Poetry Foundation Library
Join a library program online:
- We offer online book clubs and poetry workshops. See the schedule and sign up on our Events page.
- Write along with our visiting teaching artists. Poetry & Practice offers monthly learning prompts and writing activities.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 11 AM - 4 PM
Thursday: 11 AM - 8 PM
Guests who wish to enter the Poetry Foundation building will be required to follow the policies outlined in our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines.
Library Book Picks
Our library collection includes chapbooks, art books, poetry for young people, and more. See our librarians' picks from our 30,000 volumes.
Book PickPicked By Evalena Friedman July 2022
Making it through the frigid winter months is no small feat (especially for my fellow Chicagoans), and I can’t think of a...
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 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.
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