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Daywork: Poems

These smart, readable poems are deceptively simple, with their implications emerging slowly as readers ponder along with the poet. A collection to dwell in; Fisher merits watching.


Speaking to Jew and Gentile, believer and nonbeliver, this poetry collection makes our hungers radiant. Highly recommended.

Proverbs of Limbo: Poems

Memory and presence rub together beautifully in a rich patchwork quilt that sometimes doesn’t feel completely stitched together but whose immediacy is rewarding. A conversation starter from an important poet.

‘Bluff: Poems’ by Danez Smith | LJ Review of the Day

2024 Stars So Far | Poetry

Reconstruction of the Poet: Uncollected Works of Zbigniew Herbert

Indispensable writing from one of this age’s major poets and moralists. Highly recommended.

Bluff: Poems

Not to be missed; sure to be one of the best collections of the year.

Sonnets for a Missing Key

For enthusiasts of Percival’s writing.

Award-Winning Author Stephen C. Pollock Discusses His Poetry Collection Exits


woke up no light: poems

Clocking in at just over 90 minutes, this brief collection of poems speaks volumes and merits much relistening. Poetry is meant to be heard, and Mottley’s voice resonates.

Rangikura: Poems

Tibble’s collection is at once sensual, playful, and contemplative. This can’t-miss audio fairly glows.

Spectral Evidence: Poems

An intricate and richly varied collection that reveals new insight with every poem that’s read. Pardlo stuns with this relentless examination of race, prejudice, and fear.

Being Reflected Upon

A rich and bracing visit with one of our best poets; highly recommended.

Another Land of My Body

Leonard has written a work that can and should be savored by a wide range of readers.

Modern Poetry: Poems

A highly recommended volume that can be equally appreciated by dedicated poetry readers and those for whom it might be that rare reading of verse.


A wide-ranging work of current import, shaped by an intimate and urgent tone that draws in the reader.

Silver: Poems

From fox to car to misty morning, silver glints throughout this polished collection, woven in like meaningfulness in life. A strong entry, appealing for most readers.

Wrong Norma

Original, erudite, yet straightforwardly written; highly recommended for poetry enthusiasts.

Black Bell

Complex and intriguing, this work will attract readers of cutting-edge poetry.


At once down-to-earth and sensuous; for most collections.

With My Back to the World: Poems

Though Chang finally concedes that “My error was to become what / I wanted to be, not its tone,” there’s no easy understanding here. She’s grappling, and readers will too, but her refusal to trade in cliché makes this book stand out.

The Animal Is Chemical

A deeply human book for all readers.

A Year of Last Things: Poems

A mesmerizing audio, enhanced by the author’s heartfelt narration. Recommended for listeners hoping to immerse themselves in a poetic escape that is beautifully written and raw.

Sturge Town: Poems

Like one of his heroes, Bob Marley, Dawes changes not just the way readers look at the world but the lens through which they see reality. His is a transcendent vision, filled with tenderness, curiosity, and compassion for what has been and what might be.

LJ Talks with Aris Kian, Houston’s Poet Laureate

National Poetry Month 2024 | A Reading List

"Methuselah" by Aris Kian


Root Fractures: Poems

At turns heartbreaking and breathtaking, this collection of poems and images stuns. Listeners will be eager for more from this talented poet.

Tiny Extravaganzas

Braced by that ordinary tenderness and a crackling intelligence, this is work for anyone interested in contemporary poetry.

How To Be a Good Savage and Other Poems

A groundbreaking and deeply passionate poetry collection that celebrates language and feminine power. Not to be missed.

Besaydoo: Poems

This brief, quietly gorgeous audiobook reveals new meaning with every listen. A radiant addition to any poetry collection.

A Year of Last Things: Poems

A powerful, thoughtful collection of observations and contemplations; a beautiful and valuable addition to the world of poetry by one of its most inspiring writers. Readers who love the work of W.S. Merwin, Mary Oliver, Billy Collins, and Louise Gluck will want to savor this new collection.


A stunning collection of poems, worth reading again and again.

The Beloved Community

Moving and powerful, Jones’s latest collection is recommended for most libraries.

Dream Apartment

At their best, these poems work their magic through just such a sequential movement.

The Fears

This evocative book is recommended for all libraries.

Grand Tour: Poems

Gonzalez’s collection is a strong debut that is sure to captivate a broad spectrum of readers.

Sweet Movie: Poems

A rich and thought-provoking collection. Poetry lovers and Dietzman fans will want to read these poems over and over again and can find something new to enjoy or admire each time.

What Small Sound: Poems

Powerful and full of emotion, with themes that will engage readers from many different audiences.

A Scrap in the Blessings Jar: New and Selected Poems

A collection rich in knowledge about what it means to be human, the rewards and responsibilities of love, and how nature can assuage pain and fear. Highly recommended.

Homeland of My Body: New and Selected Poems

Accessible and sincere, Blanco’s poems may sometimes play tag with unmasked sentiment, but they are equally capable of sharp commentary (“History’s most constant conceit: that to love/ a country justifies killing everyone who does/ not love it exactly as we wish”) and a keen engagement with contemporary American life.

This Is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets

This amazing anthology may be the most important poetry collection of this decade. It is a book for poetry lovers, a book for the curious, a book of comfort, a book of prayer, a book of passion and a book of joy, a book of sorrow and a book of desire, but in the end, it is simply and wondrously a grand and glorious book.

The Asking: New and Selected Poems

A superb collection from a remarkable poet whose prodigious talent grows with every addition to her oeuvre.

Best Poetry of 2023


Girls from the County

This audiobook may be short, but it is seriously spooky. Recommended for those who love gothic poetry or true crime or listeners wanting to get in the Halloween spirit.

Organs of Little Importance

An engrossing blend of the contemporary and classical, laced with irony, humor, and a deep sense of the now.

Paper Banners

Miller is able to go inside her subjects and draw readers with her. That experience makes this collection one for all libraries.

Spectral Evidence: Poems

Complex, linguistically rich, and unsparing in its analysis of both the current national psyche as well as the poet’s own, Pardlo’s poetry dares to ask: “What if we didn’t define ourselves according to our ability to know ourselves, but by our capacity to relate to others?”

Watch Your Language: Visual and Literary Reflections on a Century of American Poetry

Hayes successfully provides a multidimensional work that serves as an outline of American poetry history, a reflection on a poet’s life, and a thoughtful discussion guide for groups or classes.

School of Instructions: A Poem

For patient, attentive readers, Hutchinson delivers a spoil of linguistic, philosophical, and spiritual riches.

Up Late: Poems

While the poems in the last third of the book seem a shade lighter than those preceding them, this collection offers readers a satisfyingly rich palette of imagery and insight.

The Many Hundreds of the Scent: Poems

McCrae’s innovative stylistics and associative leaps take some getting used to, but his poetry echoes his hope that “what once seemed strange to you/ Becomes your heart.”

What You Want: Poems

The poetics of spontaneity is not unusual, but McLane brings to it a honed sensibility and voice entirely her own.

The Lights

Sometimes it can feel like a tale of two works, the junction not quite seamless, with some of the poetry here feeling a bit more academic and opaque next to the thrilling prose. But on the whole, this is another stunningly audacious work from Lerner that surveys life through the lens of art and vice versa, intimate and universal, challenging but deeply rewarding.

So To Speak

Quietly devastating and exquisitely wrought, these poems are among the very finest of Hayes’s career.

Chrome Valley: Poems

This powerful and accessible collection of poetry, amplified by Browne’s skilled narration, is ideal for both established fans of and newcomers to contemporary poetry, plus those who like Jasmine Mans and Jacqueline Woodson.

I Love Information: Poems

Stringing together random-declarative sentences without periods, some seemingly related and others not, does not make for good poetry. Not recommended.

Things I Didn’t Do with This Body

Occasionally, some one-word titles don’t do justice to the poems, and in a few the rhyming seems overdone, but this poet writes what is vital and necessary. These poems are raw, emotional, and fierce in their rush to get words out into the world. Highly recommended.

Ghost Apples: Poems

Appropriate for followers of Coles’s work and especially readers connected with nature.

The Wild Hunt Divinations: A Grimoire

There’s an artfulness of intention behind this work, but placing these anagrammed lines beside those of Shakespeare doesn’t enhance it. Ketner may have discovered an ingenious technique, but unfortunately their method does not result in ingenious poetry.

Winter Stranger: Poems

A remarkable new voice plumbing our grief; highly recommended.

Mare’s Nest

Ultimately, Mitchell’s language is reminiscent of Dylan Thomas’s “Fern Hill” and draws from a similar source: life bursting forth on the farm beside an undercurrent of death. As Thomas’s famed line says, “Time held me green and dying/ Though I sang in my chains like the sea.”

Plantains and Our Becoming: Poems

Deeply moving and personal while also celebrating Black Latina history and informing readers urgently needing to be educated, Marte’s book is a wonderful addition to any collection.

The Diaspora Sonnets

Exciting in its combination of traditional form and accessibility, this collection offers a compassionate and poignant reflection on family in diaspora. Highly recommended.

Console: Poems

A dreamy, vivid, linguistically alive collection that will reward the careful reader.

Pig: Poems

Some readers unfamiliar with Sax’s work may flinch at its unabashed sexuality, but the poet’s sharp humor, imaginative breadth, and risky candor are expertly tuned to the varieties of human experience.

Shining Stars | The Best Poetry Books of the Year (So Far)

Promises of Gold

Seemingly tailor-made for audio, this powerful book is a must-purchase. Olivarez’s invitation to share moments of his history, culture, love, and joy is wholly affecting.

Celebrate National Poetry Month


West: A Translation

A remarkable collection offering history not typically told in textbooks; an accompanying website ( with video poems and historical images adds context.


It’s easy to get lost in Rogers’s lush language, but there are larger issues here that will make the book appealing not just to poetry readers but to anyone concerned with the environment.


A fine exploration of nature and self in crisis; those familiar with Eilbert’s work will not be disappointed, while new readers will be eager to explore her further.

Rose Quartz: Poems

A beautifully rendered sense of someone blown to bits by social and cultural injustices and still in the remaking.

A Fire in the Hills

An accessible collection from a poet who continues to probe the past, present, and interconnectedness of being.

I’m Always So Serious

An assured debut from a writer to watch.

suddenly we

Another accomplished work from Shockley; highly recommended.

Above Ground

While this collection will resonate most deeply with parents, its wisdom, humanity, and sheer eloquence speak to a time and condition all readers will recognize.

Your Kingdom

An engaging collection, perhaps more contemplative than Sikelianos’s previous work, for nature lovers and beyond.

Trace Evidence: Poems

Shanahan’s new work meets anguish and pain directly and ultimately proposes a tender and expansive possibility: “If you are on this earth/ You are of this earth.” Emotionally vulnerable and insightful; a work in which all readers likely will find something of themselves.

Tanya: Poems

A remarkable book achieving all its ambitions; highly recommended.



In a book coursing with energy, Landau remains in control. “This is my fifth book of poems. I had my way with each of them.” Indeed she has! A good addition to most collections.

Was It for This: Poems

Perhaps not as absorbing as her first work, though this may depend on the reader; still, Sullivan remains an original and observant writer.


For poems probing deep ontological and existential concerns, these are remarkably free of lecture or cant. Sophisticated readers will grab especially, but this work is accessible to all.

Judas Goat: Poems

Thrillingly bold, this collection is at once unique in approach, mischievous in its navigation of ideas, and lush yet controlled in its use of language, rupturing the division between the domestic and the primal to both delicate and brutal ends.

Calligraphies: Poems

Occasionally, a phrase brushes improbability (“My horse and my notebook think// what I am thinking/ through an orgy of cadence”), but these poems breathe with life; even in a collection this large, the reader stays involved. “On the road,/ cars rarify, whisk by trees that explode/ in redbud, apple blossom, presage fruit”: a poetic journey not to be missed.

Still Falling: Poems

Coming from deep inside, these poems work by free association, often alluding to falling rain, snow, and even sunlight pouring onto a surface, all of which add a spiritual resonance to these hypnotic and meditative poems.


Challenging reading for those who don’t know her work, but a welcome volume for those who do.

Display Shelf | Poetry


Poetry Unbound: 50 Poems To Open Your World

Listeners will experience and learn something different with every visit to this stunning collection. A necessary purchase for newcomers and seasoned poetry lovers alike. Suggest to fans of William Sieghart’s The Poetry Remedy.

Woman Without Shame

This luminous collection from a treasured writer is a must-listen and a necessary addition to every poetry collection.

From From: Poems

Youn does an extraordinary job of blending historical themes with haunting modern-day experiences to clarify sense of self. Readers will be captivated.

Concentrate: Poems

Simply put, one of the best books this reviewer has read in the last 12 months.

True Life: Poems

Readers who enjoy W.S. Merwin, Mary Oliver, and Jane Kenyon will feel quite at home with Zagajewski’s poems; like those writers, he is never obscure or tentative but always luminous and alive. Essential for academic libraries and a worthy purchase for contemporary poetry collections in public libraries.

To 2040

A masterpiece that belongs in every library where poetry is found.

The World Behind the World: Poems

Bernard has a sharp, critical eye and an ability to paint a scene quickly while also coloring it with social resonance. Similar word choices occasionally get repeated from poem to poem, but this collection is a marvel, gifting the reader with new subjects, unique perspectives, and an exuberant musicality that nearly leaps across the page. Highly recommended.

Wind, Trees

A fine collection recommended for any library.


A powerful document of social injustice, BISACed as social science but of crucial interest for arts and poetry collections; pricey but worth it for many libraries.

Best Poetry of 2022

Poetry Unbound: 50 Poems To Open Your World

With his intimate tone, Ó Tuama takes poetry out of the classroom and puts it back into the hands of the reader. He thereby makes the world a better place. Recommended for poetry collections everywhere.

Weaving Sundown in a Scarlet Light: Fifty Poems for Fifty Years

Harjo is a national treasure, perhaps even a national resource, and this important book is an essential addition to contemporary poetry collections everywhere.

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