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W.H. Auden

Book Club

The reading of poetry provides pleasures of the highest sort: joy, wisdom, the engagement of ideas, consolations of the heart, insights to the human condition, and above all, a connection to our shared humanity. Reading poetry will make you a better reader. If you write poetry, reading poetry will make you a better poet. As former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky has said: "Poetry connects us with our deep roots, our evolution as an animal that evolved rhythmic language as a means of transmitting vital information across the generations. We need the comfort and stimulation that this vital part of us gets from the ancient art."

The Poetry Book Club aims to enhance the reading of poetry, both the private pleasure of the individual as well as the collective appreciation of a group. The proliferation of book groups in the last decade has inspired to create a meeting place for poetry book groups, with where-to-begin suggestions, ideas for formats, and reading lists by contemporary poets.

We are looking for existing poetry book groups to share their experiences with us, so that we can make their habits and ideas known to a wider audience. If you would like to share suggestions from your poetry reading group, please contact us at

Reading Guides

  • Guide to Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass
  • Guide to Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems
  • Guide to Langston Hughes
  •  Poetry Book Club Materials

  • How to start a poetry book club
  • How to read a poem: A brief introduction
  • Poetry book club success stories
  • Book recommendations: Poets pick their favorites
  •  Other Resources

  • 31 Groundbreaking Books of Poetry
  • New Books of Poetry
  • Poems by Subject
  • 30 Great Anthologies
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  • Poetry Audio Archive
  • Summer Blockbusters

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