This year marks the 25th year of celebrating American poets and poetry with National Poetry Month. Visit the Academy of American Poets website for more information about this annual month-long recognition. Click here for their Poem-A-Day link. Listed below are some suggestions of adult and young readers poetry books, collections, and anthologies that are available in our store right now.
Amanda Gorman blew the world away with her powerful reading of her powerful poem "The Hill We Climb" at this year's Presidential inauguration. We are excited to have this special edition of her inaugural poem on hand for you! Watch for the September release of her debut picture book "Change Sings" and her breakout poetry collection "The Hill We Climb and Other Poems."
This year's anthology edition of "The Best American Poetry" is guest edited by Utah’s Poet Laureate Paisely Rekdal, in which she has culled together some of the year’s most remarkable poems and poets that speak eloquently to the “contraries” of our present moment in time.
Ross Gay's "Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude" is a meditation that studies the wisdom of the garden and orchard, those places where all—death, sorrow, loss—is converted into what might, with patience, nourish us.
This collection is the biggest, most ambitious anthology of Black poetry ever published, gathering 250 poets from the colonial period to the present, featuring biographies of each poet and notes that illuminate cultural references and allusions to historical events.
Before he became an award-winning writer and poet, Brian Sonia-Wallace set up a typewriter on the street with a sign that said “Poetry Store” and asked countless strangers, “What do you need a poem about?” To his surprise, thousands of passersby around the country opened up to share their deepest yearnings, loves, and heartbreaks. In "The Poetry of Strangers," Brian tells the story of his cross-country journey in a series of heartfelt and insightful essays.
In her second collection, and one of our best-selling poetry books at the momen, Carlina Duan illuminates unabashed odes to lineage, small and sacred moments of survival, and the demand to be fully seen “spangling with light.” Tracing familial lore and love, Duan reflects on the experience of growing up as a diasporic, bilingual daughter of immigrants, exploring the fraught complexities of identity, belonging, and linguistic reclamation.
"Of the thousands of reasons I love NYC, riding the subway is at the top of my list. This book -- and the project -- is the reason why. Imagine you are standing or seated in a crowded dank subway, trying to not read the awful ads above the seats, making sure to avert your gaze from other riders, when your wandering eyes alight on a framed poem attached to the subway car wall. Oh what a treat! I search for this brilliant art installation every time I ride the subway, especially for my favorite poem that I've sat next to on many subway rides. It never fails to remind me how rich life can be. Turn to pages 98/99 to former poet laureate Tracy K. Smith's poem "The Good Life." — Vicki
Louise Glück is the author of more than a dozen books of poems and essay collections. Her many awards include the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature, the 2015 National Humanities Medal, the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for "The Wild Iris," the 2014 National Book Award for "Faithful and Virtuous Night," the 1985 National Book Critics Circle Award for "The Triumph of Achilles," the 2001 Bollingen Prize, the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for "Poems: 1962-2012," and the 2008 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets. She teaches at Yale University and Stanford University and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
"Up until this book, I had yet to read any Mary Oliver. (Shame upon my name and family!). Yet, I’m glad it was this Mary Oliver book that I read first. There’s a reason Oliver is deemed both iconic and necessary. Her love for the natural world—the way a river sings, the slink of a snake’s skin, or the manner by which an empty field contains an unstoppable grin—is as profound as it is acute. Oliver’s poems slow down seasons, sunsets, and winds, only to make them viewable, inhabitable, and best of all, magical. Plus, when read aloud, the words become even more tasty!" — Bennet
"A number of years ago (before the advent of smartphones), my partner's brother stayed overnight at his apartment. The brother confidently had not brought anything to read and went to bed, knowing there was a big bookcase in there. What he did not know was that my partner had filled the whole bookcase with poetry, something most people no longer seem to read much. Since then, the new guest bedroom bookcase holds books of essays and humor, trivia and profiles, and "Moth" collections. But I have to believe that if the bookcase had been empty with just a Billy Collins book on it, his brother would have been okay. To quote my partner: it's Collins' "delight in imagination for its own sake" that makes his poems so successful, but sometimes his accessibility can make him "seem trivial," when it's really great skill. Like many of us, I'm finding it hard to concentrate on anything other than politics this week, so here is the shortest poem that I found in this collection: "Cupid." — Carla
Fresh in from the rain/you asked me/how long a cubit is./I thought/the subject at hand/was love./But it was an ark/you were building,/a little one/just for you.
If you want, you can imagine that it's what George said to Kellyanne.
“The sonnet, like poverty, teaches you what you can do / without,” Diane Seuss writes in this brilliant, candid work, her most personal collection to date. These poems tell the story of a life at risk of spilling over the edge of the page, from Seuss’s working-class childhood in rural Michigan to the dangerous allures of New York City and back again. With sheer virtuosity, Seuss moves nimbly across thought and time, poetry and punk, AIDS and addiction, Christ and motherhood, showing us what we can do, what we can do without, and what we offer to one another when we have nothing left to spare.
