speaking of poetry libraries

December 17, 2018

The Poetry Foundation Library in Chicago is the Midwest’s only library dedicated to poetry. Visitors to the library may browse a collection of 30,000 volumes, experience audio and video recordings in private listening booths, and view exhibits of poetry-related materials. The library is open weekdays 11:00am–4:00pm (check website for holiday closures).

next time you’re in London

December 15, 2018

It has been a few years since we mentioned the National Poetry Library in London. Founded in 1953, the library moved its expanded collection to the Royal Festival Hall at Southbank Centre in 1988, with Seamus Heaney presiding over the grand opening.

The library posts daily poems, has a free online poem collection and catalogue, assists with “lost quote” requests, has a collection of over 2,000 audio recordings, about 2,000 postcards and poem cards, some 1,500 posters, year-round events and exhibitions, and an online listing of poetry competitions.

The National Poetry Library is the largest public collection of modern poetry in the world, is open six days a week, and is free to visit.

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photo by Gapfall

a place for poetry

November 10, 2015

Scottish Poetry Library

When the Scottish Poetry Library opened in 1984, in the packing room of an Edinburgh poetry publishing company, its collection was made up of 300 donated books. Thirty-plus years later, in continuous operation and after a £500,000 renovation, the Library has 45,000 volumes — an international collection in English, Scots and Gaelic, as well as works in translation, that is available for reference and borrowing.

The Library also maintains collections of periodicals, pamphlets (chapbooks), newspaper/magazine cuttings about poetry, audio/visual materials, large print and Braille editions, children’s poetry and a number of special collections, including “a growing resource of concrete and visual poetry.” In addition, the Library has events, exhibits, a shop, classes and even a large collection of downloadable/printable poetry posters.

What’s more, if you need a poem for a special event or you’re trying to recall the title or words or author of a poem that just escapes you, the SPL’s librarians will happily assist.

This is a remarkable resource, not just for Scotland, but for the advancement and appreciation of poetry worldwide. Learn more about the Scottish Poetry Library.