Although I completed my web internship with the Poetry Foundation a few years ago (2011), I still frequently revisit their site for design inspiration. It was here that I learned to really appreciate and recognize design aesthetics, such as how to balance a homepage graphically in terms of subject matter, color palette, negative space, and medium. I edited content for the database and CMS-side of the website, which included an ambitious tagging project still in use today. The faceted search on poetryfoundation.org is one of my favorites; it seems effortlessly browsable, although I now know how much work goes into achieving that effect.
I was invited to do some blogging for Harriet, and soon became a regular contributor. The content editor, Travis Nichols, would chart the performance of each post on a weekly basis, and we would track the relationship between the title/blurb and the success of the post. The blog receives over half a million unique visitors per month, so constant reevaluation and pattern-tracking became a key part of my work practice. I was later hired back to the Foundation as one of three readers for the prestigious Emily Dickinson Poetry Prize.
This is a large site, in terms of both depth and width, but the IA of the homepage makes it accessible and welcoming:
Looking for a New York School poem about relationships? Never fear! This expandable search feature will help you find exactly that:
The Harriet blog was a fast-moving and more playful extension of the main site, mixing goofy human interest pieces with up-to-the minute national poetry news. Here is one of mine:
The Poetry Foundation: