Document Type



96th annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association


Sacramento, CA

Publication Date

April 2017


Most of the psychological work on poetry has investigated the poet (Mason, Mort, Woo, 2015; Jamison, 1989) or the expressive act of writing poetry (Fink & Drake, 2016, Coulehan & Clary, 2005). The National Poetry Foundation commissioned a study in 2006 that examined the general habits of the American public in terms of reading and sharing poetry. This survey found:14% of American population reads poetry.Readers in general and poetry readers in particular tend to be women with higher level of education.Poetry readers are not loners – high amounts of leisure activity and high sociability.Poetry readers tend to have read poetry as children.Poetry readers are readers across all genres.50% of regular poetry readers have shared a poem with someone compared to 22% of non-readers.