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How to Find Your Next Poetry Fix

How to Find Your Next Poetry Fix

When you've finished a novel and want to read something in a similar vein, there are a lot of tools available. Librarians make read-alike lists, you can find booklists and author lists on LibraryThing, or GoodReads. BookBrowse has a great search option. Really, all you need to do is type the title of the novel you read and liked into the Google bar, along with the term read-alike, and you're likely to find something. 

But how does one go about finding a book of poetry? Say you've read Mary Oliver and enjoyed her. What next? You could look on GoodReads for read-alikes. You'd be lucky with someone famous and popular like Oliver and find a list. Some libraries will have some cool lists, too, like this one on SFPL which gives read-alikes for Kay Ryan. But this won't always be the case with poets.

Today, I thought I'd share how I find the poetry I love. I try to buy as much poetry as I can afford, because hey, if there's one thing this world can always use more of, it's poetry, and it deserves to be supported. Often if you've read a few poems by an author and liked them, it's time to look for a book by same. My number one go to place for browsing poems is Poetry Foundation. They have a beautiful, newly redesigned site and you can search in various ways. I'll often just put a word or two into the search bar at the top and see what happens. Poets.org is also great for the same reasons. 

I really enjoy Poetry International. I've found some poets there that I wouldn't have otherwise found. 

Let's talk Canadian poetry. Canada is home to the Griffin Poetry Prize – the largest prize given for a book of poetry written in English. Peruse their site to find more about shortlisted authors as well as prize winners. The University of Toronto keeps a fairly decent list of Canadian poets. 

I've just now discovered the coolest site called Poet Tips. Yes, this is exactly what the world needs. Serious kudos to the team behind this

A few other favourites. Poetry Daily, The Writer's Almanac are two popular websites. I'm a fan of poetry blogs where you might find unexpected treasures. Eat This Poem is very cool because it combines recipes and poems and has even has a spin-off book. I'm also a huge fan of Anthony Wilson's Lifesaving Poems (which is also a book). Though now on hiatus, I used to really enjoy perusing Words for the Year, and you can still read the posts. I've often found lovely stuff on the Scottish Poetry Library site. 

Obviously, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to poetry on the internet. There are a lot of poets and poetry lovers tweeting poems. (Check out the #todayspoem tag for example). But honestly? The best way to find your next book of poetry? Head to your local bookstore (in my case it will be Audreys Books) and browse the shelves. And let's not forget the library – find the 800s and you'll be a happy person. 

What is your favourite place to discover poets new to you? 

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