In honor of National Poetry Month, I’ll be sharing tips and news for poets this month. Today, I’m going to address the topic of contemporary poetry versus classic poetry.  A recent study called Poetry in America by the Poetry Foundation revealed some interesting information on this topic. Here are the highlights.

  • Fifty-five percent of current and former poetry readers first read classic poetry.
  • More than half of all current poetry users read or listen to contemporary poetry.

  • About one-third of current poetry users restrict their involvement to contemporary poetry.

  •  About one-quarter read or listen to both contemporary poetry and the classics.

  • Over a third of current poetry users define the type of poetry that they read as “something else.” They asked respondents to specify what they meant by “something else.” There were four categories that repeatedly came up in the pool of “other” responses: personal, friend’s or relatives’ poetry; modern poetry; children’s poetry; and inspirational poetry.

You may be wondering why this information is important. As a self publishing poet, it is essential that you understand who your readers are and how to reach them. This will help you publish work that is appealing to your audience and to market your books effectively.

I’d love to know, how often do you read poetry and what types of poetry do you read?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at