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Poetry Foundation Library


11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Special Extended Hours:
Saturday, September 17, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Saturday, October 22, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Please Note:
The Poetry Foundation will be closed for building maintenance until 1:00 on Thursday, September 29. 

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. Learn more about using the library.

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 »

Accessing Titles in Special Collections

Field Trips

The Poetry Foundation Library welcomes group visits from students of all ages and lifelong learners. To learn more, or to arrange a visit, contact library staff at library@poetryfoundation.org.


Monday–Friday 11 a.m.–4 p.m.


To contact the librarian, please email library@poetryfoundation.org or call 312.799.8057

Other Information

  • Browse Poems