About Poetry

Celebrate poetry every day!

Here at the Poetry Archive we believe that poetry should be celebrated every day.  We recommend a daily diet of poetry for the heart and soul and hope that our visitors will make regular use of our vast archive of poets reading their own work.

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Poetry by Heart competition

Poetry By Heart is a pioneering national competition designed to encourage young people aged 14-18 at school and college in England to learn and to recite poems by heart.

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Listening to poetry

Poetry was an oral art form before it became textual. Homer's work lived through the spoken word long before any markings were made on a page. Hearing a poet reading his or her work remains uniquely illuminating. It helps us to understand the work as well as helping us to enjoy it.

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A guide to the language of Caribbean poetry

This guide by Pauline Christie is an excellent aide for anyone reading Caribbean poetry who wants a little extra insight to the language. Christie clearly explains the grammar and vocabulary of Caribbean Creole with examples from a range of poems. 

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Organise a poetry reading

If you love contemporary poetry, it may occur to you to share this passion with others by organising a poetry reading in your town. Or it may be that you're a literature or arts worker with a remit to stage 'live literature'.

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Hello and welcome to the Poetry Archive. And, to our old friends, a very warm welcome back. What you’re looking at now is a revamped version of the site, and I want to introduce it to you by saying I hope you enjoy what you see and hear as much as we’ve enjoyed providing it.

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How to get the best out of the Poetry Archive

Whether you have heard poets read live or on the radio, or whether you've never heard a poet read, these tips are meant as a starting point to help you find your own way to enjoy what the Archive has to offer.

Tip 1

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Additional Resources





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Glossary term


This can refer to a poet's style and reflect their attitudes and ideologies or it can refer to the speaker or first person narrator in a poem.


A tour of the Archive with Danielle McShine

The Poetry Archive is an invaluable resource for hearing some of my favourite poems, read by their authors, and for...

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