Poetry for World Poetry Day
World Poetry Day is Sunday, March 21! Celebrate with a book of poetry.
March 16, 2021
World Poetry Day is Sunday, March 21!
This day is meant to promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world and, as the declaration from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) says, to “give fresh recognition and impetus to national, regional and international poetry movements”.
Photo: Amanda Gorman recites her inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb,” during the 59th Presidential Inauguration ceremony in Washington, Jan. 20, 2021. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Washington D.C, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
Books About Poetry
Don’t Read Poetry
A Book About How To Read Poems
In Don’t Read Poetry, award-winning poet and literary critic Stephanie Burt offers an accessible introduction to the seemingly daunting task of reading, understanding, and appreciating poetry. Burt dispels preconceptions about poetry and explains how poems speak to one another—and how they can speak to our lives. She shows readers how to find more poems once they have some poems they like, and how to connect the poetry of the past to the poetry of the present.
Burt moves seamlessly from Shakespeare and other classics to the contemporary poetry circulated on Tumblr and Twitter. A masterful guide to a sometimes confounding genre, Don’t Read Poetry will instruct and delight ingénues and cognoscenti alike.
How To Read Poetry Like A Professor
A Quippy And Sonorous Guide To Verse
Thomas C. Foster
No literary form is as admired and feared as poetry. Admired for its lengthy pedigree—a line of poets extending back to a time before recorded history—and a ubiquitous presence in virtually all cultures, poetry is also revered for its great beauty and the powerful emotions it evokes.
Most of us started out loving poetry because it filled our beloved children’s books from Dr. Seuss to Robert Louis Stevenson. Eventually, our reading shifted to prose and later when we encountered poetry again, we had no recent experience to make it feel familiar. But reading poetry doesn’t need to be so overwhelming. In an entertaining and engaging voice, Thomas C. Foster shows readers how to overcome their fear of poetry and learn to enjoy it once more.
From Shakespeare And Rupi Kaur To Iambic Pentameter And Blank Verse, Everything You Need To Know About Poetry
Poetry never goes out of style. An ancient writing form found in civilizations across the world, poetry continues to inform the way we write now, whether we realize it or not-—specially in social media—with its focus on brevity and creating the greatest possible impact with the fewest words. Poetry 101 is your companion to the wonderful world of meter and rhyme, and walks you through the basics of poetry.
Poet’s Market 2020
Want to get your poetry published? There’s no better tool for making it happen than Poet’s Market 2020, which includes hundreds of publishing opportunities specifically for poets. These listings include contact information, submission preferences, insider tips on what specific editors want, and payment information—plus articles devoted to the craft and business of poetry, including the art of finishing a poem, ways to promote your new book, habits of highly productive poets, and more.
In Why Poetry, award-winning poet Matthew Zapruder takes on what it is that poetry—and poetry alone—can do. Zapruder argues that the way we have been taught to read poetry is the very thing that prevents us from enjoying it. In lively, lilting prose, he shows us how that misunderstanding interferes with our direct experience of poetry and creates the sense of confusion or inadequacy that many of us feel when faced with it.
African American Poetry
250 Years Of Struggle & Song
Edited by Kevin Young
Across a turbulent history, Black poets created a rich and multifaceted tradition that has been both a reckoning with American realities and an imaginative response to them. One of the great American art forms, African American poetry encompasses many kinds of verse: formal, experimental, vernacular, lyric, and protest. The anthology opens with moving testaments to the power of poetry as a means of self-assertion, as enslaved people voice their passionate resistance to slavery. This volume captures the power and beauty of this diverse tradition and its challenge to American poetry and culture. The volume also features biographies of each poet and notes that illuminate cultural references and allusions to historical events.
All Along You Were Blooming
Thoughts For Boundless Living
Morgan Harper Nichols
A celebration of hope. An encounter with grace. A restoration of the heart. A healing of wounds. An anthem of freedom. All Along You Were Blooming is the ultimate love letter from the pen of popular Instagram poet Morgan Harper Nichols to your mind, heart, soul, and body.
Fifty Poems For Our Time
Selected by Tracy K. Smith
American Journal presents fifty contemporary poems that explore and celebrate our country and our lives. In the elegant arrangement of this anthology, we hear stories from rural communities and urban centers, laments of loss in war and in grief, experiences of immigrants, outcries at injustices, and poems that honor elders, evoke history, and praise our efforts to see and understand one another.
An American Sunrise
In the early 1800s, the Mvskoke people were forcibly removed from their original lands east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory, which is now part of Oklahoma. Two hundred years later, Joy Harjo returns to her family’s lands and opens a dialogue with history.
