Fresh Look, New Features, Expanded Content, Faster Performance
May 23, 2005, New York—The Academy of American Poets has unveiled a completely revamped, redesigned, and expanded version of its award-winning website, www.poets.org. Tree Swenson, the Academy's Executive Director, said, "More poems, more articles, more links, more ways to immerse yourself in poetry-welcome to the brand new Poets.org."
In April 2005, Poets.org received 1.15 million visits, 570,000 unique visitors, and 7.8 million hits, with an average visit length of over 13 minutes. Poets.org is the most popular nonprofit poetry site on the web, according to Alexa.com, the web information service from Amazon.com. Poets.org offers nearly 2,000 poems, over 500 poet biographies, 400 essays and interviews, 150 audio recordings, lesson plans for teachers, a poetry gift shop, discussion forums, poetry news, events, and more. In the coming months, even more poetry, prose, poet biographies, and features will be added to Poets.org.
The site redesign includes a fresh new look, a beefed-up structure, improved navigation and search functions, revamped message boards and discussion forums, and new internal linkages. The site also features new technology, such as a php database and open-source technology servers, that will make the site up to three times faster. Poets.org is being redesigned with the assistance of Ruder Finn Interactive and Juxta Digital.
Robin Beth Schaer, the Academy's web coordinator, noted that the new Poets.org will give readers access to an even deeper appreciation of poetry. ""Our readers will see the rich connections between poets-influences and associations, movements and debates. They will discover the writers who have shaped American poetry in the past and those who are shaping it now." Web associate Nathan Hill said, "Poets.org's breadth and depth of content is extraordinary, but we think the site is so popular because it offers content and context. For example, if you're interested in John Ashbery, Poets.org offers not only his photo, bio, and poems, but also an interview, audio recordings, a DVD, related poets, as well as external links."
Swenson noted that the Academy of American Poets first went online in 1993—"before Amazon, eBay, Google, or Yahoo even existed"—with a modest brochure-type website. Two years later, in 1995, the Academy's site was expanded to include poems, biographies, quizzes, and discussion forums. The domain Poets.org was registered by the Academy in 1996, and the first version of the current site was launched in April 1997 and subsequently redesigned in May 2000.
The Academy of American Poets is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1934 to foster appreciation for contemporary poetry and to support American poets at all stages of their careers. For more information on the Academy and its programs, visit www.poets.org.