Help

Is there a question you?d like to ask us? If so, someone may have asked it already. Look on this page for some questions and answers about the Poetry Archive.

Help Topics

1. I've tried to listen to a poem, but I can't hear it. What should I do?
If you can't hear the recordings, it's probably because you don't have the right software on your computer. You should get a parent, teacher or other adult to help you with this problem.

2. How do poets get onto the Archive?
Poets are invited by a group of people called a Selection Panel, led by the Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion. They choose which poets to invite. Then they write to them and ask them to come to the studio and make a recording.

3. Who chooses which poems are recorded?
Poets themselves choose the poems they record for the Archive. Each poet is invited to record a reading lasting about an hour. Between seven and ten minutes of each recording can be heard here, free of charge. The full-length recordings have been put onto CDs and are for sale in the Poetry Bookshop Online.

4. I write poetry too. Where can I send it?
There are websites which publish poetry by children and young people. Some of the best ones are listed here by the Poetry Society.

5. Who runs the Poetry Archive?
The Archive is run by its two Directors: Andrew Motion (Poet Laureate) and Richard Carrington (recording producer). To read more about the Archive, click the link to About Us.

6. Can I copy poems from the Archive onto my own computer?
Copying from the Archive website is not allowed, because of copyright agreements with poets and publishers.

7. I'm looking for a poem to mark a special occasion. Can you help me?
Some poems can help you celebrate a happy event like a wedding or the birth of a baby. Others can be comforting in sad times. You can search for poems by theme, including love, family and death.

8. There's a poem I'd like to hear, but I can't remember the title or the poet's name. Can you help?
We can't guarantee that the poem you're looking for is in the Archive, but it might be. What is the poem about? Go to the Themes page and try searching by clicking on a theme you think fits the poem.

9. I wish a poet would come to our school. How can I make it happen?
Some of the poets in the Archive make visits to schools, to read their poems, answer questions and help children write their own poems. The first thing you should do is talk to your teacher.