The George Elliston Poetry Fund has fostered the development of promising young poets and honored the achievement of established poets since 1951. Each year, through the Poet-in-Residence Program, a distinguished poet comes to campus to give public lectures and readings and conduct poetry seminars and workshops. The Elliston Fund also supports a lecture series that has recently brought such speakers as Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz, Adrienne Rich, Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, and Margaret Atwood to campus.
One of the best collections of contemporary poetry in the country—over 10,000 books, magazines, records, and tapes relating to 20th century poetry—is now housed in the Elliston Poetry Room, located in the Langsam Library. Students and faculty interested in modern poetry can also take advantage of reading space and listening facilities there, as well as frequent workshops and student poetry readings. An online digital audio archive of poetry readings and lectures recorded in the Elliston Poetry Room is currently being developed. Within the Department of English, the Elliston Fellowship supports the studies of outstanding doctoral students in the area of poetry.