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Essays & Interviews features more than 400 prose pieces, including essays and interviews. Sign up for the Update to receive monthly e-mail updates, including news about the poets, poems, and features most recently added to

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Popular Topics


Poems for Every Occasion
Find articles about poetry organized by topic, including Poems for Weddings, Love Poems, or Poems about War, among others.


Poetic Schools & Movements
Find articles on an array of movements, including the Beats, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Objectivists, among others.


Poetic Forms & Techniques
Or browse articles about a variety of forms from around the world, including the Ghazal, the Renga, the Sestina, and much more.

Browse by Category

Poetry Debates & Manifestos
Thirty-one younger American poets write about the great debates and manifestos that have shaped our poetry landscape.

Groundbreaking Books
A showcase of masterpieces in American poetry that have influenced—or promise to influence—generations of poets.

On Writing & Craft
Some of poetry's most celebrated practitioners explore the topics essential to the vocation.

Great Poetry Anthologies
Highlighting a host of anthologies, from those celebrating a group or theme to those that span the breadth of contemporary poetry.

Literary Landmarks
An array of historical and cultural sites across the country where poetry was created or inspired.

Poetry & Music
Explorations on the rich crossroads between poetry and music, including essays on musicians and poets as well as auteurs who straddle both worlds.

Poetry & Art
Examinations of ekphrastic poems, collaborative projects, and the fusion between poetry and the visual arts.

Poetry in Film, Radio & TV
Essays on the role of poetry—whether a leading part or a walk-on—in popular films, television shows, and radio broadcasts.

Online Poetry Resources
A full range of resources to satisfy the poet's curiosity, including multimedia archives and continuously expanding exhibits.

Most Popular Essays

Richard Blanco in Conversation
I grew up around very Salt-of-the-Earth people—my mother working in my uncle's grocery store. We were a struggling, working-class family.

Poetry and Ambition by Donald Hall
I see no reason to spend your life writing poems unless your goal is to write great poems.

Committed to Memory by John Hollander
This is a gathering of a hundred-and-some poems chosen specifically for memorization.

Serious Play: Reading Poetry with Children
It is a simple fact that some children are more drawn to words and literature than others.

Bob Dylan: "I'm a poet, and I know it"
The problem many critics have with calling song lyrics poetry is that songs are only fully realized in performance.
Poets in Conversation

Ellen Bryant Voigt and Susan Stewart in conversaton; Photo © Brian Palmer

Browse dozens of interviews with poets, including Billy Collins, Sharon Olds, Michael Palmer, and Evie Shockley.

Essays from Poets on the Line

The following essays are selected from A Broken Thing: Poets on the Line, edited by Emily Rosko and Anton Vander Zee, a collection of 71 essays by poets writing about the poetic line, published by the University of Iowa Press.

Two Lines
by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge
"A line of poetry on a page exists in space, but I think of it as a kind of timing, a measured flow of poetic energy, a dynamic."

Shore Lines
by Camille Dungy
"The best poems deliver what I call the inevitable surprise."

Tiny Étude on the Poetic Line
by Heather McHugh
"The line is where the wish to go forth in words (along one axis of a journey) encounters the need to break off..."

Where It Breaks: Drama, Silence, Speed, and Accrual
by Dana Levin
"We are made silent by awe, shock, doubt, bliss, rage, fear, grief, shame, tristesse."

This Is Just To Say That So Much Depends Upon
by Timothy Liu
"It was Williams who said that a poem is 'a little machine made out of words,' so it seems fitting to take his poem apart to see how it works."

The Line Is the Leaf
by Donald Revell
"Two books above all others have taught me to articulate (almost) exactly what I mean by a line of poetry..."

Some Thoughts on the Integrity of the Single Line in Poetry
by Alberto Ríos
"I am an advocate—or rather, an appreciator—of the long line in poems, though by that I do not at all mean lines with simply more words."

Croon: A Brief on the Line
by Tim Seibles
"If we think of lineation as one of the engines that drives tone, it's easy to make yet another connection between poems and songs."

Favorite Essays

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