The Internet provides a wealth of information to help students of all ages understand literature. In addition to focusing on analysis and criticism, the links below also provide access to electronic bibliographies, biographical information, and plot summaries.
Bibliographies and General Information
E-Text Collections and Archives
This collection, from the University of Adelaide, is searchable by author. While it features many of the same works that can be found on other sites on this page, it has the advantage of including some titles that, while covered by copyright in the United States, are not covered in Australia. The site also features a helpful list of other sites of free online literary works.
Google: American Literature
This site provides an excellent bibliography for the teaching or researching of American literature. It is both searchable and browsable by categories. Attention is also paid to nontraditional subspecialties such as African, Native American, and regional literatures.
Intute: Arts and Humanities
Intute is a free online service providing you with access to the very best Web resources for education and research. The service is created by a network of UK universities and partners. Subject specialists select and evaluate the websites in the database and write high quality descriptions of the resources. At present, the database contains over 100,000 records.
The Digital Book Index
Digital Book Index provides access to more than 80,000 titles records. It is the sole index that gathers both commercial and non-commercial eBooks from more than 1800 publishers and private publishing organizations. Titles range from the Ancient Agriculture to Space Flight- in most major disciplines-Literature, History, Science and the History of Science, Social Science, Medicine, the Arts, Religion, and various Area Studies, etc. An extensive Reference section includes more than 2000 Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Thesauri, Glossaries, Bibliographies, Timelines, Chronologies, Literary Histories, and includes, as well, a section on Writing & Style Guides that would be hard to surpass anywhere. More than 25,000 titles from public archives-all indexed here-are available free, while many others are available at very modest cost. Thousands more contemporary titles, ranging from the Nancy Drew mysteries to Star Trek, Ernest Hemingway or John Le Carré, are available from many leading publishers.
Internet Sacred Text Archive
This site is a freely available non-profit archive of electronic texts about religion, mythology, legends and folklore, and occult and esoteric topics. Texts are presented in English translation and, in some cases, in the original language. This site has no particular agenda other than promoting religious tolerance and scholarship.
The Electronic Literature Foundation
The mission of the Electronic Literature Foundation (ELF) is to produce advanced electronic texts to be used by students, scholars, and admirers of literature around the world. Its goal is to provide free access to a variety of texts from world literature available in several languages and/or editions, with forums for communication regarding these works, for all types of readers.
Great Writers and Poets
This site provides an extensive list of links to biographical materials, analyses, and interesting miscellany on writers from Jane Austin and Joseph Conrad to Joseph Brodsky and William Burroughs. It is sometimes difficult to find information on writers whose works are still under copyright, and this site helps address that problem.
Prehistoric fiction is a literary genre in which the story is set in prehistoric times, or in which the principal characters are members of a prehistoric society. The site covers Works in a variety of languages and provides information about the authors, publishing trends, the history of this genre, online texts, book reviews, links to related resources, and prehistoric facts. The site may be searched or browsed by author or title.
At this site you can read, search, and annotate great works of literature by authors such as Dickens, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, and many others. The collection currently contains 743 books and 1041 short stories by 211 authors. New works are added to the collection on a regular basis, many at the suggestion of readers. The works are split into seven categories: fiction, nonfiction, children, poetry, Shakespeare, short stories and drama.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc.)
The Web site for this organization of "over 1200 sf and fantasy writers, artists, editors, and allied professionals" includes links to member authors' Web sites, full-text online fiction, and calendars of public appearances. There is information about the organization's Nebula and other awards and articles about the craft of writing, electronic piracy, publishing and other scams aimed at writers, and ergonomic problems affecting writers.
Beyond Nancy Drew
An annotated bibliography of books for girls written in the last two hundred years which reflect the roles for girls considered proper at the time. Roughly chronological, the list is arranged within subject headings: etiquette, nurses, detectives, adventure, tomboys, and working girls. These titles are drawn from the collection at the Sallie Bingham Center For Women's History and Culture at Duke University.
