Founded in Chicago by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry magazine began with the "Open Door":
May the great poet we are looking for never find it shut, or half-shut, against his ample genius! To this end the editors hope to keep free of entangling alliances with any single class or school. They desire to print the best English verse which is being written today, regardless of where, by whom, or under what theory of art it is written.
In its first year Poetry published Joyce Kilmer's "Trees," Ezra Pound's "In a Station of the Metro," William Carlos Williams, and William Butler Yeats and introduced Rabindranath Tagore to the English-speaking world just before he was awarded the Nobel Prize.
The magazine has since been in continuous publication for more than 100 years, making it the oldest monthly magazine devoted to verse in the English language. Perhaps most famous for having been the first to publish T.S. Eliot’s "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (and, later, John Ashbery's "Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror"), Poetry also championed the early works of H.D., Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Marianne Moore. It was first to recognize many poems that are now widely anthologized: "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks, Briggflatts by Basil Bunting, "anyone lived in a pretty how town" by E.E. Cummings, "Chez Jane" by Frank O'Hara, "Fever 103°" by Sylvia Plath, "Chicago" by Carl Sandburg, "Sunday Morning" by Wallace Stevens, and many others. Elizabeth Bishop, Charles Bukowski, Raymond Carver, Allen Ginsberg, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, and Tennessee Williams, to name just a few, have also appeared in Poetry’s pages. In recent issues, the magazine has published “In Colorado My Father Scoured and Stacked Dishes” by Eduardo C. Corral; excerpts from Citizen by Claudia Rankine; “Vulnerability Study” by Solmaz Sharif; “alternate names for black boys” by Danez Smith; and “Aubade with Burning City” by Ocean Vuong. Recent issues have also featured poems by Toi Derricotte, Carolyn Forché, Terrance Hayes, Juan Felipe Herrera, Linda Hogan, Jamaal May, Les Murray, Craig Santos Perez, Safiya Sinclair, Karen Solie, C.D. Wright, and many others.
Today, Poetry regularly presents new work by the most recognized poets, but its primary commitment is still to discover new voices: more than a third of the poets published in recent years have been new to the magazine. Translations are published throughout the year and in an annual translation issue to deepen readers’ engagement with foreign-language poetry. Poetry is also known for its enlivening “Comment” section, featuring book reviews, essays, and “The View from Here” column, which highlights artists, professionals, and others from outside the poetry world writing about their experience of poetry. Recent installments have included pieces by cartoonist Lynda Barry; musician Neko Case; novelist and essayist Roxane Gay; author of the “Lemony Snicket” children’s series, Daniel Handler; the late columnist Christopher Hitchens; hip-hop artist Che “Rhymefest” Smith; artist Ai Weiwei; and philosopher Slavoj Žižek.
The complete archive of the magazine is available for free online, as are related audio, video, and monthly podcasts in which editors Lindsay Garbutt and Don Share discuss the current issue, talk to poets and critics, and share their poem selections with listeners. In the past decade, Poetry has received three National Magazine Awards, one for Best Podcast (2011) and two for General Excellence in Print (2011 and 2014). In 2016, the magazine was a finalist for National Magazine Awards in three different categories: Columns and Commentary, Essays and Criticism, and General Excellence in Print. As critic Jeremy Noel-Tod has written, Poetry is “consistently excellent.”
Editor: Don Share
Art Director: Fred Sasaki
Managing Editor: Sarah Dodson
Assistant Editor: Lindsay Garbutt
Editorial Assistant: Holly Amos
Editorial Assistant: Nathan Hoks
Consulting Editor: Christina Pugh
Design: Alexander Knowlton