Anyone can be a poet! The creative outlet of poetry writing is not exclusive to any specific kind of author, rather it's an art form appreciated and loved by many. Through poetry, we use human language to convey emotions or feelings about any topic the writer hopes to explore.

Poetry has been around for thousands of years and is even predates literacy. Before written poetry, oral poetry was used to record history, storytelling, and sometimes even law. This ancient art form has come a long way from its start and has changed dramatically over the centuries.

From ancient Chinese poetry dating back to 200 BC to today's Instagram poetry, poets have constantly changed the form and structure of poetry. Rules of rhyme, alliteration, and diction have been created and altered. However, poetry remains an expressive way of using our everyday language to make sense of the world around us.

Whether you are a poet yourself or simply interested in learning more about this form of creative writing, the following is key info for you. Learn where to find the best sonnets and stanzas, could be online or in print. And if you feel inspired to write, find out where you can submit your work for feedback and even for publishing.

Best Poetry Websites

Finding any poetry online can be easy. Finding good quality poetry can take a little more work. So we have come up with a solid list of where to find the best poetry on the web.

The Poetry Foundation Organization, All Poetry, and Hello Poetry are some of the best websites for finding poems. These websites have huge collections! You can filter through their list of poems by selecting through different topics, poetry forms, and famous poets.

These sites may also introduce you to different kinds of poetry, some that you would have never known to look for. The Hello Poetry site has a fun "random" button that produces funky new poetry for you to read.

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Sorting through the whole web for poems can be difficult but these websites have great curated collections. (Photo by Jagoda Kondratiuk on Unsplash)

Apart from online sites, social media also has a great selection of poetry. A new wave of poets, known as Instapoets, have hit the literature world by storm by generating a huge following for their contemporary collection of poems.

These Instapoets, like Rupi Kaur and R.M. Drake, became famous after sharing their new poems as Instagram posts. This form of sharing poetry caught the pop-culture train and it seemed that overnight, these new poets gathered the attention of millions of followers.

Best Poetry Books

In order to improve your poetry writing, you first need to read a great deal of poetry. The more you read, the better your prose will become.

A poem a day gets you writing better right away!

Collections of poems are easy to come across. There are thousands of curated collections online but there are also those in print. Poetry books such as classic poetry anthologies, contemporary compilations, and even children's poetry books can be found easily.

Person holding pile of poetry books
At your local book store or library, you can find a great collection of poetry books. (Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash)

Check out our list of quality poetry books from the classics, to contemporary, to even poems especially for kids!

Meanwhile here are a couple of collectins worth the mentioning...

The Figured Wheel is a 21-poem collection by Robert Pinsky. Pinsky held the prestigious position of Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1997 to 2000. The book includes Pinsky's best-known verse essay "An Explanation of America". It also includes poems that bring together the Japanese custom of linking-poems and the American custom of ethnic jokes.

Some Ether by Nick Flynn is a great example of a contemporary collection of poetry. Nick Flynn is an American writer, playwright, and poet. Some Ether focuses on Flynn's mother’s suicide, his difficult childhood, and his stilted family life. The book touches on very heavy subjects but Flynn's ability to incorporate bright beautiful language into dark topics is one of the many reasons for which to book is revered for.

Iconic Poetry Quotes

To be or not to be, that is the question - Hamlet by Shakespeare

You probably recognize this quote from common knowledge or have heard it be alluded to in your favorite movie or TV show. But do you know where it actually comes from?

"To be or not to be" is a phrase derived by one of Shakespeare's most famous works, Hamlet. The phrase alludes to the possibility of forgoing having to deal with issues by choosing death. If we are dead, we don't necessarily have to handle our troubles. Hamlet's character ponders about taking an "easy" way out and avoiding the troubles before him.

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The most iconic phrases come from poetry classics like Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe. (Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)

Shakespeare is not the only writer that has forged together iconic verses, many other poets have been able to do the same. Lines from poems by Robert Frost, Lord Tennyson, and many others have become quite infamous.

There is plenty of information across the web to help you further understand your favorite poetry. You can also see what other great authors have to say about poetry as an art form.

Where To Submit Your Poems

It is easy to share your verses with the world. One of the best parts about sharing poetry is connecting to your readers through the feelings you expressed in your writing. Writing poetry can be extremely cathartic and reading about what others might have to say about a similar shared experienced can be just as good.

Person writing poetry on brown wooden table
You can submit your poetry to websites for publication, it's an easy way to share your expression of ideas. (Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash)

If you would like to share your ideas through your sonnets and free verses to fellow poets, you can learn more about the best places to submit and share your work, here. You can submit your work to online poetry websites, poetry magazines, or even share your poetry on stage at a local poetry reading night.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when submitting your work to poetry websites and literary magazines for publishing.

  1. Do your research, get a feel for what kind of work the publisher usually releases.
  2. Check submission guidelines. Keep in mind the format asked and any additional documents you might need to submit alongside your verse.
  3. Ask for feedback. It is reasonable and smart to ask for feedback about your poetry. This will help you improve your creative writing.

Some websites and magazines are very picky with what they publish, others simply encourage young poets to share their work. Do not be discouraged if you aren't published right away, there are plenty of options for places where you can submit your poetry.

Poetry Competitions in the US

Apart from sharing your poetry with the online and print world, your poetry can also help you win grand prizes. There is an array of poetry contests that you can enter to win with the submission of your poems.

Creative writing competitions can be found online, at your university, and even through your local newspaper. These contests can be specific to individual types of poems like haikus, lyric poetry, or acrostic pieces, but they may also be for general creative writing.

Closeup photo of 100 US dollar banknotes cash prize
When you submit your work to creative writing competitions you can have the chance to win a couple of cash prizes. (Photo by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash)

Palette Poetry, Writer'sDigest, and the Academy of American Poets all host prominent poetry contests throughout the year. Submitting your work can be as easy as sending your poem via email.

There are also many other platforms that host competitions. The Poets and Writers website has a running list of poetry contests that you can enter throughout the year. You can search their list to find out the details about the contests, including deadlines, prompts, and submission guidelines.

When polishing the pieces, you wish to submit to one of the many contests, make sure to keep the following in mind.

  1. Be creative with your topic
  2. Don't force the rhyming
  3. Don't wait till last minute
  4. Understand the contest's guidelines

There is plenty of information about national contests awarding cash prizes and more tips to these winning the contests online.

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