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Frequently asked questions

We often get asked questions about writing and publishing poetry, visiting the library and more – check this list to see if your query is answered.

How do I become a member of the National Poetry Library?

Anyone can become a member of the library and it’s free!

Join now

How can I get my poetry published?

We’ve got a whole page of advice about writing and publishing.

Emerging poets

Can I bring children to the library?

Yes! We have special events for children, as well as a great collection of books for young readers.

Our offering for children

I need to find a poem for a wedding/a funeral/a naming ceremony – can you help?

You can visit the National Poetry Library in person and look at our anthologies of poems for occasions and find a poem that speaks to you. If you are further afield you can ask a librarian for help in finding a suitable poem.

Ask a librarian

Where can I find this poem?

You can ask a librarian for help finding a poem or quote

Ask a librarian

I would like to work/volunteer at the National Poetry Library?

Any jobs or work placement opportunities at library are advertised on on the Southbank Centre website:

Jobs at Southbank Centre

I would like to bring my class / university group to visit the library?

Our offering for schools

We can offer tours to university groups, please contact us for more information.

Ask a librarian

How can I add my poetry event to your site?

It’s easy and free to add your event to our listings by completing our online form.

Submit an Event

How can I add my poetry competition to your site?

It’s easy and free to add your competition to our listings by completing our online form.

Submit a Competition

How do I get my magazine listed on your site?

If your magazine is stocked in the National Poetry Library then it will be listed on our site.

Please get in touch

My poetry book has been published. How do I make sure the library has a copy?

We have standing orders with most of the UK poetry publishers. If you are a new publisher who would like to submit your books please get in touch. We are primarily concerned with collecting UK and Irish publications so please contact us before sending publications from overseas.

Please get in touch

I have self-published a collection of poems. Can I donate it to the library?

Firstly check our catalogue to make sure we don't already have a copy. If it's not there, please bear in mind that we receive 200-300 new items every month and are unable to accept everything that is sent for the collection. The Acquisitions Panel meet regularly to consider submissions. For your book to be considered, please send in a copy of one book at a time, including a return address. The librarians will consider it and respond to you. The panel is constituted by a number of staff, so your publication will be considered by more than one librarian. The panel are particularly looking for poetry collections that demonstrate that the poems have been published/performed before publication and we recommend that you include an 'acknowledgements page' in your book to demonstrate this. 

Please get in touch

Can I hold my poetry event at the National Poetry Library?

We invite proposals for our Special Edition series which takes place on the first Wednesday of each month.

Put in a proposal

I am blind or visually-impaired - can I access the library’s collections?

We have braille and audio resources for members and offer a free postal service of CDs to people with vision impairment.

Resources for visually-impaired users

Can I use the library to study subjects other than poetry?

Unfortunately not. The National Poetry Library is the only dedicated space for poetry study in London and is open to everyone studying poetry and the library's collections.