Poetry State is a unique program that builds and sustains the poetry collections in Oregon libraries. We acquire donated poetry books from individuals, bookstores, publishers, and philanthropic institutions from across the nation for the exclusive purpose of donating them to Oregon libraries.



Participating Libraries:

Baker City Public Library
Canby Public Library
Driftwood Public Library
Forest Grove Public Library
Grand Ronde Tribal Library
Harrisburg Public Library
Josephine Community Libraries
Klamath County Library
Langlois Public Library
Sherman County Public / School Library
Silver Falls Library
South Wasco County Public Library
Stayton Public Library
Waldport Public Library
Willamina Public Library

How it Works:

Libraries contact us and let us know how many books they need (or how many inches of shelf space they need to fill), then we work with them to select books that fit their specific needs. We pack and ship (or personally deliver) the books to participating libraries free of charge. Though all Oregon libraries are welcome to participate in Poetry State, we give preference to libraries that serve populations of 5,000 or fewer and Tribal communities.


How to Participate:

If you are a library and would like to participate in Poetry State, please e-mail us at tavernbooks@gmail.com with “Poetry State” in the subject line. We will be glad to sign you up or answer any questions.


How to Help:

You can support Poetry State by sending Tavern Books your used or new poetry books (including poetry anthologies and books pertaining to poetry and poetics). No donation is too large or too small. Every book counts! Every book you send will directly benefit a library in need.


Please send your book donations to:

Tavern Books
attn: Carl Adamshick
20 NE 30th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97232

Making a Financial Contribution:

Making a tax-deductible donation to Poetry State will help ensure that everyone in Oregon has access to great works of poetry through their local library. In its first year, Poetry State donated nearly 2,000 books to Oregon libraries (a value of $30,000). We live and work in Oregon, and we are doing our part to give back to a state that values its readers. Poetry State could not exist without your vision and support.



In Praise of Poetry State

“As Oregon Poet Laureate, I have the privilege of being an ambassador for poetry in our state. What could further that endeavor any better than being part of Tavern Books’ Poetry State project? Nothing. Tavern Books is donating hand-picked poetry collections to smaller, more rural Oregon libraries. Those libraries where the poetry shelves were woefully bare or outdated can now offer patrons a wonderful variety. Poetry State means poetry books in the hands of Oregonians, everywhere. Hosannah!”

—Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate

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“Poetry State is a great boon to Oregon libraries. Every Oregon library wants to have a good poetry collection, but many can't afford one. I am so grateful to Tavern Books for stepping up to help solve this problem. Poetry readers and future poetry readers have Tavern Books to thank for making sure that even the smallest libraries in Oregon can offer a good selection of poetry in their communities."

—Jim Scheppke, Oregon State Librarian (1991-2012)

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“I arrived at work yesterday morning to find an overflowing box of poetry books perched on my desk. What a delightful surprise, as I was anticipating perhaps one or two volumes of collected poetry. The breadth and depth of your hand-picked selections will greatly enhance our poetry shelves. Your book donation project, along with Paulann Petersen’s laureate endorsement, is a remarkable and significant asset to small rural libraries in Oregon….Poetry State is a wonderful example of altruism and literary education at its best. To borrow a few, but eloquent, words from Shakespeare, I can no other answer make, but thank you, thank you, thank you.

—Jeanney McArthur, Sherman County Public/School Library

Supporting Publishers and Institutions:

Lannan Foundation, White Pine Press, Lost Horse Press, Traprock Books, Sandy Gallery.