Introducing the American Poetry Core Collection

Poetry can be perfect to read a little bit here and there, but it is also a wonderful medium to dive into deeply. Denver Public Library staff have chosen 66 American Poetry collections that we not only think you’ll love, but that we feel are important and relevant to today’s reader. This is the first in a series of blogs spotlighting different parts of our American Poetry Core Collection. Up first, let’s talk about some classic poetry collections and some poets that have stood the test of time.

Called the poet laureate of African America, Langston Hughes used jazz and folk rhythms in his poetry and wrote about things like dignity, survival, and the American identity. The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes has it all - including his most well known poems and many never before seen works. Ariel, the masterpiece left behind when Sylvia Plath died, is characterized by vivid and dramatic psychic landscapes sure to transport you to her point of view. Or you could put your toes into the calming world of Mary Oliver; her A Thousand Mornings is a slim book that is equally mesmerizing if devoured all at once or in a few sittings. Read Walt Whitman’s epic poem, Leaves of Grass; peruse Robert Frost’s perennial collection The Road Not Taken and Other Poems; find yourself ensnared by the Complete Poems of e.e. cummings. Or perhaps you’re looking for an historical overview of American Poetry? The New Anthology of American Poetry, Volumes One (covers prior to 1900), Two (covers 1900-1950), and Three (covers 1950-present), will do just the trick. Containing all major American poets and movements, these anthologies are perfect for anyone wanting to both learn about the lesser known poets and read (or re-read) the more well-known poets.

Regardless of what type of poetry you’re looking for, or if you’re just hoping to discover something new, there’s something for you on the American Poetry Core Collection List!

American Poetry is just one of many Core Collections at DPL! Explore them all here!

A guest blog by Erin S, DPL Librarian

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