Celebrate National Poetry Month with some of our favorite poetry reads!


bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward

 From the celebrated poet Yrsa Daley-Ward, a poignant collection of poems about the heart, life, and the inner self. 

Bone. Visceral. Close to. Stark.

The poems in Yrsa Daley-Ward’s collection bone are exactly that: reflections on a particular life honed to their essence—so clear and pared-down, they become universal.

From navigating the oft competing worlds of religion and desire, to balancing society’s expectations with the raw experience of being a woman in the world; from detailing the experiences of growing up as a first generation black British woman, to working through situations of dependence and abuse; from finding solace in the echoing caverns of depression and loss, to exploring the vulnerability and redemption in falling in love, each of the raw and immediate poems in Daley-Ward’s bone resonates to the core of what it means to be human.


Brown by Kevin Young

 The prize-winning author of Blue Laws meditates on all things “brown” in this powerful new collection.

Divided into “Home Recordings” and “Field Recordings,” Brown speaks to the way personal experience is shaped by culture, while culture is forever affected by the personal, recalling a black Kansas boyhood to comment on our times. From “History”—a song of Kansas high-school fixture Mr. W., who gave his students “the Sixties / minus Malcolm X, or Watts, / barely a march on Washington”—to “Money Road,” a sobering pilgrimage to the site of Emmett Till’s lynching, the poems engage place and the past and their intertwined power. These thirty-two taut poems and poetic sequences remind us that blackness and brownness tell an ongoing story. A testament to Young’s own—and our collective—experience, Brown offers beautiful, sustained harmonies from a poet whose wisdom deepens with time.

 

Click to Read an Excerpt.


all of it is you. by Nico Totorella

 A poetry collection from actor Nico Tortorella exploring “all of it,” from the smallest cells in our bodies to the outer limits of our universe. 

Nico Tortorella’s debut poetry collection presents a singular voice honed through years as an actor, podcaster, and advocate, one colored with love, wonder, and endless curiosity. But it is also more than just words on a page—it is a sensuous journey into who we are and how we relate to the world around us, showing how the connections we make are vital to understanding why we are here.

Provocative, enlightening, and emotionally charged, all of it is you. is a poetry experience like no other.


Devotions by Mary Oliver

 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 powerful bonds between all living things. Identified as “far and away, this country’s best selling poet” by Dwight Garner, she now returns with a stunning and definitive collection of her writing from the last fifty years.

Carefully curated, these 200 plus poems feature Oliver’s work from her very first book of poetry, No Voyage and Other Poems, published in 1963 at the age of 28, through her most recent collection, Felicity, published in 2015. This timeless volume, arranged by Oliver herself, showcases the beloved poet at her edifying best. Within these pages, she provides us with an extraordinary and invaluable collection of her passionate, perceptive, and much-treasured observations of the natural world.


When You Die You Will Not Be Scared to Die by Lindsay Tunkl

 A brief artistic collection of fears around dying and their ultimate futility in the face of the unknown.

 This small book of 24 meditations on death is intentionally repetitive and hypnotic in effect, and will inspire the reader to list what scares them most, come to terms with their own mortality, and realize what fears are holding them back from living a life fully with 100 percent commitment. It will inspire those who wish to live with greater intention and purpose and experience more joy and appreciation of the present moment.


yesterday i was the moon by Noor Unnahar

A powerful and deep poetry collection tinged with the heartbreak of a broken home and the complexity of a rich cultural background.

 yesterday i was the moon centers around themes of love and emotional loss, the catharsis of creating art, and the struggle to find one’s voice. Noor’s poetry ranges from succinct universal truths to flowery prose exploring her heritage, what it means to find a physical and emotional home, and the intimate and painful dance of self-discovery. Noor Unnahar is a young female voice with power and depth and the Pakistani poet’s moving, personal work collects and makes sense of the phases of collapsing and rebuilding one’s self on the treacherous modern path from teenager to adult.


Godsong by Amit Majmudar

 A fresh, strikingly immediate and elegant verse translation of the classic, with an introduction and helpful guides to each section, by the rising American poet.

Born in the United States into a secularized Hindu family, Amit Majmudar puzzled over the many religious traditions on offer, and found that the Bhagavad Gita had much to teach him with its “song of multiplicities.” Chief among them is that “its own assertions aren’t as important as the relationships between its characters . . . The Gita imagined a relationship in which the soul and God are equals”; it is, he believes, “the greatest poem of friendship . . . in any language.”

Majmudar’s verse translation captures the many tones and strategies Krishna uses with Arjuna—strict and berating, detached and philosophical, tender and personable.

Click to Read an Excerpt.


Night School by Carl Dennis

 A masterful new collection of poetry from the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Ruth Lilly Prize.

 The poems in Carl Dennis’s thirteenth collection, Night School, are informed by an engagement with a world not fully accessible to the light of day, a world that can only be known with help from the imagination, whether we focus on ourselves, on people close at hand, or on the larger society.

Only if we imagine alternatives to our present selves, Dennis suggests, can we begin to grasp who we are. Only if we imagine what is hidden from us about the lives of others can those lives begin to seem whole. Only if we can conceive of a social world different from the one we seem to inhabit can we begin to make sense of the country we call our own. To read these poems is to find ourselves invited into a dialogue between what is present and what is absent that proves surprising and enlarging.

 Click to Read an Excerpt.


A Certain Plume by Henri Michaux

 The most famous of Henri Michaux’s poetry collections, now in a new translation from the French.

 The strange bumbling figure of Plume, a poetic personage pretty much like no other, preoccupied the great Belgian poet Henri Michaux throughout most of his career. Plume was, Michaux said, his favorite creation. Plume, which is to say feather or pen, is a character who drifts from one thing to another, losing shape, taking new forms, at perpetual risk from reality. He is a personification of the imagination, but the imagination as subject to innumerable pratfalls and disgraces, and yet indestructible in spite of itself.

The whole Plume cycle comes to some forty poems, in prose and verse, many of which have never been translated into English until A Certain Plume.


 

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