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Poetry Audio Recordings: A Guide to Online Resources

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Compiled by Peter Armenti, Digital Reference Specialist

Poet Grace Cavalieri, Host of The Poet and the Poem Series
Grace Cavalieri,
Host of The Poet and the Poem
Courtesy Grace Cavalieri.

This is a guide to selected online resources for audio recordings of poets reading and discussing their work. For video recordings of poets, see Guide to Poetry & Literature Webcasts. To suggest an addition to this page, please contact the Library's Digital Reference Section.

Library of Congress Web Site | External Web Sites

Library of Congress Web Site

Archive of Recorded Poetry and LIterature

An online a selection of recordings from the Library's Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature, a series of audio recordings, dating back to 1943, of renowned poets and prose writers reading from and discussing their work at the Library of Congress. The initial April 15, 2015, launch includes 50 recordings, and features poets such as Robert Frost, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Bishop, Czeslaw Milosz, and Paul Muldoon. More recordings will be added on a monthly basis.

The Poet and the Poem Series

The Poet and the Poem is an ongoing series of live poetry interviews at the Library of Congress with distinguished artists. Webcasts are available of recent events, including the appearances of two U.S. Poets Laureate and several Witter Bynner fellows. Distinguishing features of the show are the poets’ discussions with host Grace Cavalieri about their craft and sources of inspiration. The series is sponsored by the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry and the Humanities Council of Washington, D.C.

The South Asian Literary Recordings Project

This project was aimed at recording the voices of prominent authors from South Asia reading excerpts from their works. The project's Web site features numerous recordings of poets, novelists, and playwrights.

External Web Sites

Academy of American Poets

Offers hundreds of audio clips of poets reading their poems.

BBC Poetry Out Loud

Features 20 poems read by their authors. Also available on the BBC Web site is BBC Four Audio Interviews, which features audio interviews with 20 poets.

The Cortland Review

An alphabetical list of poetry recordings available through The Cortland Review. To find audio files, select a feature under a poet's name and then check the page for an audio icon. Users may wish to review the instructions on how to listen to recordings.

Essential American Poets

A joint project of the the Poetry Foundation and the UK-based Poetry Archive, the Essential American Poets historic audio collection, launched September 2008, will make freely available the recordings of more than 100 American poets reading their own work, selected by former US Poet Laureate Donald Hall in consultation with UK Poet Laureate Andrew Motion.

From the Fishouse

An audio archive of emerging poets (poets with fewer than two published books of poetry at the time of submission) reading their own poems, as well as answering questions about poetry and the writing process.

The Gypsy Art Show: Interviews with Poets, Writers and Musicians

A podcast series produced by Belinda Subraman featuring interviews with dozens of poets.


A selection of HarperCollins recordings from major authors and poets, including Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Dylan Thomas, and Anne Sexton.

The Internet Archive: Audio Books and Poetry

Makes available free audio books and poetry recordings. Use the subject browse option to locate poetry recordings.

The Internet Poetry Archive

Recordings of contemporary poets reading and discussing their work. Sponsored by the University of North Carolina Press and the North Carolina Arts Council.

The Jane Crown Show

Jane Crown's poetry radio program hosts includes interviews with poets, novelists and small press publishers. The program is currently on hiatus.

The Kootenay School of Writing

A collection of more than 400 hours of poetry recordings, featuring more than 275 poets and speakers, since 1985 from the archive of the the Kootenay School of Writing.

Lannan Foundation Audio Archives

Makes available recordings of poets and novelists from the Lannan Foundation's Readings & Conversations series, other public Lannan events from the past 16 years, as well as selections from the award-winning literary radio program Bookworm with Michael Silverblatt.

Naropa Poetics Audio Archives

Listen to more than 500 hours of recordings made at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. The archive contains readings, lectures, performances, seminars, panels and workshops conducted at Naropa by many of the leading figures of the U.S.literary avant-garde, incuding Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Anne Waldman, Bernadette Mayer, and Amiri Baraka.

National Public Radio Poetry Page

A listing of recent NPR poetry programs. Also see NPR's poetry RSS feed and podcast.

