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[APA] How do I cite a poem?

The Tricky Part: Original or reprinted?

In order to cite a poem, you must decide if it was originally written for the anthology or collection, or if it has been reprinted from a previously published book.

How can I tell if it's original or reprinted?

Test #1: Look for a list of "Permissions," "Copyright Credits" or "Acknowledgements" at the front or back of the book, or even a copyright credit on the same page as the poem. Since an editor of an anthology must obtain permission from the copyright owner to reprint a poem, if you find a credit statement, you have a reprinted poem.

Test #2: The title of the anthology indicates that the poem is new or reprinted.

  • Heart to Heart: New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century American Art edited by Jan Greenberg. (original poems)
  • The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens. (reprinted poems)

Test #3: A preface or introduction explains how the poems were collected or created.


How do I cite an original poem?

In APA select "Anthology/Collection" as the citation type. The default content type selection will already be "Story, Essay, Poem, Longer Work." List the name of the poem as the title of the specific work.

Citing an original poem in an anthology of multiple authors

Katz, B. (2001). Lessons from a painting by Rothco. In J. Greenberg (Ed.), Heart to heart: New poems inspired by twentieth-century american art (p. 55). New York: Harry N Abrams.

Citing an original poem in a collection by a single author

Oliver, M. (1992). When death comes. In New and selected poems (pp. 10-11). Boston: Beacon.


How do I cite a reprinted poem?

Select "Anthology/Collection" as the citation type but change the content type (defaults to "Story, Essay, Poem, Longer Work") to "Reprint/Excerpt: Book." This indicates that your source was originally published in a print book and has now been reprinted in an anthology. In the top section ("Book (Reprinted or Excerpted)"), fill in information about the poem and the book it was originally published in. In the bottom section ("Anthology/Collection"), fill in information about the anthology where the poem has been reprinted.

Citing a reprinted poem in an anthology of multiple authors

Levertov, D. (1996). Witness. In C. Milosez (Ed.), A book of luminous things: An international anthology of poetry (p. 72). New York: Harcourt Brace. (Reprinted from Evening train, 1992, New York: New Directions)

Citing a collection of reprinted poems by a single author

Stevens, W. (1961). The collected poems of Wallace Stevens (pp. 92-95). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. (Reprinted from Harmonium, 1937, New York: Alfred A. Knopf)




This article last revised: 06/29/2012

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