13 Must-Read Poetry Memoirs from 2022-2023

Poetry Memoirs from 2022-2023

A memoir is a historical account or biography written from personal knowledge or special sources. As part of the #lisquad though we know we want to add a bit more sparkle and creativeness to a nonfiction memoir. We want them to have balanced lines, rhythm, and rooted meaning while we read between the lines. That’s why we have pulled the top poetry memoirs from 2022-2023 for you!

“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”

–Lois Lowry

These are our must-reads!

Bless The Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head by Warsan Shire

Poems of migration, womanhood, trauma, and resilience from the celebrated collaborator on Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Black Is King, award-winning Somali British poet Warsan Shire



My Trade is Mystery by Carl Phillips

In these intimate and eloquent meditations, the award-winning poet Carl Phillips shares lessons he has learned about the writing life, an “apprenticeship to what can never fully be mastered.” Drawing on forty years of teaching and mentoring emerging writers, he weaves his experiences as a poet with the necessary survival skills, including ambition, stamina, silence, politics, practice, audience, and community.


Bread and Circus by Airea D Matthews

A powerful collection of autobiographical poems from Yale Young Poets Award Winner and Philadelphia’s Poet Laureate Airea D. Matthews about the economics of class and its failures for those rendered invisible by it.



Love, Pamela by Pamela Anderson

The actress, activist, and once infamous Playboy Playmate reclaims the narrative of her life in a memoir that defies expectation in both content and approach, blending searing prose with snippets of original poetry.



Story of a Poem by Matthew Zapruder

Matthew Zapruder had an idea: to write a poem as slowly and intentionally as possible, to preserve its drafts, and record the painstaking, elusively transcendent stuff of its construction. It would be the end cap to a new collection of poetry, and a means to process modern American life in a time of political turmoil, mega fires, and sobriety.



Why Fathers Cry At Night by Kwame Alexander

This powerful memoir from a #1 New York Times bestselling author and Newbery Medalist features poetry, letters, recipes, and other personal artifacts that provide an intimate look into his life and the loved ones he shares it with.




Boy Friends by Stephen Fry Pedersen

In 2018, Michael Pedersen lost a most cherished friend soon after their collective voyage into the landscape and luminosity of the Scottish Highlands. Sitting at a desk at The Curfew Tower, Northern Ireland, Michael begins to write to his departed friend – Scott Hutchison.




I Don’t Smoke Enough to Quit by Robert J. Dressen

In his imaginative memoir-in-verse, Robert Dreesen captures the stop-and-start rhythm of growing up in his family’s 24-hour truck stop and drinkin’ and dancin’ bar alongside the Pan-American Highway in northeastern Nebraska.





Path of Totality: Poems by Nina Pollari

Exploring the sudden loss of her child, the hope that precedes this crisis, and the suffering that follows, this collection of poetry renders a shattering experience with candor and immediacy.




If There Are Any Heavens by Nicholas Montemarano

On January 6, 2021, at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in America, while the U.S. Capitol is under attack, Nicholas Montemarano drives six hundred miles to see his mother, who is hospitalized with COVID pneumonia and in a critical state. For ten days he lives in a hotel minutes from the hospital, alternating between hope and helplessness.



Slow Fuse of the Possible by Kate Daniels

From the beginning of their time together, it is clear that the enigmatic analyst and Daniels are not a good match, yet both are determined to continue their work–the former in nearly complete silence, and the latter as best she can with the tools at her disposal: careful attention to language, deep reading, and literary imagination.



The Deep Limitless Air by Mary Allen

In her twelve years of life, this is the first time Areej must truly start to find a meaning in her life as she goes through major emotional and territorial changes. Everything and everyone around her is changing. There is no stable, solid ground for Areej to put her feet on.



Digging to Wonderland by David Trinidad

This suburban California coming of age navigates Trinidad’s personal history in the shadow of Hollywood, against the dramas of the 1960s and ’70s.




Love these 13 Must-Read Poetry Memoirs from 2022-2023 book list? Create an account on bookfinity.com and create, share, or follow other book lists like this! Want more book lists? Check out these self-published poets!