"The Grolier" was originally established in 1927 as a bookshop featuring an eclectic assortment of poetry and prose. In 1979, when Louisa Solano purchased the Grolier from Gordon Cairnie, she removed all secondhand titles, magazines, and non-poetry related prose, and added "Poetry Book Shop" to the name. The Grolier is the nationís oldest all-poetry bookstore offering in-print poetry books and poetry-related merchandise. The store motto is, "Every moment, every day, every month, every year, we celebrate POETRY!"
Over the years, many acclaimed poets have been patrons of the Grolier Poetry Book Shop, including T. S. Elliot, E. E. Cummings, Marianne Moore, Charles Olson, Allen Ginsberg, and Donald Hall. The shop currently stocks over 15,000 titles of trade, small press, and university publications in a 404-square-foot room. Books are arranged alphabetically and by categories, such as African American, British, Gay and Lesbian, and Love. All foreign titles are in English or bilingual editions. Poetry cassettes and t-shirts are also available for sale.
The Grolier Poetry Book Shop sponsors autograph signings, poetry readings, and the Grolier Poetry Prize Annual co-sponsored by Ellen La Forge Memorial Poetry Foundation. For directions and store hours, visit the website.
On the West Coast, in Seattle, Washington, Open Books is the country's only other all-poetry bookstore. Among the over 6,000 titles for sale are many rare and out-of-print books.