Harjo finds blessings in the abundance of her homeland and confronts the site where her people, and other indigenous families, essentially disappeared. From her memory of her mother’s death, to her beginnings in the Native rights movement, to the fresh road with her beloved, Harjo’s personal life intertwines with tribal histories to create a space for renewed beginnings. Her poems sing of beauty and survival, illuminating a spirituality that connects her to her ancestors and thrums with the quiet anger of living in the ruins of injustice.
The internationally acclaimed author presents her first collection of poetry in over a decade that addresses themes such as love, loss, the passage of time, nature, and zombies.
Reflections On The American Land
N. Scott Momaday
In Earth Keeper: Reflections on an American Land, Momaday reflects on his native ground and its influence on his people. Earth Keeper is a story of attachment, rooted in oral tradition. Momaday recalls stories of his childhood that have been passed down through generations, stories that reveal a profound and sacred connection to the American landscape and a reverence for the natural world. In this moving work, he offers an homage and a warning. Momaday reminds us that the Earth is a sacred place of wonder and beauty; a source of strength and healing that must be protected before it’s too late. As he so eloquently yet simply reminds us, we must all be keepers of the Earth.
The poems in Matthew Zapruder’s fifth collection ask: how can one be a good father, partner, and citizen in the early twenty-first century?
Zapruder deftly improvises upon language and lyricism as he passionately engages with these questions during turbulent, uncertain times. Whether interrogating the personalities of the Supreme Court, watching a child grow off into a distance, or tweaking poetry critics and hipsters alike, Zapruder maintains a deeply generous sense of humor alongside a rich vein of love and moral urgency. The poems in Father’s Day harbor a radical belief in the power of wonder and awe to sustain the human project while guiding it forward.
Little Pep Talks For Me & You
Good morning. Do NOT get stuck in the comments section of life today. Make, do, create the things. Let others tussle it out. Vamos!
Before he inspired the world with Hamilton and was catapulted to international fame, Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspiring his Twitter followers with words of encouragement at the beginning and end of each day. He wrote these original sayings, aphorisms, and poetry for himself as much as for others. But as Miranda’s audience grew, these messages took on a life on their own. Now Miranda has gathered the best of his daily greetings into this beautiful illustrated collection. Full of comfort and motivation, Gmorning, Gnight! is a touchstone for anyone who needs a quick lift.
Rupi Kaur constantly embraces growth, and in Home Body, she walks readers through a reflective and intimate journey visiting the past, the present, and the potential of the self. Home Body is a collection of raw, honest conversations with oneself—reminding readers to fill up on love, acceptance, community, family, and embrace change. Illustrated by the author, themes of nature and nurture, light and dark, rest here.
How To Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons)
In her second poetry collection, Barbara Kingsolver offers reflections on the practical, the spiritual, and the wild. She begins with “how to” poems addressing everyday matters such as being hopeful, married, divorced; shearing a sheep; praying to unreliable gods; doing nothing at all; and of course, flying. Next come rafts of poems about making peace (or not) with the complicated bonds of friendship and family, and making peace (or not) with death, in the many ways it finds us.
Closing the book are poems that celebrate natural wonders—birdsong and ghost-flowers, ruthless ants, clever shellfish, coral reefs, deadly deserts, and thousand-year-old beech trees—all speaking to the daring project of belonging to an untamed world beyond ourselves.
How To Love A Country
The diverse poems in this collection 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; 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. But despite each poem’s unique subject matter or occasion, all are fundamentally asking one overwhelming question: how to love this country?
Seeking answers, Blanco digs deep into the very marrow of our nation—our cities and towns—with poems that interrogate our past and present, grieve our injustices and note our flaws, yet remember to celebrate our ideals and cling to our hopes.
I Could Chew On This
And Other Poems By Dogs
This canine companion to I Could Pee on This, the beloved volume of poems by cats, I Could Chew on This will have dog lovers laughing out loud. Doggie laureates not only chew on quite a lot of things, they also reveal their creativity, their hidden motives, and their eternal (and sometimes misguided) effervescence through such musings as “I Dropped a Ball,” “I Lose My Mind When You Leave the House,” and “Can You Smell That?”
In her collection Incarnate Grace, poet Moira Linehan explores, questions, and ultimately celebrates her attempt to live in the temple of the present.
After learning she has breast cancer, the poet struggles to live an examined life. Alienated and estranged from her own body, she turns her cancer into “these binoculars, / this new way of looking,” and uses it as a way of fixing herself firmly within the moment. She links the mundane to the mythic, intertwining connections between scripture and nature, storms and loss, winter and light, breast cancer and embroidery. As she returns to her home on a small pond in Massachusetts, she takes with her the fruits of her travels: the incarnate grace of the ordinary. Vivid and compelling, Incarnate Grace finds beauty in the worst of circumstances and redemption in the fabric of daily life.
