Poems for Halloween  

Langdon Hammer on James Merrill's Ouija Board

New Recording: Anne Waldman Reads "The Raven" 

New Lesson Plan: Ghosts and Spirits
Trick or Treat: Poetry Tote Bags
Walt Whitman's Death Mask poems
Halloween Poems
by Christina Rossetti
by William Shakespeare
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Bats by Paisley Rekdal
Unbidden by Rae Armantrout
Darkness by George Gordon Byron
A Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud
Hades' Pitch by Rita Dove
Medusa by Patricia Smith
The Dead by Mina Loy
essayInterview: On James Merrill's Ouija Board
James Merrill
"There is something grand and high-stakes about Merrill's spiritualism--he founds his own religion after all. There's also something small and private in his sometimes desperate emotional need to believe in the Other World and its benevolence," says Langdon Hammer in a newly published interview about Merrill's relationship with the occult.


Related Essays on Poetry of Channeling:

Sylvia Plath's Spirit Guide 

Nathaniel Mackey's Dogon Elders

audioAudio Exclusive: Anne Waldman Reads Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven"
Who better to reinterpret the seasonal favorite than Academy of American Poets Chancellor Anne Waldman? She recently recorded this stirring rendition of Poe's classic poem, especially for Poets.org, in New York City.    
lesson Lesson Plan: Ghosts and Spirits
Newly added for Halloween, this lesson plan, prepared by a curriculum specialist, encourages students to examine celebrated poems about ghosts--going beyond clichéd images to a deeper place that connects to being human.
This plan aligns with Common Core Standards, and we hope it might inspire educators to bring even more poems into the classroom.
Tell a Friend: 
store2Trick or Treat: Poetry Tote Bags
Perfect for books, groceries, and...yes, candy. These roomy bags are individually cut, hand-stitched, screen-printed, and are heavy-duty enough to carry more than a few blocks' worth of Halloween loot.
Exclusive to Poets.org, this classic Tote Bag features iambic pentameter scansion marks and a line by Wallace Stevens. Find out more >

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Thanks for being a part of the Academy of American Poets community. To learn about other programs, including National Poetry Month, Poem In Your Pocket Day, the annual Poets Forum, and more, visit Poets.org. Victor Hernández Cruz photograph by Brian Palmer.