A: Titles of individual brief stories and poems go in quotation marks. The titles of brief story and also poetry collections should be italicized. Because that example, “The Intruder,” a short story by Andre Dubus appears in his collection, Dancing after Hours.

You are watching: Is a poem in quotes or italics

This can obtain a little tricky when authors location their arsenal after a story within the collection. Junot Diaz’s arsenal of stories Drown includes a story titled “Drown.” In this case, the usage of italics or quotation point out can aid the reader understand what’s being referenced—the entire book or the separation, personal, instance story.

This consumption remains true also when titles show up within quotations. Let’s say you write a poem around a poem and you location it this way:


Lines after analysis “The Love tune of J. Alfred Prufrock”

Now, you must enclose the entire title the the city within quotations when you point out this poem in a covering letter. The title that appears within the title, then, need to be attached in single quotation marks:

“Lines after analysis ‘The Love song of J. Alfred Prufrock’”


Brandi Reissenweber teaches fiction writing and also reading fiction at Gotham Writers’ Workshop and writer the thing on characterization in Gotham’s Writing Fiction: The practical Guide. Her work has been published in plenty of journals, including Phoebe, north Dakota Quarterly and Rattapallax. She was a James C. McCreight Fiction fellow at the Wisconsin academy for creative Writing and has teach fiction at new York University, university of Wisconsin and also University that Chicago. Currently, she is a visiting professor at Illinois Wesleyan University.

See an ext answers to your burning writing questions here.


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Originally released August 2, 2012
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By Brandi Reissenweber

Updated October 26, 2018


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