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Website of the Week — Poetry Foundation


Time again for our Website of the Week, when we showcase interesting and innovative online destinations. Our web guide is VOA's Art Chimes.

Poetry probably doesn't have the prominence in American culture that it once had, or maybe that it still has in your country. But at our Website of the Week, they're not only keeping poetry alive, they're working to make it a vibrant part of 21st century life.

WARN: "The Poetry Foundation seeks to find great poetry and place it before the largest possible audience. The goal of our website is to reach people with poetry on the Internet. We have an archive of 6,000 poems by more than 600 poets writing in English, and we try to get those poems all over the world."

Emily Warn is a poet, of course, and editor of PoetryFoundation.org. The Poetry Foundation is the publisher of Poetry magazine, which was founded in 1912, but now they're reaching out online to bring a world of poetry to anyone with an Internet connection.

To find a favorite poem, or to help you discover a new one by a particular poet or on a particular topic, she suggests using a feature they call the Poetry Tool.

WARN: "For every single poem in our archive we've indexed them or categorized them according to a set number of categories. So: love poems, or sonnets, or nature poems, or poems about philosophy. And this has proven very successful. We deliver a huge number of poems every day to people."

The site also includes an active blog, written by five poets who conduct a freewheeling and educational conversation about poets and poetry. And there is a podcast, called "Poetry Off the Shelf," as well as other multimedia offerings.

WARN: "We also have an audio poem of the day that you can sign up for. We also are going to be launching a series of educational podcasts, similar to an audiobook. These will be very, very long podcasts that you can download and play in your car as you're driving and actually learn about poetry if you're interested in it and didn't have a chance to study it in school."

And Emily Warn says they are expanding their multimedia offerings by moving into video, with the first one just posted featuring the new Serbian-born American poet laureate, Charles Simic.

A lot of readers are scared off by poetry. You don't have to be. Dig in to our very accessible and user-friendly Website of the Week, PoetryFoundation.org, or get the link from our site, voanews.com.

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