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Best Poetry Books

Recommendations from 33 articles, PewDiePie, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tim O’Reilly and 23 others.
95 books on the list
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An American Lyric
Claudia Rankine - Oct 07, 2014
Goodreads Rating
A provocative meditation on race, Claudia Rankine's long-awaited follow up to her groundbreaking book Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric.Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the ton...
Recommended by
Cheryl Strayed
The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde - Feb 17, 2000 (first published in 1997)
Goodreads Rating
Collected here for the first time are more than three hundred poems from one of this country's major and most influential poets, representing the complete oeuvre of Audre Lorde's poetry. Lorde published nine volumes of poetry which, in her words, detail "a linguistic and emotional tour through the conflicts, fears, and hopes of the world I have inh...
The Complete Poetry
Maya Angelou - Mar 31, 2015 (first published in 1994)
Goodreads Rating
From her reflections on African American life and hardship in Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie to her revolutionary celebrations of womanhood in Phenomenal Woman and Still I Rise, and her elegant tributes to dignitaries Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela (On the Pulse of Morning and His Day Is Done, respectively), every inspiring word ...
Night Sky with Exit Wounds
Ocean Vuong - Apr 05, 2016
Goodreads Rating
Ocean Vuong's first full-length collection aims straight for the perennial "big"and very humansubjects of romance, family, memory, grief, war, and melancholia. None of these he allows to overwhelm his spirit or his poems, which demonstrate, through breath and cadence and unrepentant enthrallment, that a gentle palm on a chest can calm the fiercest ...
Don't Call Us Dead
Danez Smith - Sep 05, 2017
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Award-winning poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power. Don't Call Us Dead opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where suspicion, violence, and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love, and longevity the...
The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver - Oct 10, 2017
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Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver presents a personal selection of her best work in this definitive collection spanning more than five decades of her esteemed literary career. Throughout her celebrated career, Mary Oliver has touched countless readers with her brilliantly crafted verse, expounding on her love for the physical world and the po...
Dog Songs
Mary Oliver - Sep 29, 2015
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Mary Oliver's Dog Songs is a celebration of the special bond between human and dog, as understood through the poet's relationship to the canines that have accompanied her daily walks, warmed her home, and inspired her work. Oliver's poems begin in the small everyday moments familiar to all dog lovers, but through her extraordinary vision these obse...
When My Brother Was an Aztec
Natalie Diaz - May 08, 2012
Goodreads Rating
"I write hungry sentences," Natalie Diaz once explained in an interview, "because they want more and more lyricism and imagery to satisfy them." This debut collection is a fast-paced tour of Mojave life and family narrative: A sister fights for or against a brother on meth, and everyone from Antigone, Houdini, Huitzilopochtli, and Jesus is invoked ...
Magical Negro
Morgan Parker - Feb 05, 2019
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Magical Negro is an archive of Black everydayness, a catalog of contemporary folk heroes, an ethnography of ancestral grief, and an inventory of figureheads, idioms, and customs. These American poems are both elegy and jive, joke and declaration, songs of congregation and self-conception. They connect themes of loneliness, displacement, grief, ance...
Life on Mars
Tracy K. Smith - May 10, 2011
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You lie there kicking like a baby, waiting for God himself To lift you past the rungs of your crib. What Would your life say if it could talk?                                                            —from “No Fly Zone”With allusions to David Bowie and interplanetary travel, Life on Mars imagines a soundtrack for the universe to accompany the dis...
Recommended by
Alondra Nelson
Wet Cement
A Mix of Concrete Poems
Bob Raczka - Mar 08, 2016
Goodreads Rating
Who says words need to be concrete? This collection shapes poems in surprising and delightful ways.Concrete poetry is a perennially popular poetic form because they are fun to look at. But by using the arrangement of the words on the page to convey the meaning of the poem, concrete or shape poems are also easy to write! From the author of the incre...
There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce by Morgan Parker
The Essential Rumi by Jalal Al-Din Rumi
The Rose That Grew From Concrete by Tupac Shakur
Falling Up by Shel Silverstein
If Not, Winter by Sappho
The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes by Langston Hughes
Complete Sonnets and Poems by William Shakespeare
Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth by Warsan Shire
100 Selected Poems by E. E. Cummings
Selected Poems by Federico Garcia Lorca
Love Poems by Pablo Neruda
What the Living Do by Marie Howe
Diving into the Wreck by Adrienne Rich
Selected Poems by Anna Akhmatova
Selected Poems by William Carlos Williams
Dream Songs by John Berryman
Oceanic by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Wild Embers by Nikita Gill
When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities by Chen Chen
Selected Poems by Gwendolyn Brooks
Gerard Manley Hopkins by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Hip Hop Speaks to Children by Nikki Giovanni
Neon Vernacular by Yusef Komunyakaa
On Love and Barley by Matsuo Basho
The Selected Poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Stag's Leap by Sharon Olds
John Donne's Poetry by John Donne
Wade in the Water by Tracy K. Smith
Poetry for Kids by Emily Dickinson
Four Reincarnations by Max Ritvo
It's Raining Pigs & Noodles by Jack Prelutsky
Eye Level by Jenny Xie
Oculus by Sally Wen Mao
Poetry Speaks to Children by Elise Paschen
A Kick in the Head by Paul B. Janeczko
Seeing the Blue Between by Paul B. Janeczko
Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror by John Ashbery
Feel the Beat by Marilyn Singer
A Poke in the I by Paul B. Janeczko
I'm Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris
When Green Becomes Tomatoes by Julie Fogliano
Firefly July by Paul B. Janeczko
Here's A Little Poem by Jane Yolen
Echo Echo by Marilyn Singer
Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young by Jack Prelutsky
Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein
The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter
The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke by Rainer Maria Rilke
Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
salt. by Nayyirah Waheed
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova by Anna Akhmatova
Crush by Richard Siken
Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson
Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae
The Complete Poetical Works Of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
The Essential Neruda by Pablo Neruda
A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
Bluets by Maggie Nelson
No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay
The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake by William Blake
Selected Poems of Langston Hughes by Langston Hughes
The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane
Felicity by Mary Oliver
The Last Night of the Earth Poems by Charles Bukowski
New and Selected Poems, Volume One by Mary Oliver
The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare
Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
The Poetry of Pablo Neruda by Pablo Neruda
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
The Gift by Hafiz
100 Love Sonnets by Pablo Neruda
The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
Arthur Rimbaud by Arthur Rimbaud
The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore
Four Quartets by T. S. Eliot
Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander
e. e. cummings by E. E. Cummings
The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta
Gmorning, Gnight! by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke