100 Poems That Matter

An Academy of American Poets Anthology

A moving, thought-provoking, and emotional anthology of classical and contemporary poetry that invites us to relish poetry’s power to capture the truths that really matter.

Through the voices of contemporary writers and artists, alongside much-loved poems nominated by a wide range of poetry-lovers, this unconventional collection examines universal themes of love and loss, the lies we tell each other, and the experiences that define us. The poems are also are organized by theme and complemented by commentary. At turns moving, thoughtful, and thrilling, 100 Poems that Matter feeds into the connections we all have to poetry and encourages us to bring a deeper sense of honesty into our days.

There will be classic pieces in the collection not solely from American poets, such as a Shakespearean sonnet, a poem from Irish poet W.B. Yeats, a piece from Lebanese immigrant Kahlil Gibran, and there will be very familiar names, such as Mary Oliver, Emily Dickinson, and Sharon Olds.


Themes include:

  • Love
  • Loss
  • Activism
  • Nature
  • Lies and Contradictions
  • Sage Advice
  • Honesty

About the Author

Founded in 1934 in New York City, the Academy of American Poets is the nation's leading champion of American poets and poetry, with members in all fifty states. Its mission is to support American poets at all stages of their careers and to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry. Each year, the charitable organization connects millions of readers to poets' work with its many programs and publications, which, in addition to Poets.org include Poem-a-Day, the first place of publication for new poems by 260 poets annually; National Poetry Month (April), which the Academy founded in 1996; American Poets biannual literary journal for members; the American Poets Prizes, which provide more than $200,000 to 150 poets each year; Poetry & the Creative Mind, a celebration at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall of poetry's influence on other artists and public leaders; a Fall Conversation Series, that features poets and other artists; and an Education Program that provides free resources, such as lesson plans, the award-winning weekly series Teach This Poem, and the Dear Poet project for K-12 teachers and students. In addition, the organization coordinates the Poetry Coalition, an alliance of more than 20 poetry organizations across the United States.

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