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The Poetry Foundation is a Chicago, IL based “independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture.”

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In my tenth grade English class I had to recite a poem from memory. I was assigned “Out, Out–” by Robert Frost. It’s just about the perfect poem for a teenage boy to appreciate, even if it is a bit morbid. When I Googled the poem this morning, the first result was from the Poetry Foundation, which is a Chicago, IL based “independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture.” They are the publisher of Poetry magazine, and in 2011 the non-profit opened a building that “houses a public garden, a 30,000-volume library, an exhibition gallery, the Poetry Foundation’s programming offices—including the offices of Poetry magazine—and provides new space for the Foundation’s extensive roster of public programs and events.” It’s just around the corner from where I used to live, and it’s an impressive and interesting structure.

It’s Poetic

While Poetry is “the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world,” it didn’t become intertwined with a formal organization until 1941 when the Modern Poetry Association was founded. From there it evolved into the Poetry Foundation in 2003 as the result of a major gift. Today the organization is a leading voice in the world of poetry. You can get an idea of what they’ve been doing lately by reading their annual letters (here’s the one from 2011). If you love poetry, there are all kinds of things that you’ll love on the Poetry Foundation’s website. That includes their Careers page. Right now they’re looking for a Library Assistant. The positions looks like it could be a great fit for a new or recent grad who wants to take part in “shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs.”

Links to Help You Begin Your Research

What’s your favorite poem?


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