ENGL 126 Writing: Humanities

This research guide is to help students enrolled in English 126 - writing in the humanities.

Find Poetry

Poetry on the Web

The links below go to some websites where you can read and/or listen to poetry. 

Featured Sources: 

The Poetry Foundation

  • Read and listen to poetry online through the Poetry Foundation. Search for a poet or browse the website. 

(click on image to enlarge)

screenshot of the Poetry Foundation

The Library of Congress Poet Laureate

  • This is a great source of poetry and other works by and about poets. Consider this source if your poet was a poet laureate of the U.S.

(click on image to enlarge)

screenshot of library of congress poet laureate website showing how to search by year

Searching for Poetry in the Library

Did you know the library houses books, ebooks, and online content you can easily access? Use the link below to search for content. But first, be sure to look at the search strategies below.

Strategies - Search by: Author, Keyword, or Subject
Search by Author
  • In the Advanced Search box, change Contains to: is (exact) or enter the name in quotes.
  • And change Any Field to: Author/Creator.

(click on image to enlarge)search bar showing how to search for the author's exact name

  • You can limit to books immediately at Material Type or wait to see what you find and then limit by Source Type.
    • Note: Our books may be print or digital e-books you can read online or download.
    • Also Note: A Search by author will find everything the author has written (in our library), including poetry, essays, etc.
Search by Keyword:

Your poet's work may be included in an anthology.

  • To search more broadly for work by your author, do not change Any Field to Author. 
  • A keyword search returns, for example, works by Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey in a collection of poetry by US Poet Laureates.
Search by Subject:
  • Subject Headings return all the work we have on a given subject.
  • Look for Subjects associated with books by or about your poet.
    • Below is a screenshot of the subjects associated with a book I found with a keyword search of Natasha Trethewey

(click on image to enlarge)

search results showing a list of subjects you can use in the record to find related terms/topics/searches

  • Click on the Subjects linked in the record as shown above, or use the Advanced Search again to search by subject at Any Field.

Using Gale Literature

Gale Literature is one of the library's literary criticism databases

Most of the content is mainstream and scholarly criticism, but you will find some work by the poet in his or her own words.

  • While in the search results page, limit by document type, choosing: Primary Sources and Literary Works

Other library databases may have full text or excerpts of works by your poets. Try the following sources linked below.

Requesting things from other libraries

Can't find what you need? There may be an option to get it!

InterLibrary Loan (or ILL) is a service offered by Holman Library for borrowing books and articles from other libraries. 

  • Books and other items that require mailing may take 1-2 weeks.
  • Articles and other digital items may arrive within 2-5 days. Be sure to include your email as your contact info.

To request an item, use information you find in the tools below  to fill out the Student Interlibrary Loan form. If you need help filling out this form, call the library reference desk at (253) 931-6480.

InterLibrary Loan requests are free to students, faculty and staff.

Strategies for Finding Poetry

Search Strategies 

To find poetry, I suggest the following strategies and sources linked to on this page:

  • Poetry Foundation: A wonderful source of work by a range of poets. Resources may include: poems, audio, video, articles about the poet, interviews and more.
  • The Library of Congress: Poets Laureate
    • To learn about each poet, click on the link: Read more about (poet's name)
    • You will find a brief professional biography of the poet and great links to resources about that poet, including samples of their poetry, webcasts of poetry readings and audiocasts.
  • Poetry books in Holman Library, including works by theme, poet or collections with work by poets.
  • Gale Literary Sources database: Primary Sources may return poetry (along with interviews and more) by a poet.
  • Library Databases: You will also find poetry in the other library databases on this page: Academic Search Complete, ProQuest, and JSTOR.
  • Your local Public Library
  • InterLibrary Loan: As a GRC student you may borrow books for free from other libraries. Use WorldCat to search for works by your poet and then submit an InterLibrary Loan request form to have the book sent to Holman Library for you. Start early. Books may take a week or two to arrive.
  • The Web: A Web search will likely find your poet's website or an educational website with work by your poet. Be sure not to rely solely on author sites for scholarship.