50 poetry books to read right now

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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 content inspired by today's ever changing cultural and policital 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.


Essential books of poetry

By Ada Limón
By Hieu Minh Nguyen
By Danez Smith
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 Billy Collins
By Johnny Cash
By Ted Hughes
By Alice Oswald
By Justin Phillip Reed
By Rae Armantrout
By Diana Khoi Nguyen
By Jenny Xie
By Claudia Rankine
By Adrian Matejka
By Jos Charles
By Patricia Smith
By Diane Seuss
By Tyehimba Jess
By Evie Shockley

More essential reading lists

By Richard Davies
June 03, 2021 05:02 PM
Ghosts Along the Mississippi is unlike any photography book. It is a prime example of 'Louisiana Gothic' and ghostly in so many ways.
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By Richard Davies
June 03, 2021 05:02 PM
This influential photography book, first published in France in 1958, appears highly relevant today with the United States divided in so many ways. However, the odds are that these honest, and often sad images, have always been relevant.
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June 03, 2021 05:02 PM
For this particular list of the best epic books, we considered books of all genres. We didn't fuss too much over the physical length of the book or the time span, but we did seriously consider the weight of the story itself.
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