Friday, May 26, 2006

If You Enjoy the Poetry of Robert Frost, You Might Try ... : The Read-A-Like Idea in Poetry

I reported a couple of weeks ago that the read-a-like idea used in fiction readers' advisory has not been applied to poetry. There are several good reasons for this situation. Reader demand is low, and the librarians (including me) producing readers' aids know less about poetry. After a little study I have finally been able to produce a what-to-read-next list. I hesitate to call it a read-a-like list, which implies a much closer matching of styles and content than really exists. Still, this list may help readers of Robert Frost find some other poets to enjoy.

If you enjoy the poetry of Robert Frost, you might try ...

A. R. Ammons

Philip Booth

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Josephine Jacobsen

Jane Kenyon

Maxine Kumin

William Stafford

Henry David Thoreau

Richard Wilbur

I used Facts on File Companion to 20th Century American Literature by Burt Kimmelman to come up with an initial list; I found all the pages mentioning Robert Frost, read about the poets who claim Frost influenced them, and created a list. I then read several poems of each and verified that there are books by these poets available in our library system.

Next I am going to try Walt Whitman.


Anonymous said...

Looks like a good list (though I only know about half the poets on it). I have actually been thinking about poetry read-alike or read-next lists since your first post a few weeks ago.

So far I have come up with a short one, just based on my own experience.

If you like Anne Sexton, try:

Sharon Olds
Marie Howe
Diane Wakowski
Mary Oliver

Maybe I'll ask some of my poet friends for ideas--or for lists of things they think might be appeal factors in poetry.

ricklibrarian said...


That looks like a good list to me, and I know half of the recommended poets. That is the beauty of the idea - finding new poets to read.

If you make a list, please add it to the Readers' Advisor Section at the Library Success wiki.