American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States
"Index to and growing database of 5000+ full text, audio and video (streaming) versions of public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, interviews, other recorded media events, and a declaration or two." The site is especially helpful in providing highly readable links to material that assist the novice in analyzing and evaluating rhetoric. It is important to note that "rhetoric" refers to the classical study of persuasion and is not meant to be pejorative.
"This site offers thousands of full text free books. With a limited interface, this site will be most useful if you know the title of the book you would like to read."
Arts and Letters Daily
"News, reviews, latest trends, breakthroughs, disputes, and gossip in arts and culture." The site is laid out in such a way that it could be easier to browse.
Modern Library's 100 Best Novels
The site contains several excellent lists of what are considered to be the best books in the past century. In addition to the list provided by the Modern Library, you can also find the
Radcliffe's Rival 100 Best Novels List
as well as
100 Best Nonfiction Books
in the last century. The site also contains accessible
A companion site for C-SPAN's special television series on American writers for 2002 is offered as a Public Service. It includes: lesson plans; texts of famous works of American literature; video of the original C-SPAN series; biographies of authors and much more.
After reading a great story, poem, play, essay, or critical article, you may want to know more. The Internet provides all kinds of information to aid your research. This site shows you what kinds of information about a work, its author, or period you'll find on each site. LitLinks are organized alphabetically by author within five genres: fiction, essays, drama, poetry, and critical theory.
The "world literature" page on Google provides extensive links to numerous sites containing information on author biographies, historical background, literary criticism, and texts from Albanian to Zimbabwean. While descriptions of the links are in English, the sites to which they ultimately refer are often in the original language.
The Literary Web
This "hypermedia guide" is confined primarily to fiction and poetry, selected for quality and timeliness. Major sections include: authors, books, book reviews, children's literature, literary resources, and poetry.
Authors on the Web
Bonnie Hanks, the author of this page, says, "This page is an attempt to bring together literary author biographies available on the World Wide Web. The biographies vary in quality, timeliness, length, and authority. There is, however, some excellent material here and the promise of more in the future.
Great Stories, People, Books & Events in Literary History
Today in Literature features a new original biographical story each calendar day about the great writers, books, and events in literary history. Perhaps of more value to the student or teacher is the extensive section of the site devoted to the
Here you can find biographical information, stories about individual authors, selected works by an author, links to selected books about/related to an author, and additional recommended links. Although there is much advertising to works that may be for sell by an author, if the works are out of copyright, you can still find links to free, online versions. This portion of the site is singled out for attention because it is one of the best and most extensive single sources for information on authors.
How to Know the Basics of Greek Mythology
Greek and Roman mythology has influenced philosophy, psychology, literature, theatre, and art. This user friendly site provides a searchable database to help the uninitiated to understand myths and their significance.
Literature and Language: Lesson Plans
Contains excellent lesson plans on various types of literature throughout history, poetry, plays, as well as material to help the student understand and analyze what they read. From the Library of Congress.
This site developed in the 1990s provides an introduction to postcolonial literature and theory. Includes an introduction to postcolonial studies (studies about countries that formerly were colonies of European nations), and biographies of selected major figures in postcolonial literature (such as Michael Ondaatje from Sri Lanka), film (such as Ousame Sembene from Senegal), and theory (such as Frantz Fanon from Martinique). Also includes essays on term and issues. From the English Department at Emory University.
This is a search engine "designed to provide quick access to passages from Shakespeare's plays and sonnets." Search results can be viewed by topic (such as love or death), work, and character. Includes options to view surrounding text of the passages and citations. Quite accessible. The text of the plays is courtesy of Moby Lexical Tools. From the Clusty search software company.
The C-SPAN series,
American Writers: Journey Through History
American Writers: The 20th Century,
are now available as permanent archives for educators, researchers, and every one interested in the writers featured in the programs. You can find information on writers and their works as well as excellent lesson plans designed by C-SPAN in the Classroom. Note: the audio/video materials appeared not to be working when we visited the site.
