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7 Poetry Books You Should Read To Celebrate Poetry Month

7 Poetry Books You Should Read To Celebrate Poetry Month

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Here at THP, poetry is right up our alley as music lovers. After all, songs are poetry set to music! If you didn’t know, April is National Poetry Month for the US and Canada, and we couldn’t let this month pass by without recommending some amazing poetry and novels-in-verse that everyone should add to their TBR!

Without further ado, here are seven poetry books we think you should give a try to celebrate this April!

Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh

Image Source: Courtesy of Dutton Books for Young Readers

This debut follows Ada, the daughter of an immigrant father and an African-American mother, as she tries to find her place in the world and in her family. The story in verse unpacks Ada’s childhood abuse, addiction, and being the first-born daughter of a Nigerian immigrant in America. This story is a powerful and enrapturing coming-of-age that everyone needs on their TBR!

Content warning: childhood sexual abuse by a relative (on page, main character), traumatic experience with a gynecological exam, college sexual experiences of dubious consent, male characters engaging in misogynistic and sexually manipulative dialogue.

Order your copy here.

Pocket Change Collective: Concrete Kids by Amyra León

Image Source: Courtesy of Penguin Workshop

This gorgeous free-verse novel follows author Amyra León’s journey through growing up in Harlem, foster care, resilience, self-love, and so much more. The focus of the book is on dreaming––even when your circumstances are against you or you are feeling down, keep dreaming your dream. This is the perfect addition to your shelf if you’re looking for inspiration and understanding.

Content warning: physical abuse, racism, death, blood, gun violence.

Grab your copy here.

When We Make It by Elisabet Velasquez

Image Source: Courtesy of Dial Books

Another young adult debut, this novel-in-verse follows Sarai, a first-generation Puerto Rican eighth grader. She and her older sister navigate their world in Bushwick, including family trauma, toxic masculinity, and gentrification. Velasquez is definitely an author to watch! We love this emotional, moving story so much. Remember your box of tissues for this one!

Content warning: drug use, domestic abuse, death, fatphobia, teen pregnancy, miscarriage, postpartum depression, racism, rape, sexual assault.

Order your copy here.

Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman

Image Source: Courtesy of Viking

This stunner from the poet behind the beautiful poem read at Joe Biden’s inauguration includes ‘The Hill We Climb’ and so much more. Amanda Gorman has proven to be one of the brightest and most unforgettable voices in America for Gen Z, and this collection reminds us why. Featuring explorations of grief, identity, and hope, Gorman delivers a modern classic for a new generation.

Grab a copy here!

African Town by Charles Waters and Irene Latham

Image Source: Courtesy of G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

This powerful novel-in-verse tells the story of the last illegally enslaved Africans brought to Mobile, Alabama aboard the ship Clotilda in 1860. The novel follows their journey, their fight to preserve their culture, and the community they create called African Town at the end of the Civil War, which still exists today in America. This story is told through 14 different perspectives, creating a wide array of voices and points of view that contribute to this important piece of history.

Content warning: slavery, abuse, child death, mentions of sexual assault.

Order your copy here.

See Also

And We Rise by Erica Martin

Image Source: Courtesy of Viking Books for Young Readers

This debut poetry collection is also historical and features verse, evocative use of white space, historical photographs, an author’s note, and a timeline of events to tell its story. The novel leads the reader through the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, highlighting lesser-known events and figures that were vital to the fight for justice in America. This book is poignant and eye-opening, and one that reminds us that we still have a long way to go, yet we have also come far.

Content warning: murder, racism, segregation, death of family, bullets/guns, violent protests.

Grab a copy here!

Respect The Mic: Celebrating 20 Years of Poetry from a Chicagoland High School by Hanif Abdurraqib, Franny Choi, Peter Kahn, and Dan “Sully” Sullivan

Image Source: Courtesy of Penguin Workshop

This anthology curated by Hanif Abdurraqib, Franny Choi, Peter Kahn, and Dan “Sully” Sullivan, pulls together works from over 20 years of Chicago’s Oak Park and River Forest High School’s Spoken Word Club. This collection features both poetry and prose and the work of NBA star Iman Shumpert, National Youth Poet Laureates Kara Jackson and Natalie Richardson, comedian Langston Kerman, and more, plus the current students and alumni who contributed. What binds them all across cultures and life experiences and love and loss is one thing: storytelling.

Content warning: body shaming, bullying, child abuse, death of parent, domestic abuse, fatphobia, grief, mental illness, police brutality, pregnancy, racism, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, transphobia, violence. 

Order a copy here!

What will you be reading to celebrate Poetry Month this year? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @TheHoneyPop!

Want more book recs? We gotchu.

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