5 Great Literary Organizations That Promote Poetry

Poetry is an ancient art form, but that doesn't mean it isn't relevant today. Expressing thoughts through creative language can get across ideas in a more cathartic and meaningful way than prose alone, helping both poet and reader to confront and accept their emotions. The five organizations listed here help bring poetry to a wider audience, encourage writers to create and grow, and celebrate the written word. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Organizations That Support Poets & Poetry

Organization Location Mission
Split This Rock Washington, DC Cultivate, teach, and celebrate poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes social change
CavanKerry Press Fort Lee, NJ Expand the reach of poetry to a general readership by publishing works that explore the emotional and psychological landscapes of everyday life
InsideOut Literary Arts Detroit, MI Inspire students to think broadly, create bravely, and share their voices with the wider world
Poetry Foundation Chicago, IL Celebrate and share the best poetry with the largest audiences through a family of programs
Howard County Poetry and Literature Society Columbia, MD Enlarge the audience for contemporary poetry and literature and celebrate culturally diverse literary heritages

5 Famous Poets

  1. William Shakespeare
  2. Emily Dickinson
  3. Maya Angelou
  4. Langston Hughes
  5. Pablo Neruda

Things Every Aspiring Poet Should Have

  • A journal where you can keep track of your thoughts & ideas
  • Some coffee or tea to get you through late-night bursts of inspiration
  • A good poetry book to inspire you
  • A comfortable keyboard so you don't end up with carpal-tunnel syndrome
  • A laptop that's easy to bring along to your local coffee shop
  • A height-adjustable desk to help you avoid hurting your lower back
  • A foam roller for when you inevitably hurt your lower back anyway

8 Great Movies About Poets & Poetry

  1. Orpheus (1950)
  2. The Butterfly's Dream (2013)
  3. Poetry (2010)
  4. Slam (1998)
  5. Kill Your Darlings (2013)
  6. Dead Poets Society (1989)
  7. Wilde (1997)
  8. Papusza (2013)

What Makes a Poem a Poem?

In Depth

Poetry is a powerful medium, but it often gets overlooked in public school systems in favor of prose and analytical writing. Fortunately, many organizations across the country are devoted to showing people of all ages the joys of reading, writing, and performing poetry. Here, in no particular order, are five great literary organizations that promote poetry.

In the #1 spot, is Split This Rock, a non-profit that calls poets to a greater role in public life and fosters a national network of socially engaged writers. Named after a line in a Langston Hughes poem, this organization is comprised of a diverse group of poets of all ages who strive to represent the great stylistic diversity of American poetry today, presenting works of all styles on a single stage. This group puts on events such as readings, workshops, and panel discussions that integrate poetry into public life. It supports poets of all ages who write and perform this essential work.

Split This Rock's youth programs allow young people to develop exceptional writing and public speaking skills, and empowers them to transform themselves and society. It hosts a biennial poetry festival that brings together writers, activists, educators, and community members in Washington, D.C. for a three-day gathering full of readings, workshops, discussions, youth voices, a book fair, and activism. To support this non-profit, you can donate in a variety of ways, volunteer, or spread the word on social media.

It hosts a biennial poetry festival that brings together writers, activists, educators, and community members in Washington, D.C. for a three-day gathering full of readings, workshops, discussions, youth voices, a book fair, and activism.

#2 on our list is CavanKerry Press, which publishes works that explore the emotional and psychological landscapes of everyday life. Each year, it publishes five to six books by geographically, culturally, economically, and stylistically diverse authors. Works published by this group include LaurelBooks, which are dedicated to the literary exploration of the lived experience of illness. Each August, it accepts submissions for poetry collections, nonfiction essay collections, and memoirs.

This organization has a deep commitment to community outreach, and seeks to bring poetry directly to diverse audiences where they live, work, and receive services. The press annually donates up to ten percent of its inventory to underserved members by way of libraries, schools, geriatric centers, shelters, prisons, and hospitals. If you would like to support CavanKerry Press, you can donate on their website.

At #3 we have InsideOut Literary Arts. Since 1995, this non-profit has helped nearly 60,000 of Detroit's youth build their literary and academic skills through creative writing. The Writing-in-Residence program places professional writers in more than 20 elementary, middle, and high schools throughout Detroit to provide intensive weekly workshops. After this program, most teachers report an overall increase in student grades, as well as improvements to students' critical thinking abilities and writing skills.

After this program, most teachers report an overall increase in student grades, as well as improvements to students' critical thinking abilities and writing skills.

This group also puts on the largest annual convening of high school writers in Michigan, dedicated to promoting artistic growth through peer engagement, team competition, and the celebration of youth voices. InsideOut publishes nearly two dozen school literary journals each year. In 2009, it was awarded the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. To support Detroit's largest and oldest literary non-profit, you can donate, volunteer, or purchase something from their Amazon wishlist.

In the #4 spot is the Poetry Foundation, an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. This non-profit hosts a robust schedule of free events throughout the year, including readings, staged plays and concerts. It publishes Poetry magazine, the oldest monthly publication devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. The complete archive of the magazine is available for free online.

This organization is home to the Midwest's only library dedicated to poetry. Visitors to the library may browse a collection of 30,000 volumes, experience audio and video recordings in private listening booths. It also hosts an exhibition gallery and a performance space. You can support its mission to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience by donating on their website.

You can support its mission to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience by donating on their website.

And finally, at #5 we have the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society, or HoCoPoLitSo for short. Founded in 1974, it is a community-based not-for-profit arts organization designed to enlarge the audience for contemporary poetry and literature and celebrate culturally diverse literary heritages. It accomplishes its mission by producing four annual events each year: a reading series in October, an evening that celebrates Irish writing in February, a poetry festival in April, and an arts festival in June.

This group works with the local school system to provide a writer-in-residence for local high schools. Since 1981, HoCoPoLitSo has sponsored a writing contest for high school students. It also produces The Writing Life, a writer-to-writer interview show seen on YouTube and local community college stations. Its website also highlights local Maryland literary organizations such as literary magazines, independent bookstores, and professional theaters. To support this organization, you can donate, volunteer or spread the word on social media.