In case you missed these poetry releases this year, we are here to recap
A lot happened in 2020. The world was on the unpredictable side and we all had to shift the way we do everything from grocery shopping to spending time with friends and family. Needless to say, some things fell through the cracks – like all the great poetry being published.
2020 didn’t stop our favorite Instagram poets from filling our TBRs with new collections. Some we’ve hyped on little infinite before, or featured in our newsletters, but we wanted to make sure everyone had the chance to check out these collections.
Check out our list of poetry from our favorite instapoets from 2020.
Much like her previous collections, this book combines her raw honest poetry with striking images drawn by Rupi Kaur herself. This new set of poems addresses the idea of the past, present, and potential future of oneself. These poems take the reader on an intimate and reflective journey into these areas of self. Kaur writes of serious conversations with herself, conversations she encourages readers to have with themselves.
In the end, this collection reminds readers that they should embrace change and fill their life with love, acceptance, and community. Whether you’re a longtime fan of Kaur or are just now discovering her work, this is a must-read collection.
Part story, part poetry collection, this collection by Nikita Gill takes readers on a journey alongside a girl named Paro. Her family is reeling from the recent Partition in India, which divided India into India and Pakistan. Readers follow Paro as she moves from childhood, teenage discovery, and adulthood.
As Paro grows she must confront fear, desire, and herself as she searches for meaning in it all. Essentially, she is searching for empowerment, a journey Gill illustrates beautifully through her poetry and prose. This coming of age story dips into hindu mythology and Indian culture to tell a beautiful tale.
If you are looking for a bit of positivity this year, then you need to grab Lang Leav’s latest collection. This new collection manages to capture the magic of changing seasons and delivers a beautiful piece of wisdom at the turn of each page.
Leav’s poetry challenges readers perceptions and breaks rules. She takes readers on a journey that explores heartbreak, self-empowerment, love, relationships, and secret desires. We all keep things hidden from the world, and these poems explore those things. This book will show you that it’s okay to have bad days, and even those days have a distinct beauty about them. This collection will leave you feeling inspired and stronger.
This unique collection is a combination of poems from both Courtney Peppernell and Zack Grey. But the dual authors isn’t what makes this collection special, it’s how each poet captures the theme of the collection – love across a distance. After COVID-19, many of us are aware of how it feels to be separated from those we love. This collection addresses those feelings and proves that love know no bounds.
Separated out into five phases, this collection looks at each part of the long-distance experience. Readers will follow the relationship through the phases it moves forward, becoming the thread that connects the poets. Adding to the overall experience of the collection are sporadic bits of prose, drawings, and maps to depict the true distance between the writers.
This collection is just what we need to help us all start feeling connected again.
The first book in Lovelace’s new series, “you are your own fairy tale,” this collection draws inspiration from classic fairy tales, such as Cinderella. Using imagery of glass slippers, princes, evil stepmothers, and fairy godmothers, Lovelace tells a story filled with personal doubt and how to overcome it.
Like many of her collections, the poems begin in a place of doubt, where both the poet and the reader feel down about themselves. However, Lovelace always overcomes her doubt and shows the readers that they can too. This collection specifically tells readers that they are the most important character in their own story – everyone else, is just a footnote, especially those that put you down.
If you are looking for a poetry collection to light the fire in your soul, then you need this incendiary collection. Activist and poet Cicely Belle Blain uses verse to take a deep look into geography, the arts, and personal history to share with us.
Showing that the world is both beautiful and cruel, Blain exposes racism and highlights the connections between history and systemic oppression in everyday interactions, in familiar spaces, and in various communities. Readers are likely to get angry at the status quo and feel inspired to fight for change. This collection is all about racism and resilience, pain and uncertainty, anger and awe, woven together into a complex story of life as a strong Black queer femme.
After the loss of her mother, Victoria Chang put pen to paper and wrote elegies. However, they weren’t for her mother, they were for everything else that she had lost in her life. Everything from civility and language, to a future and her mother’s blue dress were remembered and mourned in a newspaper-style obituary.
This series of obituaries came about as a way to express loss and love for the dead. An elegy is something to immortalize the dead, but an obit is to simply recognize that something that was there is now gone. Chang’s obituaries are a form of self-expression and each one is lyrical, powerful, and unflinching. A testament for the living, these poems address grief, loss, and the impact of death on the living.
For something different, but still wonderfully beautiful, Victoria Chang also released a novel in verse. The story follows Frances Chin, a 10-year-old Chinese-American girl who contends with bullies, tries to understand her sister’s strange illness, and finds her validation on the tennis court.
This children’s book is a great way to introduce a new generation to the beauty of verse. Chang is a master of lyrical poems and this book is no exception. The way she uses her gentle prose poems to weave together a compelling and beautiful story will have young readers captivated and asking for more.
Make sure to add these collections to your new year’s reading list and check back here for more book recommendations, including many of upcoming poetry releases in early 2021.