can look them up at Poetry.org.
Just for fun (with lots of pop-ups, so be forewarned) the haiku generator. There, that should get you started.