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Your Summer Poetry Recommendations

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably tried it recreationally – a little Dickinson here a little Neruda there – but never really found your poetic niche. After all, it’s a tough frame of mind to get into and requires not only patience but a few self-depreciating confessions of ‘I just don’t get it’.

So what better time than summer to slow down your pace and think more critically about what your reading? Summer offers a new-found patience with the sweaty world around you and poetry offers the perfect opportunity to exercise said patience. Plus, a book full of poems is truly the best summer companion, pool side or lazing at home. So sit back, relax, and sink your teeth into one (or all) of our recommended reads.

As an added perk, most of these books are small press published – so you can support the little guys and melt in the heat all at the same time. Happy reading!

 

The Heart That Lies Outside the Body by Stephanie Lenox

 

Written from the perspective of world record holders, the compiled poems of this book are an homage to human abilities written in simple stunning prose.

 

The Poem She Didn’t Write and Other Poems by Olena Kalytiak Davis

 

Want to dive straight into the deep end of wild metaphors and un-parsable syntactic structures? Davis’s book of poems is extremely complex and prone to make you scratch your head in a mixed gesture of confusion and awe. 

 

Someone Else’s Wedding Vows by Bianca Stone

 

A new take on love poems, Stone’s collection wavers between traditional romantic confessions and love’s equally powerful destructive nature. Her work takes on various forms of love all from the perspective of a wedding photographer.

 

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

 

Kaur’s poetry spans everything from love and loss to violence and abuse, and each poem is paralleled by simple illustrations. Whether you respond better to light or heavy themes, words or visuals, this collection has something every reader can connect with, even the poetically novice.

 

Our Numbered Days by Neil Hilborn

 

Don’t let the bright cover fool you, this is a comparatively darker read. The prose is very digestible but the topics far from sentimental and sweet, centring on loss, heartbreak and mental illness among others.

 

My Dead by Amy Lawless

 

Lawless’s collection is equal parts simple prose and complex concepts. It’s a great book to dive into poetry with because it offers you phrases you can easily understand, yet grapples with the timeless unanswerable question: how do we talk about the dead? 

 

Hider Roser by Ben Mirov

 

For something a little out of the ordinary and wholly absurd, Mirov is a great start. Funny when it should be sad, sad when it should be funny, the collection toys with emotions in an extremely captivating manner.

 

Correct Animal by Rebecca Farivar

 

Correct Animal is a collection of tiny poems. It’s a great read if you have limited time or equally limited patience. 

 

A Pillow Book by Suzanne Buffam

 

“Not a narrative. Not an essay. Not a shopping list. Not a song. Not a diary. Not an etiquette manual. Not a confession. Not a prayer. Not a secret letter sent through the silent Palace hallways before dawn.” – Anasi Books. 

What exactly is it? Buffam presents a unique blend of ideas and literary forms that turns the idea of a poem on it’s head, reshaping your notion of poetry and hopefully eradicating your fear of them too.