Skip to Content

Join a library program online:

Poetry Foundation Library
Browse the library's collection of over 30,000 volumes.

Library Hours

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 11 AM - 4 PM

Thursday: 11 AM - 8 PM

Please Note

Guest Requirements:

Guests who wish to enter the Poetry Foundation building will be required to follow the policies outlined in our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines.

Shelf Life

Learning Activities

  • Learning Prompt
    By Stefania Gomez May 4, 2020

    For this activity, you will need an adult, something to write with, and something to write on. First, make a list of...

  • Video
    From Poetry Explorers

    Today we’ll make a loom, a very old tool that weavers use to make beautiful textiles and fabrics, and weave a story...

About the Library

The Poetry Foundation Library is 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, and view exhibits of poetry-related materials. In addition to providing public access to its collections in the form of a reading room, the library hosts interactive programs to inspire a wider readership for poetry in people of all ages.

The Collection

The origins of the library are in the working collection of Poetry magazine. Titles originally sent to the magazine for review or acquired for editorial needs now comprise a distinctive collection of the poetry of the past century.

The library’s current collection aims to present the best poetry, in English or in translation, of the modern and contemporary era, and to include representative selections of the major poetic works of all eras. The collection contains individual author monographs, anthologies, journals, rare and limited editions, broadsides, chapbooks, criticism, and prose works by poets. Audio archives include restored recordings of poets, like Gwendolyn Brooks and Czeslaw Milosz, reading their own work.

Search the collection »

Field Trips

The Poetry Foundation Library is available for in person and online field trips. To schedule a field trip, please email [email protected].


To contact the librarian, please email [email protected] or call 312.799.8057