6 Ways to Enjoy Poetry on a Budget

As you cultivate hobbies and passions, you might struggle to find space in your budget to afford your interests. Poetry is no exception—as you build your poetry collection, search for ways to expand your craft, or find avenues for joining your local poetry community, costs can add up. Everyone, regardless of economic privilege, deserves to experience poetry’s benefits. To help you enjoy poetry on a budget, reference this list for inspiration.


Rent poetry collections from your local library


Libraries are an accessible, free, and sustainable resource to rent poetry collections. Whether you’re looking for classic or modern collections, your local library is a great place to find your next favorite book of poems. Although a library might not have your specific book in stock, you never know what new poets you might discover. Plus, you can also rent e-books and audiobooks!


Go thrifting


If you frequent thrift shops, you’ve likely experienced the thrill of discovering your new favorite clothing or home item for a fraction of its retail cost. But have you ever taken the time to rummage through a store’s book section? Among the sea of used books lie hidden gems waiting to be found, including poetry collections. Or, you can thrift online through businesses like Thrifted Books or Poshmark


Swap books with friends


Since friendships are often developed through common interests, chances are a few of your friends are fellow poetry fans. Why not share your collections by swapping books with each other? Take an inventory of your poetry book collection to compare with your friends’, choosing the works you’re comfortable swapping. This is a simple, free way for you and your friends to mutually support one another’s reading. You might even consider taking this a step further by organizing a book swap event, either for your friend group or your local community.


Attend community events


Whether you’re a seasoned poet or a casual poetry enthusiast, poets of all skill levels should consider joining a community. Attending free poetry events near where you live can help you connect with other writers, learn new skills, and find a space to perform your work. Research poet talks or spoken word open mics near you, for example.


Sign up for affordable poetry workshops or courses


Educational opportunities are an effective way to develop your craft. Attending a university program, whether to receive a bachelor’s or master’s degree with a concentration in poetry, can often prove both competitive and expensive. Seeking more affordable options, such as virtual workshops or online/community college courses, can be just as enriching without the inaccessible price tag. Websites like, for example, provide free poetry courses you can easily sign up for. 


Create an Instagram or TikTok account curated only for poetry


Many poets showcase their writing on social media to build a readership, market independently published collections, or find a publisher. Join this inspiring community by creating an Instagram or TikTok account curated only for poetry, exclusively following poets who post their work. Since signing up for social media accounts is free, this is a simple, budget-friendly way to consume a wide variety of poetry and discover poets you relate to. Start by following Read Poetry on Instagram.