7 Inspired Poetry Books for a reading list refresh:

From Shakespeare to spoken word, poetry has plenty of roots in culture all over the world. But you won’t just find verse in poetry books. You’ll hear it in adverts, and see it on posters. Even quote it without realising! So why not give it a try?

Should you give poetry books a chance?

Poetry books can feel out of reach sometimes. In a sea of prose, poetry might not stand out as much. But dig a little deeper. And you’ll find treasure. From mind-blowing books, to spoken word nights, and open mics. And of course, poetry plays a pivotal role as lyrics in music as well.

If you’re new to poetry books, give yourself a little time to fall in love with them. Though if you’re a regular navigator of rhyming couplets and word play, you might be looking out for new recommendations. Either way, you’ve come to the right place.

Poetry book recommendations for you to try:

Here you’ll find suggestions that will point you in a lots of directions. You may recognise the poets. Or you may not. But like with any of my suggestions, my aim is to encourage taking a path less travelled. So explore pastures new. And pick up a poetry book you might have left behind. Dive into a brave new world.

Unashamed by Harry Baker

Perfect for readers who love wordplay and puns. Plus the writer is known as the world grand slam champion. He woos audiences with his passion for words, maths and dinosaurs. You can listen to a reading of A-Z from this interview.

The Dead Emcee Schools by Saul Williams

This is an incredibly thought-provoking book. And a profound introduction into the realms of modern poetry and hip hop. The book feels as though it’s a lost work. And has been discovered by you. And for you.

A Bruise on Light by Shane Koyzcan

Known for writing the viral poem ‘To This Day’ which gained over 17 million views on Youtube, this poet has a gift for tugging the heartstrings.

No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay

Want writing that takes you on a journey? Then Sarah Kay’s picturesque writing will make a daydreamer out of you. Her performance of “B” is spell-binding. And will leave you reeling for more.

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

One of the great classic writers. And a strong influence for poets and poetry today. This is a collection of poetry that the author worked on all his life. And has created a legacy from his writing.

The Sun and her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

She tells stories that explore difficult themes. And is known for winning her readers over with hard hitting verse. A modern poet too. As a result, you can follow her work on Instagram.

Yesterday I was the Moon by Noor Unnahar

This is a lovely book about the joy of expressing yourself. If you like themes around art. Plus the thought of home. Then this is an ideal choice. A beautiful example of poems which resonate on a personal level.

What about poetry for kids?

Poetry books are great for exploring text. No matter who you are. Or how old you are. There are some excellent poetry books for kids. And some wonderful resources to go alongside them. You’ll find they’re a perfect fit for education. But work for general interest in poetry too.

And if you’re still on the fence…

Poems can seem elusive on the surface. But once you take a closer look, there are infinite hidden gems for readers to find. They are worth a try. With that in mind, you might like also this enticing review on ‘Why Poetry?’ by Matthew Zapruder.

It’s also worth listening to poems too. You’ll soon discover how poems take on a new form this way. They’re built for performance. See for yourself. And take some time to soak up a poem. It doesn’t have to be from the book you’ve searched. But tuning in to poetry in general can help with picking your next poetry book adventure.

This is a picture of an open book with the word poetry written in the corner of a blank page - possibly intended to be a poetry book.

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