Concordance: The Victorian Literary Studies Archive
This concordance "reports the total number of text lines, the total word count and the number of occurrences of the word or phrase searched" and surrounding text for numerous books by dozens of English-language authors. Primarily covers authors from the Victorian period, but also includes works by authors such as Jane Austen, James Joyce, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. "users are warned that it can take some time to run the concordance program. After clicking on a line number in the list of "hits," be patient if nothing seems to be happening. It may take a while for the complete text of a long work to be downloaded so that you can navigate in all of it." From a professor at Nagoya University, Japan.
American Women's Dime Novels, 1870-1920
Information and discussion about these inexpensive novels marketed to women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Includes lists of writers (some with biographical information) and publishers, an overview of the dime novel series, a cover galley, and links to articles and stories. Discusses libraries with dime novel collections. From the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.
Selected Specific Authors
"Here you will find information and resources on [James] Joyce and his works, links to other Joyce sites across the Web, and miscellaneous Joycean tidbits." Also includes information about film, theater, music, and books inspired by the works of this Irish author.
TimelessHemingway.com is one of the premiere web sites pertaining to the life and works of Ernest Hemingway. Part of its appeal stems from the fact that its content caters to a diverse audience from those generally interested in Hemingway, to students researching Hemingway, to professional scholars with more advanced needs. Searchable.
The Walt Whitman Archive
A project to digitize all the editions of "Leaves of Grass" as well as Whitman's other poetry and prose. The site includes not only texts, but also facsimiles of his works, an audio recording "thought to be Whitman's voice reading four lines from the poem 'America'," photographs, biographical information, contemporary and current reviews of his works, and more. Searchable. "Affiliated with the University of Virginia's Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities."
This project "dramatizes stories by American women writers for national radio broadcast. The site provides classroom resources for teaching the rich tradition of American literature by women." It features audio of the plays, which have been adapted from stories by authors such as Zora Neale Hurston, Kate Chopin, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Registration (free) required to access lesson plans and related teaching material.
Dickinson Electronic Archives
The Dickinson Electronic Archives is a website devoted to the study of Emily Dickinson, her writing practices, writings directly influencing her work, and critical and creative writings generated by her work. The site is searchable and has sections devoted to teaching and writing.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Containing lesson Plans, Teacher's Guides, Novel Unit Plans, Study Guides, and extensive copies of his works, this site is specifically designed for the middle or high-school teacher or student.
The Life and Work of Lord Byron
Contents include a biography of the poet; a timeline of his life and work; portraits of him, his friends, and his family; selections from his works; information on his wife, Anne Isabella Milbanke, and his lover, Lady Carolyn Lamb; and more on this writer of the English romantic era.
Rebel Poets of the 1950s
Although half of this exhibit is devoted to visual artists of the 1950s, the material on the American poetic scene following World War II is excellent. The focus is on poets from "four overlapping constellations: the Beat Generation, the San Francisco Renaissance, the Black Mountain poets, and the New York School poets." Also includes selected images. From the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
An integrated multimedia journey--combining artistic images, textual commentary, and audio recordings--through the three realms of the afterlife (Inferno, Purgatory, Paradise) presented in Dante's Divine Comedy. Available for each region are explanatory notes, a gallery of artistic images, recordings of significant Italian verses, and study questions--all aimed at enriching the experience of reading Dante's poetic vision of a voyage literally out of this world. Danteworlds is conceived as a complement to, and not a replacement of, the experience of reading and discussing Dante's Divine Comedy also contains an electronic text of the Divine Comedy. In 2008, the site was selected as "one of the best online resources for education in the humanities,"
Darkness Visible: A Resource for Studying Milton’s Paradise Lost
This website discusses the "challenging epic ['Paradise Lost'] with an accessibility that will enable those new to Milton to familiarize themselves with the poet, his work and his themes, but without . . . shying away from more difficult ideas." Resources include "a plot summary, character descriptions, essays with suggestions for further reading, a biography of the poet, and a gallery of illustrations including some interactive images." From Christ's College at Cambridge University.
