Breakups and Heartbreak
Browse poems about difficult love and relationships ending, including poems by Elizabeth Bishop, Patrick Rosal, and Derek Walcott.
Browse poems exploring many different kinds of family relationships and addressing complicated, often conflicting feelings about family.
Gender and Sexuality
Browse poems navigating and celebrating the complexities of gender and sexuality, including poems by Saeed Jones, Trace Peterson, and Anne Sexton.
Grief and Loss
Browse poems about grief, including a poem by Li-Young Lee about the death of a parent and a poem by Juan Felipe Herrera on the loss of a friend.
Heritage and Identity
Browse poems about family, history, culture, and identity, including poems by Elizabeth Alexander, Chen Chen, and Terrance Hayes.
Love and Relationships
Browse poems exploring the joys, difficulties, and complexities of love and relationships, including poems by Nikki Giovanni, Eileen Myles, and Frank O'Hara.
Browse poems about anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, as well as poems about hope, resilience, and survival.
Politics and Social Justice
Browse poems about human rights, resistance, and contemporary and historical political climates, including poems by Langston Hughes, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Claudia Rankine.
Browse poems celebrating and exploring identity, individuality, and the self, including Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" and Ocean Vuong's "Tell Me Something Good."
Inspiration and Literary Heroes
"I can never imagine how someone would fall in love with poetry and stop reading poems. But I think that people often talk themselves out of a bit of responding, which I think is just as important as collecting. We collect poems that encourage us to think in a way that we need to think, or look at the world. But then we also should allow ourselves—whatever our circumstances, or whatever our past history with writing—to write a little bit." —Naomi Shihab Nye
"There are certain poems and novels and stories that resonate forever, poems I always return to—Emily Dickinson: 'Because I could not stop for Death – / He kindly stopped for me'; Theodore Roethke: 'I knew a woman, lovely in her bones, / When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them'; James Wright: 'Suddenly I realize / That if I stepped out of my body, I would break / into blossom.'" —Sherman Alexie
We asked a few contemporary poets six questions about their inspirations, writing and editing styles, and the role social media takes in their writing lives.