I wrote last time about finding poets who speak to you through their work, and mentioned one resource, The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry, edited by Rita Dove. The people she includes are well known and well established. There are uncounted numbers of newer, lesser known, perhaps local poets that deserve to be read. But if they’re unknown or little known, how do you find them? There are many ways. One is to visit the website of the Poetry Society of America and click the Poetry link, then Resources, then Poetry Journals. I admit it’s an overwhelming list, and it doesn’t include them all. It also doesn’t include the general literary journals which publish fiction and/or essays as well as poetry. Many of the poetry journals have web sites that include work from their contributors. A few clicks can tell you whether you want to read more, either of a particular poet or of the journal itself. Some of the journals are print, some online only, some have both print and web versions. Some publish only one style or another. This may sound simplistic to those already plugged into the poetry world. But maybe not. It seems like there’s always more to discover or become aware of. I know I have plenty of gaps in my knowledge.
My hope is that you find one or more journals that you are drawn to enough to subscribe to. Newer voices and the journals that publish them need support from readers. Very few newstands carry them these days. My own current subscriptions are to: The Lyric, Measure: A Review of Formal Poetry, and Light Quarterly. These may not be your preferences. My wish is that you find the voice or voices that are out there for you, waiting to make a connection.