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Frequently Asked Questions about the Australian Poetry Library


Website use


Purchasing and payment

Downloading files


Website use

How do I search for a particular poem?

On each page in the top right corner, there is a search box. You can enter words from the poem’s title, words in the poem, the poet’s name or other biographical details.

How do I search for a phrase or words?

If you want to search for a particular line or phrase from a poem, use double quotes around the phrase, eg. “there was movement at the station”.

How do I listen to audio or video?

You need to have Javascript enabled in your browser so that the flow player will work. Click the Play button under the Media link to the right of the poem.

Unfortunately we don’t have audio for all of the poems on our website, but Google seems to think we do. If audio is available, it will be accessible from an audio player on the same page as the poem – if the poem text is not visible (ie you’ve come to a page with just the poem title and an audio player) there is no audio. We are working to add more audio to the site, but with 40,000 poems it is a slow process!

How do I add poems to MySelection?

When you have a poem displayed on the screen, click the Save This button on the right hand side of the screen, in the My Selection area. The screen will update the number of poems in My Selection, eg. Your selection contains: 21 poems.

How do I remove poems from MySelection?

Click the MySelection link, either from the top right corner of the screen, or underlined in the MySelection area. A list of your selected poems will be displayed. Each poem has a Remove link beside it. You can also Remove All using the link at the bottom of the list.



How were poems chosen for the Australian Poetry Library?

The poems and poets were chosen by the project team of the APRIL (Australian Poetry Resources Internet Library) project, a 3 year Australian Research Council (ARC) grant, led by Professor Elizabeth Webby and Dr John Tranter. Out of copyright poems were transferred from the University of Sydney Library’s SETIS collections. Rights to use copyrighted poems were negotiated by the Copyright Agency Ltd.

The initial list was based on poets who were currently studied at secondary or tertiary level, plus representative poets from different periods in Australian history. Poets who were involved in the early website developed by John Tranter were also included in the collections.

Why isn't Poet X included in the Library?

The most common reason a particular poet's work is not included in the Australian Poetry Library is lack of permission to reproduce. If a poet's works are still in print, some poets and publishers felt that providing free search and display would undercut sales. We respect poet's rights to earn a living from their poetry, and hope that the APL can be an adjunct to sales.

We hope to be able to continue to add poets and poetry to the site as it develops.

My work is included, but I want to add more – can I?

The current collection was based on published editions of poetry. We are not adding more poems to the site at this point, but will be hoping to add more in the future, subject to funding.

If you have photographs, additional biographical or bibliographic information, please contact us to have them added to the site.

How do I get my poems added to the Australian Poetry Library?

We are not currently accepting new poems into the Australian Poetry Library. It is intended that subject to funding, the editorial team will open the site for inclusion of more poetry.

I have noticed an error in my poem, how do I get this corrected?

Please contact using the form on this website, or send an email to info@poetrylibrary.edu.au. Please note that we have used the published versions of poems, and will only make corrections where what we have done does not match the published edition. If you have revised poems, we may be able to include these as additional versions, not replacing the published edition.


Purchasing and payment

How can I buy MySelection of poems?

Once you have finalised your set of poems, choose the Download PDF link to start the purchase process. You will be asked to enter a Title and Description for your selection.

You will then be transferred to our secure server to enter your name and billing details. You will then be redirected to PayPal to complete payment. Once your payment is processed, you will be sent an email with a link where you can download your PDF.

What formats do the downloads come in?

Poem anthologies are available as PDF. Other formats will be made available as the site develops.

I don’t have a PayPal account – is there another way to pay?

PayPal is currently the only way to pay for custom anthologies of poems in the Australian Poetry Library.  If you do not have a PayPal account, PayPal will allow you to pay with a credit card without joining.

If the poems are available in a published edition, there may be a link to purchase that will take you outside the Australian Poetry Library to purchase.


Downloads and files

I have paid for MySelection, how do I download my set of poems?

Once your payment is processed, you will be sent an email with a link where you can download your PDF.

I clicked on the link to download, but it didn’t work. What do I do?

You can only download your PDF one time. Please check the Downloads folder of your browser to see if the file has already downloaded. Poetry Library files are named in the following manner:





Default download folder locations:


            Windows 7: \Users\<username>\Downloads

            Window XP: Desktop


Internet Explorer:

            My Documents\Downloads


Google Chrome:           

            Windows XP: \Documents and Settings\<username>\My Documents\Downloads

            Windows Vista: \Users\<username>\Downloads

            Mac: /Users/<username>/Downloads

            Linux: home\<username>\Downloads


If you still cannot find the file, please contact us with your order number and personal details. We will email you a copy of the file.