Poet Laureate

In honor of National Poetry Month, Fulton County Arts & Culture launches the Fulton County Sonnet Project, a collaboration between Fulton County Arts and Culture, the Fulton County Poet Laureate, and the Atlanta Shakespeare Co.


Dr. Karen Head


Sonnets have been one of the most popular forms of poetry throughout history. Almost everyone reads a sonnet when they are in school, but often the language of the sonnets from writers like Shakespeare can seem foreign—like trying to understand a foreign language. Poetry, as a form of writing, has a kind of language, too. Learning to understand sonnets is a great way to expand your knowledge about all forms of poetry. Because sonnets are like puzzles—they have to follow the rules of the form— word order is often a little different from how we speak.

With help from some wonderful actors from the Atlanta Shakespeare Company, we hope you can begin to see how the "puzzle" works by introducing you to a small collection of Shakespeare's sonnets. The more you listen to sonnets or any poetry, the more you understand how it works. Hearing different people read is like listening to different musicians "cover" a song. These actors have chosen their favorite sonnets, shared their reasons for loving their selections, and then recited them in a way that is both informative and entertaining.

After you listen a few times, you should try to read the poems. All of the sonnets are available for free online. While you are online, you can also look up the words you don't understand in a dictionary. Here is a link to a free e-version of all of Shakespeare's sonnets, presented by Project Gutenberg:


Sonnet 29 - Gabriella Anderson


Sonnet 38 - Dani Herd


Sonnet 49 - Patty de la Garza


Sonnet 50- Olivia Dawson


Sonnet 55- Kenneth Wigley


Sonnet 59- Sarah Beth Hester

Sonnet 76- Jeff Watkins


Sonnet 116- Amanda Lindsey McDonald


Sonnet 118- Kirsten Chervenak


Sonnet 129 - Rivka Levin


Sonnet 130- O'Neil Delapenha


Sonnet 149- Cameryn Richardson