A round-up of poetry books to buy if you want to start reading more

Yesterday at President Biden’s inauguration, Amanda Gorman stole the show with her poetry and made us all question what we’d all achieved at the age of 22.

Her poem The Hill We Climb was powerful, beautiful and couldn’t be more relevant to the current global climate.

It’s also placed her book at the top of the Amazon best-sellers list – and it hasn’t even been released yet.

So, if Amanda’s incredible recital has put you in the mood for some more poetry, we’ve got you covered.

Whether you’re a newbie to poetry or are simply looking for some new books to add to your collection, we’ve rounded up some of the best out there – from classics to contemporary works.

The Poetry Pharmacy, William Sieghart

The brilliant William Sieghart came up with the idea of The Poetry Pharmacy back in 2014, when he began prescribing poems to help people cope with problems in their lives.

This book is a collection of works from various poets and is broken down into sections, depending on what you fancy reading about. There are poems about mental wellbeing, self acceptance, love and loss and more.

Collected Poems, Sylvia Plath

This collection delves into one of the most admired and acclaimed poets of the 20th century – Sylvia Plath.

This particular book features all her mature poetry written from 1956 up to her death in 1963 – including works from her posthumous collections Ariel, Crossing the Water and Winter Trees.

Poems to Live Your Life By, Chris Riddell

This collection of poems and songs also comes with beautiful illustrations – so is a great coffee table book.

Pick it up anytime for something through-provoking and feel good. If you tend to find poetry a little heavy, this is a great choice as the art helps to make things a little more accessible.

How To Cure A Ghost by Fariha Roisin

This collection is, in many ways, a love letter to one’s own body. Fariha’s works document her thoughts as a young, queer, Muslim woman navigating the struggles of idenity and self-acceptance.

Dearly, Margaret Atwood

You might be familiar with Margaret Atwood’s novels (A Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments, Alias Grace etc) but have read her famous poetry?

Brought out late last year, Dearly is her first collection of poetry in over a decade, but you’ll still find all her recognisable themes – love, loss, time and nature to name a few.

Collected Poems, Tony Harrison

Tony Harrison talks about class, love and life in a way that’s easy to soak up. Drawing on his working-class upbringing in Leeds, he writes powerful poems for today’s audience.

A Poem For Every Night of the Year, Allie Esiri

Just as the title suggests, this collection features 366 poems compiled by Allie Esiri – one for every night of the year.

There’s something for everyone with old favourites and contemporary voices, including the likes of Tennyson, W. B. Yeats, Christina Rossetti, Carol Ann Duffy and Benjamin Zephaniah. The daily format of this book makes it a super easy way to digest poetry.

Gold from the Stone: New and Selected Poems, Lemm Sissay

By the age of 17, Lemm Sissay had written his first poetry book – this very one. Lemm’s bold and personal poetry delves into race, the government, social services, relationships and more.

You’ve probably heard one of his poems before – they have, after all, been widely broadcast on TV and radio – but if you haven’t you’re in for an incredible ride.

Set Me On Fire: A Poem For Every Feeling, Ella Risbridger

Poetry has the ability to tap into thoughts and feelings we didn’t even know existed, or are unsure how to express.

These poems cover all kinds of relatable topics from kissing, eating, break-ups and first loves to grief, death and mortality. Essentially, they are poems about being alive and the ups and downs that goes with it.

Shakespeare’s Sonnets, William Shakespeare

Sometimes you just can’t beat a classic and who better than Shakespeare to turn to if you’re looking for some incredible poetry.

No doubt you’ll come across some of his better known ones but also discover new ones for yourself. 

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