About the Internet Poetry Archive

The University of North Carolina Press joins the UNC Office of Information Technology in publishing the Internet Poetry Archive. The archive makes available over a worldwide computer network selected poems from a number of contemporary poets. The goal of the project is to make poetry accessible to new audiences (at little or no cost) and to give teachers and students of poetry new ways of presenting and studying these poets and their texts.

The archive includes the work of living poets from around the world. The initial unit features seven poets, including Philip Levine and Nobel Prize winners Seamus Heaney and Czeslaw Milosz. Using the capabilities of the Internet to present sound and graphics as well as text, the archive entry for each poet comprises audio clips of the poet reading several poems, the poet's comments on the works, a photograph of the poet and any other graphics that would help a reader understand the poem (e.g., a map or illustration of a particular place mentioned in the poem), texts of the poems, a critical biography of the poet prepared by a scholar familiar with the poet's work, and a short bibliography. Poems are presented in their original languages, as well as in English translation.

Paul Jones, the project coordinator, is himself a published poet. He has assembled an editorial board of scholars and poets to help select the poets and vet all materials. Board members are William Harmon, Gerald Barrax, Linda Wagner-Martin, Dillon Johnston, and Reginald Gibbons. Partial support for this effort is being provided by IBM and Ibiblio.org.