The Official Web Site of Mark Twain
In a technological twist that Samuel Langhorne Clemens might have relished, nearly 100 years after his death (April 12, 1910) Mark Twain has an official website. Includes a brief biography, fast facts, list of writings, photos, and quotes about and by Twain (such as "The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter."). Includes links to related sites. From the Estate of Mark Twain.
First World War Poetry Digital Archive
The First World War Poetry Digital Archive is an online repository of over 7000 items of text, images, audio, and video for teaching, learning, and research. The heart of the archive consists of collections of highly valued primary material from major poets of the period, including Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg, Robert Graves, Vera Brittain, and Edward Thomas. From Oxford University.
Mark Twain: America’s Original Superstar
This 2008 article discusses the contemporary significance of "the man Ernest Hemingway said all of modern American literature could be traced back to: Mark Twain." The article notes that "whether Twain was talking about racism . . . foreign misadventures of the Western powers or . . . greed . . . his target was always human folly and hypocrisy, which turn out to be perennial topics for further study." Includes links to related articles. From Time magazine.
Special feature on author and photographer Eudora Welty (1909-2001), who won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for "The Optimist's Daughter." Includes a tribute, bibliography, list of Welty's awards and honors, links to lesson plans and other websites (some broken), and an audio program. From Mississippi Public Broadcasting.
John Updike: 2008 Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities
Collection of material by and about novelist, poet, essayist, and critic John Updike, who died in January 2009, and who won Pulitzer Prizes for two works in his famous Rabbit series of fiction. Features a biography, interview with Updike, appreciation, Updike's Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities about American art (delivered in May 2008), background about the Jefferson Lecture, and a bibliography. From the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Website for Virginia's 2009 celebration of the 200th anniversary of the January 19, 1809, birth of Edgar Allan Poe. The "Teacher" and "Student" sections provide material introducing you to Poe's life and works, such as a timeline, details about his literary contributions (such as inventor of the detective story), discussion of Poe's writing techniques, animated version of "The Tell Tale Heart," and material about Poe's mysterious death. Also includes events listing and a blog.
Collection of articles about "Harold Pinter, the British playwright and a Nobel laureate in literature," known for plays such as "The Birthday Party" and "The Homecoming"; he died in December 2008. Features an obituary and theater and movie reviews. Also includes slideshows, a narrated look at Pinter's plays, and links to related sites. From The New York Times.
Research Guide to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Annotated bibliography of research material about Russian novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who "was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1970. Includes biographies, bibliographies, primary sources, and more. From the Indiana University Libraries.
This NewsHour with Jim Lehrer special for children provides a collection of material on poetry. Features contemporary poet profiles (with biographies, poems, and video clips), reports on poetry slams and performance poetry, submitted poems by students from around the world, poetry lesson plans, and links to related sites. The home page is cumbersome to navigate because of its visual nature; however, the content is of such high quality, it is worth the additional effort.
Poetry Recordings (Recorded Sound Reference Center, Library of Congress)
Website for this center that "provides access to the commercial and archival audio holdings of the Library of Congress. This page is devoted to poetry readings, some of which may be accessed online."
Edgar Allen Poe
Biography and collection of material about poet and writer Edgar Allan Poe. Features a walking tour of Edgar Allan Poe's Publishers Row in New York City, a selected bibliography, and some of Poe's poems, such as "The Raven" and "The Bells." Includes links to related sites and to profiles of other poets from the Romantic era. From the Academy of American Poets.
Jane Austen's World
Collection of links to material related to early 19th-century novelist Jane Austen and her life and times. Includes links to full text of her novels, material about film adaptations, culture and fashion of the Regency Era, and academic articles. Also includes links to blogs. From an enthusiast.
Information about the social movements of the 1960s in the United States, with emphasis on the literature of the period. Features articles and images on the Beats, Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, Timothy Leary, the Black Mountain Poets, hippies, Woodstock, illicit drugs, protests, and much more. From the University of Virginia Library.