'This is Barbara Kingsolver's second collection of poetry. I carried with me and read in parks, in trees, on benches, in bed, on a little boat her first collection, published in 1992, "Another America: Otra America." I read it out loud for only myself to hear. At that point Ms. Kingsolver had published four books: two novels, "Animal Dreams" and "Bean Trees," a collection of short stories, and a book about the women of the 1983 Arizona Mine Strike. I fell in love with her writing. Now, dozens of years and bestsellers later, she has written her second poetry collection, in which she reflects on the practical, the spiritual, and the wild. The collection opens with how-to poems that touch on everyday life such as marriage and divorce, shearing a sheep, doing absolutely nothing, and flying! In the middle are poems about making peace. She finishes the collection with poems honoring the natural world. As she has done throughout her accomplished writing career, Barbara Kingsolver has presented the reader with questions and answers that are ultimately about evolution and hope." — Vicki
A timely and moving collection from the renowned inaugural poet on issues facing our country and people—immigration, gun violence, racism, LGBTQ issues, and more. Blanco digs deep into the very marrow of our nation through poems that interrogate our past and present, grieve our injustices, and note our flaws, but also remember to celebrate our ideals and cling to our hopes. The poems form a mosaic of seemingly varied topics: the Pulse nightclub massacre; an unexpected encounter on a visit to Cuba; the forced exile of 8,500 Navajos in 1868; a lynching in Alabama; the arrival of a young Chinese woman at Angel Island in 1938; the incarceration of a gifted writer; and the poet’s abiding love for his partner, who he is finally allowed to wed as a gay man.
Pulitzer Prize winner Sylvia Plath’s complete poetic works, edited and introduced by Ted Hughes.
"In her second collection of poetry in over a decade, novelist and poet Margaret Atwood moves from aging and life's endings to her gratefulness for life's treasures. This is a lovely collection from a brilliant writer." -Vicki
Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize winner and former Poet Laureate of the United States, introduces readers to the most significant and compelling poems of the past hundred years, featuring works by Mary Oliver, Derek Walcott, John Ashbery, Gwendolyn Brooks, Kevin Young, Terrance Hayes, Li-Young Lee, Joanna Klink and A.E. Stallings.
"Edna St. Vincent Millay writes a killer sonnet, but don't be deterred by her lyrical poetry style! Even though she wrote in the twentieth century, her poems feel refreshingly modern and every day. I appreciate the emotional control in these poems; she doesn't go for high dramatics, but lets the emotions simmer in smaller ways. Check out "Grown-Up" in this collection in particular." — Emma
"Black Nature" is the first anthology to focus on nature writing by African American poets, a genre that until now has not commonly been counted as one in which African American poets have participated.
United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo gathered the work of more than 160 poets, representing nearly 100 indigenous nations, into this first historically comprehensive Native Nations poetry anthology.
"Alice Quinn, former executive director of the Poetry Society of America and poetry editor at The New Yorker contacted poets around the country to see what they were writing while under the covid-19 quarantine. What she gathered is this collection around grief, strength, anger, worries, politics, wisdom, and humanity as poets expressed their experiences while sheltering in place. This is an important collaboration of American writers sharing their voices during this year of surreal reality." — Vicki
This beautiful poetry collection introduces your readers to the art of found poetry as the poet writes a 37-line poem, "Nest," then finds 160 smaller poems within it. The joyous creativity in this volume is certain to inspire budding poets.
"A Songbird Dreams of Singing: Poems about Sleeping Animals" is a book of poetry with a scientific-and child-friendly-underpinning. With a poem for every animal, followed by a paragraph explaining the fascinating science behind how that animal sleeps, this artfully compiled book captures the wonder of our ecosystem.
"An illustrated version of the beloved Robert Frost poem. His gliding nature imagery and glittering stanzas place the reader on horseback, travelling home from a cold day, enticed by the hearths of others. If only Frost could narrate every seemingly mundane moment of our world, bringing them to a visceral reality." — Rose
Flowers blooming in sheets of snow make way for happy frogs dancing in the rain. Summer swims move over for autumn sweaters until the snow comes back again. In Julie Fogliano's skilled hand and illustrated by Julie Morstad's charming pictures, the seasons come to life in this gorgeous and comprehensive book of poetry for young readers.
"Woke" is a collection of poems by women of color that reflects the joy and passion in the fight for social justice, tackling topics from discrimination to empathy, and acceptance to speaking out.
This collection of poems by Marilyn Singer is accompanied by artwork by two-time Caldecott honoree Marjorie Priceman. Presented in a small-size format to appeal to older readers, as well as young, the book has the look of a vintage collector's compendium that includes pictures, ephemera and annotations. The book begins with simple dishes and ideas (such as a recipe for reading a recipe and a recipe for measuring), and then adds more ideas and grows in sophistication until the last recipes broach lofty concepts (such as a recipe for understanding and a recipe for peace).
Shel Silverstein's masterful collection of poems and drawings stretches the bounds of imagination and will be cherished by readers of all ages. This is a collection that belongs on every child's bookshelf.
This collection of forty-five poems, published in 1986, follows both chronologically and logically Mary Oliver’s "American Primitive," which won her the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1983. The depth and diversity of perceptual awareness — so steadfast and radiant in American Primitive — continues in "Dream Work."