Wednesday 6 May 2020

5 of the best poetry collections

I love poetry. It's my favourite written form, and the one I'm probably best at. And I also love reading poetry, and studying it; I did a creative writing degree and poetry was my favourite module. So I've got a lot of poetry books, and I love adding to my collection whenever I can. I thought I'd put together a blog post sharing my favourite poetry collections in case anyone is looking to get into reading poetry while we're stuck in lockdown!

Staying Alive, edited by Neil Astley

We studied this anthology in university, but it is one that I come back to time and time again. Filled with such a huge variety of poems and poets, the tagline is real poems for unreal times. Definitely feels relevant! There are 500 poems in here, about love and family and journeys and so much more. If you're a newcomer to the world of reading poetry than I would 100% recommend this, or its sequel Being Alive. There is a third in the trilogy, called Being Human, but I'm yet to get my hands on it!

yesterday i was the moon by Noor Unnahar

If you want modern contemporary poetry, short-form and self-aware, then this is the book for you. It's beautiful and, in my opinion, accessible poetry. The book is peppered with black and white photography and overall it's just a really stunning collection.

England Poems from a School, edited by Kate Clanchy

Picador sent this to me when it was released, and I'm so glad they did. I had followed Kate on Twitter for a while, constantly in awe of the poetry she would share from her students from Oxford Spires Academy. It's a school where the students speak over 30 languages between them - many are refugees, and their poetry is so reflective of the different backgrounds they come from, the struggles they have faced and the ways in which their lives have changed. Love love love this collection!

American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin by Terrance Hayes

This collection arrived from Penguin Poetry earlier this year, and I quickly devoured it. It contains 70 sonnets about gender, race and political oppression, each written so beautifully. The poems are delicate and dramatic in equal measures, not afraid to say what others might not. If you want political poetry from someone new and exciting, this is a great collection.

chasers of the light: poems from the typewriter series by Tyler Knott Greyson

If you were on Tumblr back in the day, chances are you'll have seen plenty of Tyler's poems floating around. They're written on typewriters, obviously, and this collection contains scans of many of them as well as some typed-up versions. There are long and short poems, most about love, and I find his work so easy to read. He really captures emotions beautifully. Would recommend!

If you are into poetry, what are some of your favourite collections or individual poems? 


  1. I love poetry, but haven't heard of any of these. Definitely going to add them to my Wishlist immediately x

  2. I used to love poetry at school but i haven't dabbled since then - you're inspiring me to though!