There are lots of places you can find poems for free online. 

Buying poetry collections is fun, and holding a collection of poems in your hands by your favourite poet is a wonderful thing, but it can also be very expensive! Even if you buy them second hand. 

So where can you find poems online for free? Check out the list of destinations below!

The Poetry Foundation 

The Poetry Foundation has a fascinating backstory. It was formed from Poetry magazine, after they received a gift of $200,000,000 from the philanthropist Ruth Lilly. They run a poetry blog called Harriet, and still publish the Poetry magazine. 

They are “committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture.” They report the foundation “exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience.”

Most importantly, they have lots of lovely poems on there so make sure to check them out!

The National Poetry Library

The National Poetry Library is the largest public collection of modern poetry in the world. It was funded by the Arts Council in 1953, and currently has a home at the Southbank Centre.

The American Academy of Poets was founded in 1934 in New York City. They report that “ is produced by the Academy of American Poets. The site was launched in 1996, becoming the original online resource for poems, poets’ biographies, essays about poetry, and resources for K-12 teachers.”

These are the peeps behind National Poetry Month, and they pay out big cash to poets, so check them out! 

Literary Journals and Newspapers 

Poets often aspire to being published in literary journals and newspapers, because these are the places that will actually pay poets! Sometimes the creative work is hidden behind a paywall (we all gotta eat) but sometimes its gloriously free. 

Journals and Newspapers are more likely to feature work by contemporary poets, rather than the classics. 

The New Yorker is probably the world’s leading literary journal.

Granta is probably the United Kingdom’s leading literary journal.

Happy reading!

Categories: Poetry

Ol Adams

Letter Review is currently edited by Ol Adams, who is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing, casual academic, and guest lecturer at the University of New South Wales. Ol Adams has had short stories published in leading literary journals such as Overland, Southerly, Seizure, and TEXT. Ol has had novels long listed for major awards such as the KYDUMA, has received government funding to produce plays from Create NSW and screenplays from Screen NSW, and has performed / produced professional work at major theatrical venues such as the Sydney Opera House.