About us

Dedicated to poetry since 1979 the Poetry Bookshop in Hay-on-Wye offers the most comprehensive selection of secondhand & antiquarian poetry available for sale in the UK.

Being in a roomful is so rare that collectors & poetry lovers from all over the world make the journey to the Welsh borders specifically to have an opportunity of browsing its shelves.

Its latest incarnation is an astonishingly light & beautifully appointed shop in a busy spot where readings can be seen to be heard.

Here, for the first time since Anne Stevenson & Michael Farley’s “madcap idea” of starting the shop back in the 70s we are once again also offering our customers a selection of new titles.

We hope that this website will allow you to enjoy something of their experience by making a virtual visit to this specialist bookshop whose survival is, for many, a triumph of genuine cultural significance in these Trumpled times.

But don’t just take our word for it!

“Wickedly tempting” Jon Stallworthy

“There’s nowhere like it” Wendy Cope

“The Antabuse isn’t working” Geoffrey Hill on entering the shop for his 2nd visit on consecutive days.

‘THE bookshop for poetry enthusiasts… I’ve lost entire afternoons among the shelves. Caroline Hamish, The Guardian


Fun facts


The shop has played host to 3 marriage proposals with one lucky bride receiving a signed limited edition illustrated copy of HOWL by Alan Ginsberg in place of a diamond!

1.8 million

Mahabharata is the longest poem in the world. It is an Indian epic poem which has around 1.8 million words


E. E. Cummings dedicated his self-published volume of poetry, No Thanks, to the fourteen publishers who had turned it down.


The oldest written poem is the Epic of Gilgamesh from Babylon. It is about 4,000 years old and tells the story of a king, Gilgamesh, who was half-man, half-god