Places to begin: Reference Resources

50 American Poets
Ref PS303 .J63 1980
The Cambridge Guide to Women’s Writing in English Ref PR111 C353 1999
Contemporary Literary Criticism Ref PN771 .C59
Contemporary Poets Ref PR603 .C6 1991
A Dictionary of Literary Terms & Literary Theory  Ref PN41 .C83 1991
The Feminist Companion to Literature in English Ref PR111 F45 1990
New Princeton Encyclopedia  Ref PN1021 N39 1993
Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Poetry Ref PR601.09 1994
Poetry by American Women Ref PS151 .R42
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Finding Books

Use the library catalog to search by author, title, subject, or keyword. Use the Library of Congress Subject Headings books (located on shelves near the Reference Desk) for a subject search. Subject heading searching can be more productive than searching by simple keywords. Ask a Librarian for assistance.

Call Numbers to Browse

PN1010 – PN1051 Literature (General) Poetry
PN6095 – PN6110.Z45 Collections of General Literature – Poetry
PR500 – PR611 English Literature – Poetry
PS300 – PS325 American Literature – Poetry
PS580 – PS620 Collections of American Literature –Poetry
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Subject Databases

Electronic Databases

(For a complete listing go to "Articles and Newspapers.")

A collection of over 30 electronic databases.  You can search more than one database at a time.  The following databases contain articles on poetry:

A database that contains over 100 core scholarly journals.  Most of the articles are at least five years or OLDER.  Almost all are full-text.

Project MUSE
Another database that contains over 100 core scholarly journals.  Most of the articles are at least five years or NEWER.  Almost all are full-text.

Biography Resource
A database with biographical information on over 220,000 influential historical figures, including writers, politicians, artists, and philanthropists.  The database also includes links to pertinent websites, articles, and recent news items related to the figure.

A database that contains citations and some full-text documents on a wide variety of literature.  Contains Poem Finder (citations, excerpts, and full-text poems), Story Finder (full-text short stories), and Essay / Speech / Play Finder (all full-text).

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Finding Journal Articles

Journal articles provide information on current developments, research, trends, and hot topics. There are online databases that cover the literature in the discipline. Some of these databases vary when it comes to full-text availability. If articles are identified which are not available online in full-text format, then look up the journal title in the library’s catalog to see whether or not the library subscribes to that journal. If not, articles may be requested through Interlibrary Loan.

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Web Resources

Representative Poetry Online
The works of over 500 core poets, from Medieval to Modern, are reproduced on this website. Browse poets and poems by time period, name or poem title. Maintained by the University of Toronto, there is a separate repository of Canadian Poets.

Renaissance Editions
An online repository of works printed in English between the years 1477-1977. From Behn to Shakespeare, many of the most influential works in the English canon are reproduced in full-text form.

American Verse Project
Hosted by the University of Michigan, this site provides full-text access to American poetry written prior to 1920. Nearly 400 poets are featured.

Academy of American Poets
Contains a wealth of information about American poetry in general. Includes biographical information on hundreds of contemporary and classical poets with selections of poems written by the poet. Also features a database of poetry events and festivals held around the nation every year.

Modern American Poetry
Features biographical information and poetry from a wide range of modern poets. Also includes samples of poetry-related college course syllabi.

The Beat Page
This site offers a wide range of information about the Beat poets. Several Beat poets are featured, including Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.

Tang Poems
The poems presented on this website come from Heng-tang-tui-shi’s anthology of Tang Period (618-907 a.d.) poetry. 300 poems are featured with English translations.

British Women Romantic Poets Project
Poetry written by women in Britain from 1789-1832. Over 40 poets are indexed and over 300 poems are posted.

Romantic Circles
Contains a vast array of authoritative information on the literature and culture of the Romantic era, as well as scholarly journals, bibliographies, and pedagogies.

Poets of any stripe may submit their poetry or poetry-related websites. Most of the poetry featured on this website is amateur and contemporary.

The Poetry Archive
Online collection of contemporary and past poets reading their own work.

The Poetry Archives
General audience site of 3,000 poems by 140 non-copyrighted authors; also includes discussion boards, biographies, and links to critical sources.

Twentieth-Century Poetry in English
Gateway to information on 20th century poets; each page includes a poem, a bibliography, and a wide range of links to other information about each poet.

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For further assistance, ask a Reference Librarian




Updated 17-Feb-2010 SJM