Hello, dear reader.
Read A Little Poetry began as a passion project in 2005 and is now a thriving collection of hundreds of great poems. It is my commonplace book for works I have found, read, and loved through the years.
Each post is accompanied by marginalia—mostly ruminations on life and the world as it shifts beneath our feet, and almost always a conversation with the poem on the page. I endeavour to regularly share new work from books on my own shelves, those that I’ve found in the library, as well as online and print magazines and journals.
Each selected poem draws from experiences of gratitude and joy, grief and loss, and the deep well of being human. Sometimes questions arise: “Why am I here?” and “How can I keep going?” and “Is this all there is?”. Other times one can only utter “Thank you,” and “Please,” after each line break, as if poems are prayers we draw from memory, or perhaps another life.
If you have been longing for a companion in your poetry journey, you are welcome here. This is a soft and tender place for you to land, and wander awhile.
The heart of this place
Read A Little Poetry has evolved over almost two decades as a community of poetry lovers, readers, writers, educators, among others, whom I found are aligned with my vision for what I want to accomplish in this little corner of the world:
- Hold poets to the light and promote their work and their books
- Share moving poems that become our anchors through time, through the gamut of delight and sorrow, and everything else in between
- Nourish the inner life and imagination of anyone looking to get started on reading and/or writing poetry
- Pursue a deeper exploration of poetry, writing, literature, creativity, loving, and living
- Discover more work by poets who come from both large or small presses
An enduring commitment
My poetry education as a young writer consisted of reading works from old, white, cisgender, heterosexual men and women. It was what was available to me at the time, apart from the literature in my country. Hence, I am devoting my efforts to reading more works from women, LGBTQ+ and people of colour, and most importantly, living poets.
I seek to expand my reach however best I can, highlighting poets that come not just from the U.S. but also all over the world. Nevertheless, this site is primarily offered in the English language, so that it will remain accessible to readers wherever they reside.
While Read A Little Poetry has been instrumental to many teachers in planning their syllabus, it is not affiliated with any academic or literary institution. Because the poems I share are my personal choices, I am able to sustain this project independent of any outside influence, and I intend to keep this format for as long as possible.
Ultimately, there is no entity behind this site other than myself, and it will always remain free to all.
Building an archive
To provide sources for the text wherever possible is a continuing endeavour. The poems posted in the past are from books in my personal collection, or jotted in notebooks, journals, scraps of paper years back when I was still studying and borrowing copies from friends or the school library. I am currently working through old posts to make sure that everything is properly credited—if not the book where the poem was published, then a link to a literary journal or magazine, or other sites.
My mission is to make this place a useful resource for everyone, hence I am in the process of building the following:
- A comprehensive index of tags and topics
- A list of all poets and their work
- And other future features
A work in progress
I’ve always turned to Read A Little Poetry in times of incredible anguish or unbridled hope. You have witnessed me grow up, grow older, get lost, and find myself over and over since I was nineteen years old. I said then that this was an attempt to discover pieces of my life tucked away in poems, waiting to meet me again. I think I have lived through worlds, a hundred of them, narrated by poets who knew exactly what I was feeling and going through. This remains true.
Everything written here are my days blurring into one another. I wrote things for myself, but maybe I wrote it for you, too.
Yes, dear stranger: I am in love with poetry—have been for all these years. Poems have saved me in one way or another, and I hope the same for you.
As always, everything here is a work in progress.
Pleased to meet you
T. De Los Reyes is the author of the chapbook Woeman (Hawai’i Review, 2018). A finalist for the 2021 Sappho Prize by Palette Poetry, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Pleiades, Split Lip Magazine, Cordite Poetry Review, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, The Philippine Free Press, and The Philippine Graphic, among others.
Her work is in conversation with womanhood, eros, and mapping the body—exploring geography vis-a-vis the question of identity as a person of colour. Past recognitions include: Notable Manuscript for the 2016 BOAAT Chapbook Prize, First Place in Filipino Poetry in the 2007 Maningning Miclat Poetry Awards, and Fellow for Filipino Poetry in the 2005 Ateneo Institute of Literary Arts and Practices, National Writers Workshop.
She is the designer of Nowruz Journal, a finalist for the 2022 CLMP Firecracker Award in Magazines/Best Debut, and runs Possibilities Studio, advising and working with writers and artists, as well as creative entrepreneurs and small businesses. She is also a community teaching assistant for ModPo (Modern and Contemporary American Poetry), offered by the University of Pennsylvania as a massive open online course for the past ten years.
She lives and writes in Manila, Philippines.
I already sent you an email. I just think you should know about that because your blog changed my life. I want to thank you always for the things you post. Please come back also.
Your avid reader and comrade,
To everyone else who comes here and who loves this site as much as I do, let us all be vigilant and make sure our dear author doesn’t get plagiarized by other opportunistic bloggers!
Your avid reader and comrade,
I discovered your blog a few years ago, when I was going through one of my own times, my own trial, test, learning about life, myself. I think I spent the next three weeks or so reading back through your posts. It was a heartening experience: when someone else knows your burden, it somehow becomes easier to bear, easier to accept.
Thank you. You gave that to me, and I have never acknowledged it.
I can only hope you will return to this space. The pieces you have shared have made so many of my days richer, and I hope that other readers get to share that experience, and not steal it.
I’m too far away to offer anything but a little solace through music:
Let it fill the silence.
In my darkest nights, I knew I could always find a poet or a poem that identified the exact same feeling and which allowed me hope.
That’s why I read poetry.
Found your blog today, as I was searching for the full text of an e.e. cummings poem to email to a friend of mine – we’re both going through our own trials. I just lost a love and a home, and she is looking for work and a new place to live. It’s as though I’m remembering what art can do, and why art about hard things is so satisfyingly necessary. I’ve never been particularly good at making art, especially not when I’m unhappy, but am so grateful for the clear distillation of the world that poetry provides in times of confusion. Poetry has been getting me through in a way I never gave it credit for before.
Apologies if this has already been referenced here but Staying Alive by Bloodaxe is probably the best anthology of poems for the broken hearted/bereaved/lonely/crazy etc….
Love your site.
Poetry: “The spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” ~William Wordsworth~
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