50 essential poetry books

Image of 50 poetry books to read right now

Poetry is not all Milton and Shakespeare, despite our high school curriculum's best efforts to make us think so. Brimming with new names and modern poems inspired by today's ever changing cultural and political landscapes, this list of 50 poetry books is meant to be a departure from the classics. Among a few icons - Sylvia Plath, Frank O'Hara, and Maya Angelou to name a few - discover up and coming poets and recent award winners like Justin Philip Reed and Frank Bidart. Discover poems about race, oppression, and feminism alongside poems that explore love, loss and personal growth. For seasoned poetry readers and those new to the genre, our list of 50 poetry book to read right now has something for everyone.


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By Ada Limón
By Hieu Minh Nguyen
By Dorothea Lasky
By Fatimah Asghar
By Joshua Jennifer Espinoza
By Jose Olivarez
By Ursula K. Le Guin
By Courtney Peppernell
By Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo
By Paige Ackerson-Kiely
By Michael Dickman
By Brenda Shaughnessy
By Carol Ann Duffy
By Willie Perdomo
By Kevin Young
By Sylvia Plath
By Frank O'Hara
By Mary Oliver
By Langston Hughes
By Robin Coste Lewis
By Anne Carson
By Johnny Cash
By Alice Oswald
By Justin Phillip Reed
By Rae Armantrout
By Diana Khoi Nguyen
By Jenny Xie
By Adrian Matejka
By Jos Charles
By Patricia Smith
By Diane Seuss
By Tyehimba Jess
By Evie Shockley

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