Discovering Poets

National Poetry Month has been celebrated since 1996. One of the goals is to highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets. I always enjoy finding out more about writers and how they became poets.

We have two good resources to help you discover poets: Biography in Context and Literature Resource Center.

Our national Poet Laureate is Juan Felipe Herrera. Using Biography in Context I can find out more about his life, listen to an audio interview, read news about him and find articles both by him and about him. In Literature Resource Center I can find examples of his poems as well as reviews and literary criticism. While poetry can be intensely personal, you can also learn a lot by understanding how others interpret the same poem.

Find out more about poets from all eras and any nationality. In either resource you can do a search for Danish poets and discover new writers, or try Spanish poets or African poets! Perhaps you are interested in poetry about nature. Search nature poetry and see if there are new poets to discover. I found out that in addition to being a novelist, John Updike is also a poet and has a poetry collection called Facing Nature.

If I had any talent for poetry I would end this with a poem extorting you to keep discovering more — but alas I don't — go ahead and explore anyway!