(For Anxious People)
With the same brilliant wit and hilarious realism that made Love Poems for Married People and Love Poems for People with Children such hits, John Kenney is back with a brand new collection of poems, this time taking on one of the most common feelings in our day-and-age: anxiety. Kenney covers it all, from awkward social interactions and insomnia to nervous ticks and writing and rewriting that email.
In Loves You, Sarah Gambito explores the recipe as poetic form and a mode of resistance. Through the inclusion of real recipes that she and her family cook from, she brings readers to the table, not only to enjoy the bounty of her poems but, slyly, to consider the ways in which Filipino Americans, and people of color in general, are assailed and fetishized. In addition, the book explores the manifold ways that poetry can nourish and provide for us.
Poet and cartoonist Austin Kleon has discovered a new way to read between the lines. Armed with a daily newspaper and a permanent marker, he constructs through deconstruction, eliminating the words he doesn’t need to create a new art form: Newspaper Blackout poetry.
The definitive collection of works on a subject that inspired and haunted Charles Bukowski for his entire life: alcohol.
A self-proclaimed “dirty old man,” Bukowski used alcohol as muse and as fuel, a conflicted relationship responsible for some of his darkest moments as well as some of his most joyful and inspired. In On Drinking, Bukowski expert Abel Debritto has collected the writer’s most profound, funny, and memorable work on his ups and downs with the hard stuff—a topic that allowed Bukowski to explore some of life’s most pressing questions. Through drink, Bukowski is able to be alone, to be with people, to be a poet, a lover, and a friend—though often at great cost.
The Performance Of Becoming Human
Daniel Borzutzky’s new collection of poetry, The Performance of Becoming Human, draws hemispheric connections between the US and Latin America, specifically touching upon issues relating to border and immigration policies, economic disparity, political violence, and the disturbing rhetoric of capitalism and bureaucracies. To become human is to navigate these borders, including those of institutions, the realities of over- and under-development, and the economies of privatization, in which humans endure state-sanctioned and systemic abuses.
C. S. Lewis
Known for his fiction and philosophical nonfiction, C. S. Lewis—the great British writer, scholar, lay theologian, broadcaster, Christian apologist, and bestselling author of Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Chronicles of Narnia, and many other beloved classics—was also an accomplished poet. In Poems, Lewis dives deep into a wide range of subjects—from God to nature to love to unicorns—revealing his extensive imagination and sense of wonder.
The Poetry Remedy
Prescriptions For The Heart, Mind, And Soul
Edited by William Sieghart
A beautiful collection of curated poems, individually selected to provide the perfect balm for every emotional need. Sometimes only a poem will do.
These poetic prescriptions and wise words of advice are tailored to those moments in life when we need them most, from general glumness to news overload, and from infatuation to losing the spark. Whatever you’re facing, there is a poem in these pages that will do the trick.
The Princess Saves Herself In This One
From Amanda Lovelace, a poetry collection in four parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you. The first three sections piece together the life of the author while the final section serves as a note to the reader. This moving book explores love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, and inspiration.
So Far So Good
Final Poems: 2014-2018
Ursula K. Le Guin
Award-winning author Ursula K. Le Guin was lauded by millions for her groundbreaking science fiction and fantasy novels, though she began her career as a poet. “I still kind of twitch and growl when I’m reduced to being the science fiction writer. I’m a novelist and increasingly a poet. And sometimes I wish they’d call me that,” Le Guin said in a 2015 interview with NPR. In this clarifying and sublime collection—written shortly before her death in 2018—Le Guin immerses herself in the natural world, ruminating on the mysteries of dying, and considering the simple, redemptive lessons of the earth.
There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé
There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé uses political and pop-cultural references as a framework to explore 21st century black American womanhood and its complexities: performance, depression, isolation, exoticism, racism, femininity, and politics.
The poems weave between personal narrative and pop-cultural criticism, examining and confronting modern media, consumption, feminism, and Blackness. This collection explores femininity and race in the contemporary American political climate, folding in references from jazz standards, visual art, personal family history, and Hip Hop.
Wade In The Water
Tracy K. Smith
Using her signature voice—inquisitive, lyrical and wry—Smith mulls over what it means to be a citizen, a mother and an artist in a culture arbitrated by wealth, men and violence, boldly tying America’s modern moment both to our nation’s fraught founding history and to a sense of the spirit, the everlasting.
Billy Collins’s thirteenth collection, and first in four years, contains more than fifty new poems that showcase the playfulness, wit, and wisdom that have made him one of our most celebrated and widely read poets. This collection covers many themes, including Collins’s profound insights on aging and mortality.
What Kind Of Woman
Through poems that are as unforgettably beautiful as they are accessible, Kate Bear proves herself to truly be an exemplary voice in modern poetry. Her words make women feel seen in their own bodies, in their own marriages, and in their own lives. Her poems are those you share with your mother, your daughter, your sister, and your friends.