Collections of book reviews and articles about British author Doris Lessing, recipient of the 2007 Nobel Prize in literature, and known for writing books with feminist, political, mystical, and science fiction themes. Includes reviews of books back to 1950 (most free, some require a fee) and articles mainly from the 1980s and 1990s. From The New York Times.
Doris Lessing: Book by Book Profile
This 2004 article provides background about author Doris Lessing. "One of the most widely regarded 20th-century novelists, Lessing has been called an African writer, a political writer, a space fiction writer, a mystic writer, and a feminist writer." Includes biographical material, details about her publishing hoax in the early 1980s when she published a book under a pseudonym, and brief descriptions and review excerpts for major works. From Bookmarks magazine.
Background about 20th-century American writer Truman Capote, author of In Cold Blood, Breakfast at Tiffany's," and other works. Includes a biography, timeline, famous quotes, a list of works, and a list of books and movies by or about Capote. Note: Media section is not up to date. From an enthusiast.
In Cold Blood: A Legacy
Series of feature articles published in 2005 marking the 40th anniversary of the publication of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. The book concerns the 1959 slaying of Herbert Clutter, a farmer from Holcomb, Kansas, his wife, and two children. Also includes a timeline, maps, original newspaper coverage, online documentary, slideshow, and overview of the individuals involved (such as killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickock). From the Lawrence Journal-World, Lawrence, Kansas.
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1949: William Faulkner
Profile of novelist and poet William Faulkner, winner of the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel." Features a biography, bibliography (listing titles such as as The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, and Light in August. Nobel presentation speech and banquet speech, video of the awards ceremony, and related links. Some parts of the site are not easily accessible to a screen-reader. From the Nobel Foundation.
U.S. website for this British mystery writer. Features background about how Christie wrote and the influence of travel and archeology, descriptions of her famous fictional detectives (such as Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot), and material about Christie's works on stage, screen, and radio. Contains a blog and calendar of Christie events. Includes a list of suggested reading orders by character, "to avoid spoilers." Contains some commercial content.
O Henry -- Biography and Works
A brief biography and full text of selected works by O. Henry (1862-1910), "a prolific American short-story writer, a master of surprise endings, who wrote about the life of ordinary people in New York City." Includes the text of stories such as "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Ransom of Red Chief." From the Literature Network, a commercial site whose pages include advertisements and may generate pop-ups.
The Writings of James Fenimore Cooper
This website "provides information on the on-going scholarly work of 'The Writings of James Fenimore Cooper,'" the goal of which is to "provide readers with sound scholarly editions of Cooper's major works, based wherever possible on authorial manuscripts." While the visually impaired visitor may find certain sections of the site not accessible, to electronic versions of hard-to-find works and other information about this 19th-century author may be extremely useful. Maintained at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Alex Murray Palmer Haley
Biography of author Alex Haley, whose "literary fame rests on two best-selling books: The Autobiography of MalcolmX(1964) and Roots (1976)" Discusses highlights of his career, the prize-winning television miniseries based on Roots, the plagiarism lawsuit pertaining to Roots and the Harold Courlander novel, The African, and authorship questions. From the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, cosponsored by the University of Tennessee Press.
In Search of Shakespeare
Companion to a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) four-part series "exploring the life of the world's greatest and most famous writer." The site features a timeline of events during Shakespeare's time, a description of the places and people Shakespeare knew, an overview of the documentary evidence used as the basis for the series, and brief synopses of Shakespeare plays, Also includes lesson plans and other materials for educators, a multimedia database, a game, and more.
Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog
This humorous site is a blog as written by author Geoffrey Chaucer. While it contains commentary on current events as though written by Chaucer, the most useful sections are a
Notes on Translating Middle English
as well as
Notes on Pronunciation and Vocabulary
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1982: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Background about this Colombian author who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982, and who is known for works such as Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude. Features a biography, bibliography, and text of his Nobel lecture. Some material available in Spanish. (Nobel banquet speech only available in Spanish.) From the Nobel Foundation.
