April is National Poetry Month, and in its honor, we’re taking a deep-dive into the poetry and poets that inspire us, move us, and remind us what it means to be human. National Poetry Month is dedicated to reminding the public of the integral role that poetry plays in our lives, and as you read through these collections and poems, we hope you’ll be equally inspired.
A finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Bright Dead Things takes a deep look at how we build our identities based on place and human contact. As the speaker moves to rural Kentucky from New York City, loses a parent, grows older, and falls in love, the reader can see their sense of self evolve—and can feel their own sense of self shift as well. 126 pages
This collection gathers poems from the entire career of US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, examining everything from the takeover at Wounded Knee to how poetry and music plays a role in the rejuvenation of indigenous cultures. 272 pages
In her debut collection, spoken word poet and educator Melissa Lozada-Oliva examines race, class, femininity, identity, youth, and body image. Lozada-Oliva’s writing is sharp, witty, and unapologetically self-loving. 272 pages
In her debut collection, Cathy Linh Che deftly balances the personal and traumatic with a more general responsibility to bear witness. The reader follows one woman’s personal account of sexual violence, cultural conflict, immigration, and its’ aftermath. Split examines what happens after deep trauma and the journey it takes to fully recover. 80 pages
Felon tells the story of the effects of incarceration, and brings the reader on a journey through homelessness, underemployment, love, drug abuse, domestic violence, fatherhood, and grace. Reginald Dwayne Betts examines prison not just as a physical, static space, but as a dynamic force that puts pressure on a person throughout their entire life. 123 pages
In this award-winning collection, Mark Wagenaar takes his reader on a lyrical, glowing tour of the American South. He examines the deep history of the region through the eyes of the living, the dead, and everyone in-between. 120 pages
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