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Poetry Criticism

Basic Reference Books for Literature Research

The following multi-volume interrelated sets are excellent starting points for finding biographical or critical information about writers. All of the series is cross-indexed. Look up your author in the index section of the last volume of each set Next to the author's name there will be abbreviations of books in which information about the author can be found. These abbreviations are expanded in the front of each volume. Click on the title for catalog record including call number.

Children's Literature Review
Contains excerpts from criticisms, reviews and commentaries of books for children and young people.

Contemporary Authors (CA)
A bio-bibliographical guide to current writers in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, motion pictures, journalism and other fields. There is an annual paperback title index.

Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series -- (CAAS)
Provides autobiographies of important current writers. The index lists names, titles, subjects and schools of writing. All genres included.

Contemporary Authors New Revision Series (CANR)
Provides updates on authors listed in Contemporary Authors. Use the latest CA cumulative index to locate individual author's listing.

Contemporary Literary Criticism (CLC)
Contains excerpts from criticisms of authors who are now living or who have died since January 1, 1960. There is an annual paperbound title index and a cumulative index of authors and critics.

Dictionary of Literary Biography (DLB) -- Ref PN, PQ, PR and PS
Over a hundred volumes, each one dealing with a different topic. To locate a particular writer, check the author index in the latest volume. Check our catalog to locate books in which the critical information may be found.

Literature Criticism from 1400 -1800 (LC)
Contains excerpts from criticisms of authors who lived between 1400 and 1800. Has a cumulative index to authors. Includes all genres.

Literature Criticism Online
Online database of the following literary works: Contemporary literary criticism, Twentieth-century literary criticism, Nineteenth-century literature criticism, Shakespearean criticism, Literature criticism from 1400 to 1800, Classical and medieval literature criticism, Poetry criticism, Short story criticism, Drama criticism, Children's literature review.

Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism (NCLC)
Contains excerpts from criticisms of authors who lived between 1800 and 1900.

Something About the Author (SATA)
Lives and works of authors and illustrators of children's books. Indexes in alternate odd numbered volumes beginning with Vol. 57. Has authors' index and illustrations index.

Something About the Author Autobiography Series
A collection of autobiographical essays written by prominent authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults. Each essay has a bibliography.

Twentieth Century Literary Criticism (TCLC)
Excerpts from criticisms of authors, playwrights, poets and other literary figures who died between 1900 and 1960.

Locating Poems in Collections

The following reference books are useful in locating individual poems that are published in poetry collections. SouthernSearch to see if we have the book in which the poem appears once you locate the poem in the index.

Chicorel's Index to Poetry in Collections
An index to poetry that appears in print and on discs, tapes and cassettes. Indexes by title, first line, poet, performer/reader, and director/editor.

Chicorel's Index to Poetry in Anthologies and Collections in Print

Chicorel's Index to Poetry in Anthologies and Collections in Print. Retrospective.

Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry in Anthologies

Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry in Collected and Selected Works
Index by author, title, first line, and subject. Indexes over 100,000 poems in anthologies.

Granger's Index to Poetry
Indexes poems that appear in collections. Arranged alphabetically by titles and first lines. Author and subject index available. 


The Art of Poetry: How to Read a Poem

Masterplots II. Poetry Series
Analyzes poems of 270 poets. Presents an overview of the work, meanings of each poem, poetic techniques and styles. Arrangement is alphabetical by the title of the poem.

Notable Poets

Poetry Criticism
Provides biographical information and critical excerpts from the most widely studied poets of world literature. Also check Literature Criticism Online.

Poetry Explication: A Checklist of Interpretations since 1925 of British and American Poems Past and Present
An index of poetry explication in books and journals. Covers British and American poets. Alphabetical arrangement by author.

Poets American and British
Contains 72 unabridged essays chosen from Scribner's American Writers and British Writers. Alphabetical arrangement by author. Third volume contains index.

Twentieth Century American Poetry

This is a critical guide to twentieth century American poetry that explores the material, historical and social contexts in which American poetry was  produced.

World Poets
Includes articles on numerous poets from around the world, accompanied by essays on various genres and schools of poetry.

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Encyclopedia of American Poetry. The Nineteenth Century
Furnishes facts, dates, biographical background, and information on American poets and poetry of the nineteenth century.

Encyclopedia of American Poetry. The Twentieth Century
Furnishes facts, dates, biographical background, and information on American poets and poetry of the twentieth century.

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics

Who's Who in Twentieth Century World Poetry

Gudies and Handbooks

Crowell's Handbook of Contemporary American Poetry
Information on American poets since 1940 with brief biographies and critical analysis of individual poets.

The Facts on File Companion to American Poetry

Coverage includes poets from the Puritan period to the avant-garde, important literary schools and movements in American poetry, influential periodicals, critical essays and poetry collections, literary awards and societies.

Guide to American Poetry Explication
This is an index of poetry explication in journals and books. Arranged alphabetically by author. The major American poets are covered.

Guide to British Poetry Explication
Index of English poetry explications in journals and books. Coverage from 1924-1990. Continues Poetry Explication: A checklist of Interpretation (1980)

Index of American Periodical Verse

Index to Black Poetry

Index to Criticism of British and American Poetry
Indexes criticisms of British and American poetry from early times to the mid-twentieth century. Arrangement is alphabetical by author.

The Poetry Handbook

Women's Poetry Index