10 poetry collections to read if your soul needs some healing

Digging into a poetry collection is unlike any other reading experience. Whether you read poetry for its metaphors, brevity, lyrical language, or diverse points of view, those short and sweet sentences have the power to stay with you and change you. So, in honor of World Poetry Day, we’re sharing some of our favorite recent collections by female and non-binary poets.

The year 2019 marks 20 years of celebrating World Poetry Day, a day dedicated to reading, writing, and teaching poetry around the globe. Whether you read poetry regularly or are a bit of a novice, take a moment today to dip into one of these moving, meditative collections:

1Invasive Species by Marwa Helal


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As its title suggests, this collection is about an invasive species: immigrants. Because poetry can be politically charged, too.

2Magical Negro by Morgan Parker


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Morgan Parker’s playful collection spans everything from ancestry and stereotypes to pop culture and “black everydayness.” It’s one of the best books of the year so far.

3If My Body Could Speak by Blythe Baird


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Trigger warning: This collection covers themes like eating disorders, sexual assault, and homophobia. It’s unapologetically raw, candid, and brave.

4A Cruelty Special to Our Species by Emily Jungmin Yoon


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This unique collection is short, but it packs a big emotional punch. With grace and tact, Emily Jungmin Yoon confronts difficult subjects like fetishizing Asian women and sex slavery of Korean women during World War II.

5Mouthguard by Sadie Dupuis


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Mouthguard is magical from start to finish. It’ll make you fall in love with poetry all over again.

6To Keep from Undressing by Aisha Sharif


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Don’t miss Aisha Sharif’s stunning, timely collection about what it means to belong and how it feels to be both Muslim and black in America.

7Dolefully, a Rampart Stands by Paige Ackerson-Kiely


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Paige Ackerson-Kiely’s third collection, which explores rural poverty and captivity, is dark, yet brimming with life.

8If They Come for Us by Fatimah Asghar


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In If They Come for Us, Fatimah Asghar captures her experience of being a Pakistani Muslim woman in contemporary America and grapples with coming of age without a mother. You won’t believe that it’s her debut.

9Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson


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Andrea Gibson’s latest collection offers a vivid, emotional look at gender, loss, and family. The poems will give you chills.

10Virgin by Analicia Sotelo


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If your bookshelf needs more sharply feminist poetry—and whose doesn’t?—then Virgin is the perfect starting place.

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