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POETRY-FRIENDLY BOOKSTORES


Bethany Beach Books
99 Garfield Parkway
Bethany Beach, DE
(302) 539-2522

Browseabout Books
133 Rehoboth Ave
Rehoboth Beach, DE
(302) 226-2665

Hockessin Book Shelf
7175 Lancaster Pike
Hockessin, DE
(302) 235-7665

Ninth Street Book Shop
104 West 9th Street
Wilmington, DE
(302) 652-3315

Delaware Add to Notebook

Delaware is strangely divided. Northern Delaware is urban, mostly banking and chemical companies, while Southern Delaware is more rural, and the gorgeous, though crowded, beaches make it also a resort area. I am particularly influenced by the beaches and by the lovely little piece of untouched woods behind our house, and by White Clay Creek Park (4,000 acres) across the road from us.
Fleda Brown
Poet Laureate

JoAnn Balingit
JoAnn Balingit is Delaware's 16th Poet Laureate, appointed by Governor Ruth Ann Minner in May 2008. A resident of Delaware since 1990, JoAnn was a recipient of a Delaware Division of the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship in 1995 and was nominated for a 2004 Pushcart Prize for her poem "Your Heart and How it Works."


More information on this state's laureateship
Featured Poets

Cyrus Cassells
Born in 1957 in Dover, Delaware, Cyrus Cassells is the author of Soul Make a Path Through Shouting, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.
Other Delaware Poets
Julianna Baggott
May Swenson
Gibbons Ruark
Readings Series, Conferences, & Literary Festivals

Festival of Words
An annual, day-long spring festival for secondary school teachers and students that includes keynote addresses by well-known poets and authors (X. J. Kennedy, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Marilyn Nelson, and others), sessions on fiction for adolescents, on censorship, on poetry and on teaching poetry, as well as workshops for students. Attendance is about 300.

Rehoboth Arts League Writers' Group
The group meets every Wednesday from 10:30 to 12:30. The group sponsors Writer's Day each March, an all-day event that is free and open to the public and offers writers a chance to meet fellow writers and discuss opportunities in the Delaware literary scene.

2nd Saturday Poets
A reading series in Wilmington that's been around since the mid '80s. Currently held at 4W5 Cafe (4 W. Fifth Street), the readings start at 5 p m. on the 2nd Saturday of every month. The poets are mostly from Newark and Wilmington, but the series also brings in readers from other locates. The typical reading features two poets followed by an hour long open mic during which 10 to 15 poets read one selection. Any prospective poets who seek a feature reading at this venue can contact Joe Allen at gHost@2ndsaturdaypoets.comor call (302) 427-2300.

The John Milton Memorial Poetry Festival
This annual festival is held in Milton on the second Saturday in December. This year the first Dogfish Head Poetry Prize, sponsored by Dogfish Head Brewery, will be awarded during the festival to a Delaware poet to support a writing retreat. For more information about the festival contact johnmiltonandco@aol.com or by mail at John Milton and Company Quality Used Books, 104 Federal Street, Milton, DE 19968. On Fridays and Saturdays call (302) 684-3514.

Literary Journals & Small Presses

Dreamstreets
In publication for 25 years, Dreamstreets is the oldest literary magazine in the state. Published twice a year, it gives priority to in-state writers, but does publish some out-of-state writers with Delaware connections. Dreamstreets also publishes a chapbook series twice a year, featuring work by or about past Delaware literary figures.

MOBIUS, The Poetry Magazine
MOBIUS, a biannual magazine started in 1982, publishes national and international poets and welcomes both traditional poetic forms and experimental work.

The Broadkill Review
This online literary journal, based in Milton, DE, publishes poems and short fiction in six PDF-format issues per year.

Delaware Poetry Review
Delaware Poetry Review is an editorial collective which gathers contemporary poetry written by authors who live primarily in Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia. This online journal, based in Lewes, DE, publishes two issues per year.

Delmarva Review
The Delmarva Review is a literary review publishing short fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and short reviews. Originally founded to feature writing from the Delmarva region, it now welcomes all writers.

Poetic History

The Poetic History of Delaware
Delaware's four major literary figures from the 19th Century all wrote poetry to varying degrees. First among them was John Lofland (1798-1849), who was known as the "Milford Bard." Lofland also had Abolitionist sympathies, was a feminist, and sympathized with the plight of Native Americans. He published his first book of verse, The Harp of Delaware, in 1828, and his second, The Poetical and Prose Writings of John Lofland, M.D., in 1846. A posthumous collection, Poetical and Prose Writings of the Milford Bard, was published in 1853. Read more >
Poems about Delaware

A Few Lines from Rehoboth Beach
by Fleda Brown
Dear friend, you were right: the smell of fish and foam...

On Seeing Larry Rivers' Washington Crossing the Delaware at the Museum of Modern Art
by Frank O'Hara
Now that our hero has come back to us...

Comfort, Cape Henlopen
by JoAnn Balingit
As the moon set, I saw a big toad smashed in the road, entrails popped from its side...

Literary Organizations & Centers

Delaware Division of the Arts (DDOA)
DDOA is dedicated to sustaining lifelong learning in the arts through grants, workshops and providing information about education opportunities. Each year DDOA sponsors a reading for winners of the Individual Artist Fellowships, including the Emerging Artist Fellowship in Poetry and the Established Professional Fellowship in Poetry.

The Delaware Literary Connection
A non-profit organization for poets, fiction and non-fiction writers, and journalists that sponsors speakers' programs four times a year; an annual writing workshop; and quarterly readings at Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Wilmington. Members receive a newsletter and have the opportunity to network with local writers at events.

Graduate Students Poets in the Schools Program
Each semester three graduate student poets from the University of Delaware are available to conduct poetry workshops in secondary schools.

Creative Writing Center of Delaware
This membership-based center promotes creative writing and publishing by conducting workshops, courses and conferences. Membership includes discounts on classes and events; access to the Virtual Writing Center Studio; and use of the Creative Writing Center Sanctuary Space. Call Shelly Grabel, (302) 855-5905.

Eastern Shore Writers' Association
The Eastern Shore Writers’ Association, founded in 1985, is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization supporting writers, other writers’ groups, and the literary arts across the Delmarva Peninsula and the Eastern Shore. The association meets monthly (excluding July and August), on the second Saturday. For more information, contact Wilson Wyatt, ESHOREWRITER@aol.com.

Delaware Artist Roster
Compiled by the Delaware Division of the Arts (DDOA), this website serves as a valuable resource for performing arts centers, galleries, colleges, festivals, schools, parks, civic organizations, businesses, municipal governments, and any other group that presents the work of artists within their community. The roster includes literary, performing and visual artists from Delaware, available to exhibit, perform, or present programs in venues across the state and throughout the region.

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