“Call Us What We Carry” by Amanda Gorman
Following her election as the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, Amanda Gorman published her first collection of poetry with her book, “Call Us What We Carry.” This collection covers topics such as racism, COVID-19, the relationship to history and more. Gorman dives into her poetry with words that hit close to the heart of anyone reading. Her connection to events that are affecting people all around the world makes for an extraordinary collection of poems.
“Home Body” by Rupi Kaur
Rupi Kaur is not new to the poetry field with her other works “milk and honey” and the “sun and her flowers.” “Home Body” is her most recent publication which uses a series of poems and minimalist drawings to relate what Kaur interprets the home and body to be. The artwork paired with her poems are like sprinkles to a cake in that they do not take away attention from the poems themselves. Her poetry collection is nothing short of understanding and vivid.
Trigger warnings: sexual assault, depression
“Night Sky with Exit Wounds” by Ocean Vuong
Ocean Vuong is not only a poet but a novelist and songwriter as well. His first full-length poetry collection, “Night Sky with Exit Wounds” portrays an original interpretation of what it means to be an existing human through love, time and memory. This book won the T.S. Elliot prize in 2017. Vuong’s writings are fiercely vulnerable with a touch of elegance that can be seen by anyone reading his poems.
Trigger warnings: death, domestic abuse
“Good Bones” by Maggie Smith
In the summer of 2016, Maggie Smith went viral for her poem, “Good Bones.” A year later, she published her poetry book with the same title. Smith plays with the idea of understanding the world in all its glory and the pain that follows. She is not afraid to mention subjects such as experiences with motherhood, mental illnesses and ethics. Since the release of “Good Bones,” Smith has gone on to write another poetry book called “Keep Moving” (2020).
“Love & Misadventure” by Lang Leav
New Zealand novelist and poet Lang Leav published her first poetry collection “Love & Misadventure” in 2013. Leav’s writing in this poetry collection covers topics such as love affairs, complicated emotions and trust. Using poetry techniques like structure, rhyme and enjambment, Leav is able to weave together words in a minimalist yet beautiful way. Her carefully crafted poems are raw and honest.
“Curbs” by Divya Victor
Critically acclaimed for her poetry about the events following the 9/11 attacks, Divya Victor’s poetry book “Curbs” is a must-read. She dives into the details of the attacks and assaults immigrants and Americans had to endure after 9/11. Her poetry is not scared away from the post-9/11 political events of Americans who were involved in wounding people due to racial and religious differences. Eye-opening, educational and heart-breaking are only a few words to describe Victor’s work “Curbs.”
Trigger warnings: violence, death