A Poem a Day: Literary Vitamins

One way to make sure you read poetry every day is to sign up for poems to be delivered to you electronically. E-mail subscription is common, but some of the following providers offer iPhone apps or RSS feeds. Some of these deliveries take place only during April, but most continue year round:

Poem-a-Day Email from Poets.org: The Academy of American Poets will send you daily poems from their massive archives. You can also browse their archive of daily mailings.

Poetry Daily: This online anthology of poetry features a new poem each day. During the month of April, Monday through Friday, they e-mail works chosen by the poets themselves. Their weekly newsletter, available year round, alerts you to upcoming featured poets, poetry world news, and special event information.

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group’s Poem-a-Day: During April, Knopf e-mails daily poems written by the publisher’s poets to subscribers. In addition to signing up for this year’s mailings, you can review past years’ archives, download poetry broadsides, subscribe to their newsletter, watch features, and more.

Poetry Foundation Poem of the Day: The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry Magazine, offers something different–podcasts of daily poems read by the poets or actors, delivered by RSS feed or e-mail. If you prefer, you can visit the Foundation’s site to listen to poems. You can also subscribe to a variety of newsletters produced by the Foundation.

The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor: In addition to poetry, The Writer’s Almanac newsletter contains prose and literary history, including wonderful information about featured writers. You can also subscribe in iTunes for daily podcasts.

Poetry 180: Although this site by the Library of Congress offers daily poems meant to be read by and to high school students, there’s nothing “juvenile” about the selection. Poet Billy Collins, former U.S. Poet Laureate, chose these poems with high school-age readers in mind, but they represent work from our best writers. You can subscribe by e-mail or RSS feed to receive a poem each weekday of the school year.

In addition, another initiative by a former Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, offers weekly poetry along with a brief introduction to the poem. Sponsored by The Library of Congress, The Poetry Foundation, and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, the columns are intended for newspapers and online publications. However, column archives are available on the American Life in Poetry site, and you can subscribe to receive the weekly column by e-mail.

Those are the most well-known poem-a-day providers, although there are probably plenty more if you look around. Reading, at minimum, a poem a day is like taking literary vitamins to strengthen your writing skills and your appreciation of poetry. Start this healthy habit today!


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