You might remember that Michelle did a huge post about her poetry recommendations a few weeks back. Now it’s my turn. I won’t be as detailed as Mich was, but I tried to pick a few different poets than the ones she talked about. Without further ado…
I read and fell in love with classic poetry long before I ever gave modern poetry a try. I have three absolute favourites that I’d like to recommend to you all.
So, of course, we have Sylvia Plath—more specifically, Ariel. I feel like you either love or hate Plath, and personally, I’m definitely part of the former. She was the first poet that I really ‘got’. I really highly recommend listening to Plath read her own poems—it’s incredible.
Last year, in one of my classes, we studied Howl by Allen Ginsberg. I’d never read anything by Beat Writers before, but I absolutely adored it. I like poems about real, raw things so this was kind of perfect for me.
Finally, Seamus Heaney. He’s one of my favourite writers of all time after we studied Beowulf in my Year 12 Lit class. He has a lot of other poetry collections, a few of which I’ve read and loved.
Let’s start with the two Australian poetry collections I have to recommend.Firstly, there’s Dirty Words by Natalie Harkin, I also studied this for class. The collection is set out like the alphabet with a poem for each letter. Harkin is an Indigenous Australian, so the poems racism and other social issues in Australia. It’s an incredible collection and I highly recommend it.
Secondly, there’s Aria by Sarah Holland-Batt. This is more of what I’d call, a flowery collection. It doesn’t tackle hard issues, but it’s still incredibly beautiful.
Moving away from Australia, there’s the incredible collection, Heaven or This by Topaz Winters. Not only does this have one of the most beautiful covers ever, it’s also beautifully written. Topaz’s website is incredibly beautiful too, so you should definitely check that out. You can find a copy of this collection here.
Next is No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay, if you’ve watched any spoken word poetry, you’ve probably seen something of Sarah Kay’s. Her poems are incredibly moving—a lot of them bring out that sense of nostalgia in me. They are beautiful to read, but even more beautiful to listen to. My personal favourites right now are Montauk and Jakarta January.
Lace Bone Beast by N.L Shompole is one of my absolute favourite poetry collections. In fact, I’d say it makes my top three. I love collections that are designed in interesting ways. For examples, different typographical designs, images and etc. This one has a bit of that, which helps, but also the poems are just really beautiful.
These next two are very high up on my list. Firstly, there’s New American Best Friend by Olivia Gatwood. I’d say Olivia is probably my favourite poet right now. I first listened to her poems on YouTube, and I loved them so much I had to preorder this collection. I’ve never preordered something in my life, so you know this is good.
Finally, The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace. I know Michelle recommended this one, but I couldn’t pass the chance to speak about it. This is the only poetry collection that has ever made me cry. And dear lord, did it make me cry. I was sobbing for an hour because of this—it put my grief for my mum into words, but it was also really applicable to my boyfriend and I. It was amazing.
So those are my poetry recommendations. Both Michelle and I plan to continue recommending poetry as we read more and more. So if you enjoy these posts, please let us know in a comment. If you haven’t already, you can see Michelle’s last post in which she talked about movies she is excited for!