Poe coined the phrase “the imp of the perverse” in an 1845 story of that title about an almost perfect murder.

How Edgar Allan Poe Became Our Era's Premier Storyteller

Fans of the mystery writer have no shortage of ways to pay homage to the scribe behind "The Raven" and so much more

For the First Time in More Than 20 Years, Copyrighted Works Will Enter the Public Domain

A beloved Robert Frost poem is among the many creations that are (finally) losing their protections in 2019

The re-discovered works are newly published in the literary journal Fugue.

Scholar Unearths Trove of Anne Sexton’s Forgotten Early Works

The four poems and an essay find the confessional poet detailing American life in the 1950s, from skiing to suburban lawn care

Smithsonian.com's Chief Digital Officer Shares His Favorite Books of the Year

Our own William Allman describes the 2018 titles he found to be the most enjoyable and eye-opening reads

Pulter's poems offer an intimate glimpse into the private life of a 17th-century noblewoman

Critically Explore 17th-Century Noblewoman's Little-Known Poems Online

Hester Pulter’s works detail chaotic political landscape of the English Civil War, scientific discoveries, theological queries, personal struggles

Tracy K. Smith, America's Poet Laureate, Travels the Country to Ignite Our Imaginations

Like Johnny Appleseed, Smith has been planting the seeds of verse across the U.S.

"Mrs. Tabitha's Cats Academy"

Cats in Literature? It’s a Long Tail

A new exhibition at the British Library explores how cats have inspired—and frightened—writers across the centuries

More like something out of a dream than a part of daily life, that weekend indelibly imprinted scenes in American memory: the riderless horse, the rat-a-tat-tat of the muffled drums, the brave widow, the toddler saluting his father’s casket.

How Poetry Soothed a Nation in Mourning for John F. Kennedy

First the jolt of shock, then a shroud of sadness struck the nation in the weeks following that fateful day


How the Poppy Came to Symbolize World War I

The red flowers blooming on a battlefield in Belgium, inspired John McCrae to write the war poem “In Flanders Fields”

Look inside, if you dare. Or if you have a forensics degree.

Is This the Bag That Held Sir Walter Raleigh's Mummified Head?

Legend has it his wife retained his embalmed head. But while the sack dates to the correct era and was found in his son's home, scholars are not convinced

Laima Vince in Lithuania in July 2018

The Translator Who Brought a Lost Jewish Poet’s Words to the English-Speaking World

Raised in the U.S. but a lifelong speaker of Lithuanian, Laima Vince became enamored of Matilda Olkin’s writing

The upcoming installation will feature a choral work inspired by Mary Borden's wartime love sonnets

Mary Borden's Forgotten World War I Ballad to Mark Centenary of Armistice Day

The heiress, poet and activist funded and oversaw military field hospitals during both world wars, penned series of sonnets inspired by wartime experiences

"Home-Life of the Lancashire Factory Folk during the Cotton Famine"

Hundreds of Newly Found Poems Reveal the Devastation of the U.K.’s ‘Cotton Famine’

When the American Civil War crippled England’s cotton industry, impoverished workers turned to poetry to convey their plight

Langston Hughes circa 1939

Researcher Finds Earlier Birth Date for Langston Hughes

It has long been believed that the famed poet was born in 1902, but his name appears in newspaper articles from 1901

Robert Bly, one of the poets who scored in the top ten for dynamism.

Analysis Breaks Down the Annoying "Poet Voice"

It's not just you; poets also read their works aloud with long pauses, weird cadences and almost no emotion

Artists and poets have long been inspired by the mathematical patterns found in nature—for instance, the remarkable fact that a sunflower's seeds follow the Fibonacci sequence. But there are myriad other ways that the realms of poetry and mathematics can intersect.

How Poetry and Math Intersect

Both require economy and precision—and each perspective can enhance the other

Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Casket Rediscovered in Former Wine Cellar

Parishioners at St. Michael's Church in Highgate hope to refurbish the crypt after identifying where exactly Coleridge's final resting place was

Martin Luther King Jr.‘s dream – which alternated between shattered and hopeful – can be traced back to Hughes’ poetry.

In His Speeches, MLK Carefully Evoked the Poetry of Langston Hughes

To avoid being labeled a communist sympathizer, King had to distance himself from Hughes, but he still managed to channel the controversial poet

De Letters van Utrecht is a street poem that will continue indefinitely.

A Never-Ending Poem Grows in the Netherlands

De Letters van Utrecht is carved into the city streets and will continue indefinitely

Before the 1840s, women had no choice but to deliver children without anesthetic.

It Didn’t Take Very Long For Anesthesia to Change Childbirth

The unprecedented idea of a painless delivery changed women's lives

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