This site provides brief illustrated essays about the life of Scottish poet Robert Burns. It "is based on material by or relating to 'Scotland's Bard' which is held by the National Library of Scotland. Includes links to related sites. From the National Library of Scotland.
Official website of "playwright, director, actor, poet and political activist" Harold Pinter, who was awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in literature. Features information about productions of his plays, selected poetry, information about his political activities, bibliographies of works by and about Pinter, and more.
Critical essay addressing the life and works of 19th-century English author Jane Austen. Includes a discussion of her early writings and of her mature works such as Pride and Prejudice and Emma. Also includes a list of works by Austen, a bibliography, and links to related sites. From a professor at Brandeis University.
The Thomas Hardy Association
This website about Thomas Hardy features a chronology, information about editions of his works, maps of the fictional Wessex where his stories take place, and links to related sites (such as one for his home in Dorset). From an organization founded to promote the work of this British novelist and poet, known for works such as Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd." Some material is restricted to member use.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Biography of English Romantic poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Includes a selected bibliography of her poetry (including love poems and her later work with political and social themes) and collections of letters, and annotated links to other websites about Browning and her husband, poet Robert Browning. From the American Academy of Poets.
Mark Twain and American Humor
This lesson plan for high school students examines the "structure and characterization in the short story and consider the significance of humor through a study of Mark Twain's 'The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.'" Includes links to the short story and to related material on topics such as literary humor (and "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment," by Nathaniel Hawthorne).
Wired for Books
"For many years, most of the best writers of the English language found their way to Don Swaim's CBS Radio studio in New York. The one-on-one interviews typically lasted 30 to 45 minutes and then had to be edited down to a two minute radio show." Ohio University makes "these important oral documents publicly available for the first time in their entirety." You can hear authors from Toni Morrison and Norman Mailer to Lawrence Block and Frederick Forsyth to Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov."
The Cambridge History of English and American Literature
Considered the most important work of literary history and criticism ever published, the Cambridge History contains over 303 chapters and 11,000 pages, with essay topics ranging from poetry, fiction, drama and essays to history, theology and political writing. The set encompasses a wide selection of writing on orators, humorists, poets, newspaper columnists, religious leaders, economists, Native Americans, song writers, and even non-English writing, such as Yiddish and Creole.
The Electronic Archives contain essays, syllabi, bibliographies, and other resources for teaching the multiple literatures of the United States. The Electronic Archives are created and maintained by the Center for Electronic Projects in American Culture Studies at Georgetown University's American Studies Program. The site includes essays, collaborative bibliographies, course syllabi, assignments, and teaching strategies in American literature and culture studies.
Internet Public Library: Literary Criticism
The Internet Public Library Online Literary Criticism Collection contains critical and biographical websites about authors and their works that can be browsed by author, by title, or by nationality and literary period. The collection is not inclusive of all the work on the web, nor does it plan to be. The sites are selected with some thought to their overall usefulness.
Web English Teacher
Web English Teacher has biographical material, texts of major works, lesson plans, links to other secondary sources, discussion questions, writing ideas, and more. Just enter the name of an author or work into the search box and you’ll be on your way to an outstanding list of references. Especially appropriate for high school or college.
eNotes - Literature Study Guides, Lesson Plans, and More
ENotes is an educational resource used by millions of teachers and students. It has more than 50,000 literature study guides, lesson plans, and links to literary criticism for English and foreign languages. The site is well-organized and easy to navigate. Searchable.
AntiStudy.com is a search engine for free book notes and literature study guides online similar to Cliff Notes. AntiStudy searches SparkNotes, Barrons Book Notes, PinkMonkey, NovelGuide, and other dependable literature review sites for free book notes, and gives you direct links to each individual free site on the book you searched for.
Free Book Notes
This site is a guide to free book summaries, literature notes, and study guides (like "Cliff Notes") for over 250 books. Searchable.
