Outside of my English major friend circle, I don’t know many people who read a single poetry collection each year. Even I had begun to slack upon graduating, which I remedied via my to-read list. It’s a shame, because there is some crazy good poetry out there.
If you’re looking for a poet or two to pick up in the new year, here’s what I loved this year.
Collected Poems by Jack Gilbert: This book might only belong on a list of books I love, but Jack Gilbert has been a long time favorite of mine. If you’re not familiar with him, I highly suggest starting out with The Great Fires before reading every poem he’s ever written (some of them are not that great).
Of Poetry & Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin: This anthology is jam-packed with black poets; their poems that echo, precede, and address the sentiments and issues surrounding the Black Lives Matter Movement; and astounding photos and art paired perfectly with each poet and poem.
Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey: This collection won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2007. Need I say more?
Crush by Richard Siken: I know a fair amount of fans of Siken’s poetry, and lemme tell you, you better buckle up before you settle down and be devoured by this astounding collection of poems. Your world will be rocked and your mind will be blown.
Whereas by Layli Long Soldier: In the wake of the Dakota Access Pipeline and #NODAPL, Native American poet Layli Long Soldier exposes and explores more of the U.S. government’s harmful actions and legislation toward Native Americans.
The Best American Poetry 2016: If you’re not sure what poet might suit your fancy, anthologies such as this are a great way to get your fill of poems from a variety of outstanding poets.