The Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry

Perpetuating the art of poetry

Through a bequest from Witter Bynner in 1972, The Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry perpetuates the art of poetry.
The foundation promotes poetry in American culture and encourages grant proposals that expand awareness of the positive effects of poetry on society. Read More

In the more than eight decades of his life, he was a tireless member of a rare species in our cultural scene, that of the versatile man of letters, whose whole working career was given to the act of literature, with all its involvements not only in many forms of literary statement, but also in Platonian responses to the civil values of free existence. He was an eloquent orator, in poetic forms, who spoke out for the individual dignity of his fellow men, whether in terms of politics, popular mores, or artistic commitment. Read More

Your tax-deductible contribution will help promote creative uses of poetry in New Mexico and beyond and expand awareness of the positive effects of poetry on our society. Contribute Now


I lay on a dune and slept,
Sharp grasses by my head:
While armies far-off warred and wept,
I joined the earth instead. . .
Until I moved my hand
And was awake again
And shook myself out of the sand
To the cold wind of men.

Harold Witter Bynner
A Canticle of Pan, 1920


There is an island where a man alone,
Alive beyond the selfishness of living,
Knows the whole world around him as his own
Without resenting and without forgiving.

Harold Witter Bynner
Book of Lyrics, 1955