Poetry and Plays
Use this site from The Academy of American Poets to search for poets and poetry, hear poems in the "Listening Booth," and locate information about National Poetry Month, celebrated every April. Includes news; an index of major poetry publishers, periodicals, and distributors; an events calendar; and tip sheets on setting up programs, events, and classes. "Poetry Awards" is a list of major American poetry awards with recent recipients. Browsable and searchable.
This is a search engine "designed to provide quick access to passages from Shakespeare's plays and sonnets." Search results can be viewed by topic (such as love or death), work, and character. Includes options to view surrounding text of the passages and citations.
The Oxford Shakespeare
The 1914 Oxford edition of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare ranks among the most authoritative published this century. The 37 plays, 154 sonnets and miscellaneous verse constitute the literary cornerstone of Western civilization.
Full of featured poets, samples of their work, and archived back issues of the magazine, this is the Web access point to "the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world." Online issues list the contents and include a few of the works published in print. Also includes podcasts, a WBLOG, and more.
For more information relating to literature, you may also want to visit our pages on
Electronic Books and Bibliographies
on this site.
Library of Congress Poetry Resources
Guide to poetry resources at the Library of Congress, including webcasts, digital collections, exhibitions, learning materials, and other features. Also provides links to guides to finding a poem, locating poetry criticism, official state poems, poets laureate, and more.
Document about the poetry explication, which is "a relatively short analysis which describes the possible meanings and relationships of the words, images, and other small units that make up a poem. . . . This handout reviews some of the important techniques of approaching and writing a poetry explication, and includes parts of two sample explications." From the Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Poetry: Lesson Plans
This collection of lesson plans covers a wide variety of topics in poetry, such as epic poems, haiku, sonnets, modernist poetry, limericks and nonsense poems, writing poetry, metaphor and simile, line breaks in poems, and specific poets and works. A selection of annotated poetry links is available by navigating to the "Websites" tab. From EDSITEment, a website of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
Writing about Poetry
Tips for writing about poetry, which "can be one of the most demanding tasks that many students face in a literature class." Topics include reasons for writing about poetry, having a specific argument about the poems, what to write about (such as figures of speech and cultural context), and standard conventions for writing about poetry. From the Writing Lab and The OWL (Online Writing Lab) at Purdue, both of Purdue University.
The Writer's Almanac
The website for "a daily program of poetry and history hosted by Garrison Keillor," broadcast on public radio and offered on this site. Includes an archive of the audio and text for the programs back to early 2001. Free daily e-mail updates available. "Be well, do good work, and keep in touch."
"Poetry can and should be an important part of our daily lives. Poems can inspire and make us think about what it means to be a member of the human race. By just spending a few minutes reading a poem each day, new worlds can be revealed. Poetry 180 is designed to make it easy for high-school students to read and listen to a poem on each of the 180 days of the school year."
The Poetics of Hip Hop
High school classroom materials focusing on the analysis of hip hop lyrics to "provide students with a greater understanding of rhythm, form, diction, and sound in poetry." Includes activities, readings, and links to related lesson plans and websites. From the National Arts and Education Network (ArtsEdge), a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
The Poetry Archive
This British site offers audio files of "English-language poets reading their own work. Some are historic recordings, some have been made specially for the Archive." Browse by poet or name of poem. Includes videos of interviews with selected poets, lesson plans, access to the "Children's Poetry Archive," and links to poetry sites for students and to other material.
The New York School of Poets
"The New York School of poetry began around 1960 in New York City and included poets such as John Ashbery, Barbara Guest, Kenneth Koch, and Frank O'Hara. Heavily influenced by surrealism and modernism, the poetry of the New York School was serious but also ironic, and incorporated an urban sensibility into much of the work." Includes links to additional information about selected poets as well as related prose. From the Academy of American Poets.
Famous Poets and Poems
"This site is dedicated to poetry and to the people who make poetry possible: poets and their readers. This is a free poetry site, where you can find a large collection of poems and quotes from over 627 poets."
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