There’s something to be said about a poem that deeply moves you. With that in mind, we couldn’t think of anything better than putting together a list of poetry collections you should read in your lifetime. If you enjoy the lyrical genius of brilliant poets, this list will be the perfect book list for you.
Here are 37 poetry collections to read in 2022>>
The Wild Fox of Yemen by Threa Almontaser
In this riveting and provocative collection, Almontaser considers womanhood for Muslim American women in the aftermath of 9/11. The poet threads together the different worlds of Yemen and America, posing questions about culture, language and identity.
Self Love Poetry: For Thinkers and Feelers by Melody Godfred
This books presents poems on a multitude of themes and in pairs. On the left side of the page are poems stemming from the analytical side of our brains. They are literal, logical, and precise. On the right side of the page are poems that are more creative, metaphorical, and emotional. Delving into topics such as authenticity, love, and resilience, this is a perfect collection for the mind, body, and soul.
I am the Rage by Martina McGowan
Within these poems, Dr. Martina McGowan shares her emotions, thoughts, and grief, offering readers a glimpse into her experience as a Black woman in America. All written in 2020, McGowan’s poems cover topics that are urgent and relevant to social justice and equality.
Water I Won’t Touch by Kayleb Rae Candrilli
This thought-provoking and captivating collection is a self- portrait of one trans man as he seeks safety, peace, and belonging in a world that is often dangerous and violent. Candrilli conjures images of hope and beauty, imagining a queer future where one can flourish.
Everyday Mojo Songs of Earth: New and Selected Poems, 2001-2021 by Yusef Komunyakaa
This is a collection of poems from the past twenty years by one of the great living poets. Yusef Komunyakaa’s poems reflect on race and violence, the American South, his memories of the Vietnam War, nature, and love. His poetic style is evocative of jazz.
Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell
What do you do when store-bought cards aren’t enough? Write the person you love a poem (or an entire poetry collection) like Courtney Peppernell did. This touching book has something for all readers whether you’re currently in love, healing a broken heart or simply finding yourself. Divided into various sections, there’s a group of prose and poetry for every mood.
I hope this reaches her in time by r.h. Sin
If you’re going through a rough break-up or have been left with a broken heart, this is the poetry collection for you. At only 72 pages, you’ll get lost in r.h. Sin’s work and be left feeling a little more hopeful that love will find you once again–the perfect book for anyone feeling lost.
When You Ask Me Where I’m Going by Jasmine Kaur
Jasmine Kaur’s debut tells a story through both poetry and prose, making it a truly unique read for poetry lovers everywhere. Broken down into six parts, When You Ask Me Where I’m Going documents the life of a young woman who rarely feels recognized and is working through her life, religion and culture to raise her own daughter. With thoughts on our current culture, the inequalities, trauma and paths to healing, this new book will empower readers to stand up for what they believe in.
The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey was undoubtedly a major success and this follow-up poetry collection has had the same lasting effect on readers everywhere. A collection about self-identity, culture and finding your own self-worth, The Sun and Her Flowers is an ode to living life to the fullest and will leave you with all the feels.
Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems by Danez Smith
This poetry collection hits all the right notes when it comes to discussing the human condition and the way we ultimately wish society worked. Beginning the book with a look at what it would be like if victims of police brutality ended up in a safe and beautiful afterlife, Danez Smith gives readers something important to think about. Later diving into mortality and human desire, this book will stick with you long after the final page.
The Collected Poems by Sylvia Plath
Bringing all of Sylvia Plath’s poetry together in one place, The Collected Poems is a must-read for fans of the beloved author. With close to 400 pages of poetic magic, this collection is one to add to your bookshelf now. If you’re looking to work through any problems in your life, this is the book that will inspire you to keep moving forward.
There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker
As one of Oprah’s Ten Best Books of 2017, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé is a complex collection of poetry about being a black American woman during a trying time. This collection celebrates life and looks at the ways in which humanity could become more kind and accepting as a whole.
Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay
As a National Book Award Finalist, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is an emotional look at the way people process loss and live with sadness. This inspirational collection brings hope to even the darkest situations with its beautiful prose and touching real-life recollections.
Gephyromania by TC Tolbert
If you are looking to read a poetry collection that breaks the usual mold, this should be at the top of your #TBR pile. With its unique structure and intriguing subject matter, there’s no doubt that this is a standout collection. This talented poet uses bridges as a way to explore human connection and gender binaries in this inspiring book.
Our Numbered Days by Neil Hilborn
After the release of a viral poem, Neil Hilborn put together Our Numbered Days, a poetry collection about important issues like mental illness, love and heartbreak. The use humor and self-deprecation makes this book one that poetry lovers will love and find intensely relatable.
bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward
Growing up as a black British woman, Yrsa Daley-Ward has a lot to say in this compelling poetry collection. From speaking on vulnerability to coming to terms with abuse, bone gives readers a raw look at the life of an inspiring woman and her experiences in the world.
Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav
Lang Leav is elegantly simple in her first collections of poems. She speaks so fluently through love and heartbreak that you can’t help but be captured by her language. Leav is wonderful at connecting not only herself in the poems, to connecting the poems to us and her.
The Truth About Magic by Atticus
Finding ourselves can be exhausting, and yet Atticus seems to bring magic to the shadows in his beautiful collection. His poems vary from finding our own purpose, looking inward and outward, and the simple joys of life. Atticus reminds us that magic is everywhere, even in the deepest of shadows.
Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman
National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States and presidential inaugural poet, Amanda Gorman has a strong and unforgettable voice in her collection of poems. Including “The Hill We Climb,” the stirring poem read at the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States, and other poems that speak to her commitment to the environment, racial equality, and gender justice. Gorman will give a voice to America that you must hear.
the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace
A collection about resilience and writing your own happily ever after. Lovelace’s poems explore the complexities of life, from love to grief, to empowerment, to mental illness, and beyond. It is not only a collection of life stories but a collection of healing and inspiration for anyone willing to partake in the journey.
The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson edited by Thomas H. Johnson
A condensed version of Emily Dickinson’s three-volume poetry collection Complete Poems, this book includes hundreds of beautiful pieces that went unpublished during her lifetime. Dickinson experiments with inflection and rhythm in her expression of extraordinary emotion and intellect. An iconic figure in English literature and well ahead of her time, the beauty of Emily Dickinson’s writing continues to amaze several generations of readers.
Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson
Lord of the Butterflies is Andrea Gibson’s latest collection and explores notions of gender, love, loss, and family. The originality of their writing and the significance of the topics that have inspired their work have made this collection both beautiful and deeply important. Andrea Gibson’s unique poems focus on mental health, politics, and challenges faced by LGBTQ people, while instilling a sense of beauty and resilience that will leave you with butterflies.
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
This collection written by the author of The Giving Tree encapsules a wildly creative and entertaining series of poems and drawings. The prosody of Silverstein’s writing, along with quirky characters like Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out, makes this book feel like a stroll through childhood. Where the Sidewalk Ends is a classic children’s collection and a nostalgic trip into a remarkably memorable imaginary world.
The Complete Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe introduced by Jay Parini
Edgar Allan Poe has long been celebrated for his detective stories, his profound poetry, and his eerie atmospheric writing. This collection of poems consists of some of his best work, including the timeless “Annabel Lee,” his iconic “The Raven,” and the beautiful lyric “To Helen.” A masterful poet and an expert in the macabre, it’s no wonder why Edgar Allan Poe’s work has stood the test of time and continues to be celebrated today.
American Primitive by Mary Oliver
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, American Primitive consists of fifty extraordinary poems that explore themes of nature, humanity, love, and wilderness. Mary Oliver’s writing is an immersive experience and one that expertly describes scenes of nature to invoke a sense of peace and reflection. No matter the season, this celebration of the Earth and its wildlife will urge readers to get outside and experience the beauty of the wilderness for themselves.
These are good recommendations. I’m just starting to write poetry myself, so I’m interested in reading all the good poetry I can find.