New York Times (free registration required)

Recordings of the September 18, 1996 reading by 11 poets in celebration of the 50th birthday of the publishing house Farrar Straus Giroux.

92nd Street Y Virtual Poetry Center

A growing collection of archival audio and video recordings of significant literary moments at the Unterberg Poetry Center at the 92nd Street Y.


A larger, growing archive of poetry recordings from the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing at the University of Pennsylvania. Most recordings are of single poems, with an emphasis on experimental poetry. The site also features author discussions, videos, and a podcast series.

Poetry Center Digital Archive

San Francisco State University's Poetry Center Digital Archive makes available significant portions of early audio recordings from the Poetry Center's American Poetry Archives collection, including dozens of recordings from the 1950s that document the "San Francisco Renaissance" movement

Poet Ray’d Yo

A monthly program produced since 2015 by Christopher Funkhouser for WGXC in Hudson, NY. Features live performances as well as field and studio recordings by writers Funkhouser has crossed paths with over the course of a quarter century. Voices from Ireland

A collection of podcaats featuring interviews with and performances by Irish writers and musicians. Approximately twenty podcasts featuring poets currently are available.

POG Sound

More than 35 audio recordings of Poetry and Arts Group readings and Chax Press-Cushing Street Bar and Restaurant readings in Tuscon, Arizona.

The Poetic Voice: Houghton Mifflin Poetry Podcast

Houghton Mifflin's poetry podcast features poets reading and talking about their work. Past poets on the program include Donald Hall, Natasha Trethewey, and Galway Kinnell.

The Poetry Archive

An extensive online collection of poets reading their own work. The Poetry Archive was conceived by U.K. Poet Laureate Andrew Motion.

The Poetry Foundation: Audio & Podcasts

Eight different poetry podcast series made available by the Poetry Foundation. Individual poems are available for listening. See also the poetry videos available on the Poetry Foundation Web site.

Poetry Out Loud: Poems with Audio Recordings

More than two dozen poems read by actors and poets in association with the National Endowment for the Arts' National Recitation Contest for poetry. See also its page on Poetry Out Loud videos.

Poetry Radio Project

American Public Media and the Poetry Foundation have collaborated to launch the Poetry Radio Project in an effort to bring the unique perspectives of poets to APM's news and entertainment programs including Marketplace, Performance Today, Speaking of Faith, The Story, Weekend America, and The Splendid Table. Through features and conversations with poets in a variety of contexts, the project seeks to enrich and deepen listeners' perspectives on global events and American culture and to expand listeners' engagement with contemporary and classical poetry.

Slate Poetry Archive

Each Tuesday, Slate features a new poem selected by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinky. Each poem includes an audio recording of the poet reading his or her poem.

Slought Foundation

The Slought Foundation provides access to Fred Wah’s recordings of the 1963 Vancouver Poetry Conference, as well as select readings and lectures (1961-67) from Wah's collection. Includes hours of recordings of Denise Levertov, Charles Olson, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, Margaret Avison, Philip Whalen Michael Palmer, Clark Coolidge, and others.

UbuWeb: Sound

The UbuWeb Web site, a resource for all forms of avant-garde arts, includes numerous poetry MP3s.

University of California, Berkeley, Moffit Library Media Resources Center

Includes recordings of poets and writers who have read at the University of California, Berkeley. Includes several readings by Robert Frost and Czeslaw Milosz.


voca is the University of Arizona Poetry Center's Audio Video Library. Hundreds of audiovisual recordings, dating back to 1963, are currentely available online. The recordings come from the Center's long-running Reading Series and other readings presented under the auspices of the Center.

Wired for Books

Listen to Don Swaim interview many of the greatest writers of the 20th century, including a number of poets, out of the CBS Radio studio in New York.

The Writer's Almanac

Listen to a daily poem read by Garrison Keillor.

The Writers' Block

A weekly reading series, which ended in March 2013, featuring poetry, fiction, and theater from California's KQED public radio. Includes a list of authors who appeared on the series.

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  June 15, 2022
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