April is National Poetry Month! This month, take the opportunity to explore all kinds of poetry and get inspired. Here are five poetry book suggestions to get your wheels turning. Head down to Orem Library and check out these picks today. Happy reading!
By Danez Smith
Danez Smith is one of the most acclaimed poets of their generation. It’s easy to see why, with lines like, “the way you would break me / into a better me. I ran from it. like any child, I saw my medicine / & it looked so sharp, so exact, a blade fit to the curve of my name.” Read Homie for expansive thoughts on friendship, family, race, and grief in our 21st century America.
By Sylvia Plath
Is there anything better than hearing a poet read their poetry aloud? In this audiobook, you’ll hear archived recordings of the poet Sylvia Plath doing just that. Scorching and raw, Plath enunciates each line to showcase her masterful use of internal rhythm. Her poetry interweaves off-beat images of mental-health, rage, motherhood, and nature. I especially love Plath’s reading of “Lady Lazarus.” If you like confessional poetry with a moody feel, this is a great pick for you.
By Jay Hulme
If slam poetry is more your speed, you’ll likely enjoy The Backwater Sermons by award-winning poet Jay Hulme. In this collection, Hulme examines faith and his transgender identity in a modern world beset by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hulme’s use of alliteration and punchy sounds were especially enjoyable to me. Read this one if you are interested in faith and queer identity.
By Audre Lord
Audre Lord is one of the most unforgettable voices of the past century. In this anthology, readers will gain a great understanding of her powerful, expressive poetry. As a Black lesbian woman, much of Lord’s poetry incorporates her identity. The result is a mosaic of vulnerability, beauty, and anger. Pick up this book for poetry on love and revolution.
By Carolyn Forché
Carolyn Forche has long been recognized for her contributions to contemporary poetry, but her 2020 collection In the Lateness of the World is something else altogether. Haunting and cyclical, her verse meditates on our shared global experiences of history, morality, and connection. I really loved Forche’s poem “Light of Sleep.” It made me feel melancholy, but also oddly comforted. Check out this book if you like to ruminate on the human condition.
Recommended by Chelsea McNeil, Library Intern