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Painting and Poets: Home

English 1000


Handbooks & Encyclopedias

  • Dictionary of Art (Ref. N31.D5 1996)
  • Encyclopedia of World Art (Ref. N31.E533)
  • Phaidon Encyclopedia of Art and Artists (Ref. N31.P48)
  • Symbols and Legends in Western Art (Ref. N7740.W53)
  • Oxford Dictionary of Allusions (Ref. PE1580.D45 2001)
  • Facts on File Dictionary of Classical, Biblical, and Literary Allusions (Ref. PN43.L37 1987)
  • The Longman Dictionary and Handbook of Poetry (Ref. PN1021.M94 1985)
  • The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (Ref. PN1021.N39 1993)
  • The Princeton Handbook of Poetic Terms (Ref. PN1042. P75 1986)
  • The Handbook of Poetic Forms (Ref. PN1042.T43 2000)

Biographical Sources

Basic biographical information can be found in the following sources. For more detailed biographies, use the MERLIN Catalog to do a subject search on your person's name, putting last name first. Scroll down the resulting list of subject headings to find biographies.

  • International Dictionary of Art and Artists (Ref. N7425.I67)
  • LION: Literature Online
    Click on "Find Authors" and type in your author's name, last name first.
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography Ref. PN451.D43
    Use the Literary Index or check the index in the last volume of this series to see which volume contains information on your author. The DLB also gives nice lists of the authors' works.
  • Contemporary Authors Ref. Z1224 .C6
    This covers more recent authors than the DLB . Use the Literary Index or check the index in the last volume of this series to see which volume contains information on your author. Entries in CA also list reviews and interviews.
  • Critical Survey of Poetry (Ref. PN1111.C7)
  • Who's Who in Twentieth-Century World Poetry (Ref. PN1271.W46 2000)
  • The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English (Ref. PR601.O9 1994)
  • Contemporary Poets (Ref. PR603.C6)
  • Contemporary Women Poets (Ref. PS151.C67 1997)


Criticism may be published in books or as articles in journals. Finding criticism on a specific poem or painting can be tricky since most catalogs and indexes are not this detailed. You may start your search by using the title of a poem or painting, but continue by searching the author's or painter's name as a subject and possibly general themes. You may not be able to tell if an article or book treats a specific poem or painting until you have the publication in hand.

The following specialized indexes identify criticism on specific poems.

  • Index to Criticisms of British and American Poetry (Ref. PR89.C5)
  • American and British Poetry: A Guide to the Criticism (Ref. Z1231.P7 A44 1984)
  • Guide to American Poetry Explications (Ref. Z1231.P7 G85 1989)
  • Poetry Explication: A Checklist of Interpretation since 1925 (Ref. Z2014.P7 K8 1980)
  • Guide to British Poetry Explication (Ref. Z2014.P7 M34 1991)
    The Literary Index indexes the print publication
  • Poetry Criticism (Ref. PN1010 .P499), which excerpts criticism of poems published in a variety of sources.

The major databases to use are:

Finding criticism in journal articles is usually a two step process.

1) Use the databases and indexes to see what articles have been published and where.
2) If the full text of the article is not provided in the database, use the MERLIN Catalog to see if we have the journal or newspaper and where we keep it. You may also check see if the journal's available electronically. If a journal isn't available locally, use the journal request form to tell us what you need. We'll order a photocopy from another source. This is a free service with delivery usually within one to two weeks. Feel free to Ask a Librarian for help.

Use the MERLIN and MOBIUS catalogs to locate books of criticism about an author or broad topic. Do a subject search on the author’s name and scroll to an appropriate subheading. For example: Dickinson, Emily--Criticism and Interpretation . Do a table of contents search to locate relevant chapters in books with a broader focus.

The keyword search searches for words in author, title, subject headings, tables of contents and notes all at once. You can use various search options to make your search more precise and to sort the results in various ways.

You may expand your search to include all MOBIUS libraries.

Materials requested through MOBIUS are usually delivered in about 48 hours. If you haven't found enough, use WorldCat to search libraries throughout North America. You may request books from WorldCat by clicking on the button at the top left of each record.

LION: Literature Online provides online texts of many English and American literary works with a search mechanism to facilitate text analysis. From the main LION menu, choose Search Texts to search for words and phrases within a specific work or group of works. The advanced search feature allows you to define a corpus by period, literary movement, author's gender or ethnicity, and other criteria.

Indexes of Poetry and Paintings

Use the following indexes to locate poems published in anthologies, collections, and periodicals.

  • ABELL: Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature
    Limit to "literary works" to find poems published in the publications indexed by ABELL .
  • Subject Index to Poetry (Ref. PN1021.B7)
  • Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry in Anthologies (Ref. PN1022 .F73 1997)
  • Granger’s Index to Poetry (Ref. PN1022.H39, PN1022.G7)
  • Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry in Collected and Selected Works (Ref. PN4784.W7 F58 1997)
    The main bibliography of poetry in English from all periods. Indexes collections. Check all editions for complete coverage.
  • Poetry Index Annual: A Title, Author, and Subject Index to Poetry in Anthologies. (Ref. PN1022.P63) 1989-1992
    Reputedly more inclusive than Granger’s
  • Chicorel Index to Poetry in Anthologies and Collections in Print (Ref. PN1022.C5 and Ref. PN1022. C54)
  • American Poetry Index: An Author and Title Index to Poetry by Americans in Single-Author Collections (Ref. PS323.5.A43)
  • Roth's American Poetry Annual (Ref. PS580 .R68)
  • Women's Poetry Index (Ref. PN1024 .G89 1985)
  • Index to Black Poetry (Ref. PS153.N5 C45)
  • Columbia Granger's Index to African-American Poetry (Ref. PS153.N5 C628 1999)

To locate reproductions of paintings, use:

Citation Guides

MLA style manuals are also available in Ellis' Reference area

If you use articles you obtained in full-text version directly from a library database, the citation protocol will be different than if you had found the article in paper copy in the library.

Subject Librarian

Anne Barker's picture
Anne Barker
164 Ellis Library