Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Poetic Formats in Contemporary Poetry: A How-To Guide: Home


Welcome to Poetic Formats in Contemporary Poetry: A How-to Guide! This libguide for the academic library presents an introduction to poetic form and formats in contemporary poetry. The formats explored include sonnets, villanelles, sestinas, concrete poems & calligrams, and performance poetry. The audience for this guide is undergraduate college students in Introductory Poetry Workshops or Creative Writing Programs, as well as students studying poetry as a literary form, members of creative writing clubs on campus, and anyone with a creative interest in poetry. It is not an exhaustive guide to all poetic formats available, but rather highlights a number of well-known formats with examples of their use from a diverse array of poets. Here also you will find poetic form guidebooks, anthologies of contemporary poetics, poetry criticism, and personal essays. Resources include audio, video, RSS feeds, and text, with a sampling poetry performances, blogs, and links to audio archives, in order to present poetry in a wide variety of accessible forms. It is a concise and comprehensive guide, which seeks to be informative and to spark students' interests in poetry and creative writing, while not being too overwhelming. Sources provided will demystify some of the more complex forms, without (hopefully) scaring anyone away!  

Audience: Undergraduate Students of Poetry, Creative Writing Students, Poetry Clubs, Teachers, and Creative Writers.


Vintage Typewriter With Text - What's Your Story : Stock Photo



What makes something a poem? In her 2017 TED-Ed talk, Melissa Kovacs shares three recognizable characteristics of most poetry.


A brief exploration of rhythm and repetition within poetry. David Silverstein describes what poetic repetition is and why it works.

Poetry Feeds (Poetry Foundation; Audio & Blog)

Loading ...
Loading ...

About this Guide

Jessica Rogers-Cerrato, Reference Librarian

Office Hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays, from 9am to 10am. Other times by appointment.