As part of an ongoing project to rebalance and diversify the National Poetry Library's rare books collections, we recently acquired several phenomenal first edition books by poets such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Nikki Giovanni, and Sylvia Plath. This page also showcases a selection of rare and delicate editions that were already in our collection, including pamphlets by Ntozake Shange and Alice Oswald. Many of these poets were also experimental artists and political activists. The intertwining of poetry and politics is evident in these works. They are often radical experiments in form, style, and book design.
The National Poetry Library also has rare items by iconic feminist poets Margaret Atwood, Maya Angelou, Adrienne Rich and others. Items from our rare books collection can be viewed in the library with advance notice.