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 https://www.poetryfoundation.org/
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 https://www.nationalpoetrylibrary.org.uk/
The American Academy of Poets was founded in 1934 in New York City. They report that “Poets.org 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.