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20 Collections of Excellent Poetry to Get You Through Your Workday

Below we’ve listed awe-inspiring, brilliant collections of poems to bring wonder into your world. From works by Mary Oliver to Terrance Hayes, discover the poems that will make you think and give you hope in your day to day.
  1. 1

    Days & Days

    Michael Dickman’s intuitive, agile verse captures us in its unusual pulse. Image-driven and shape-driven, the poems of Days & Days touch on parenthood, childhood, local natural habitats, graffiti culture, roses, and romantic love.

    Days & Days Book Cover Picture
  2. 2

    The Octopus Museum

    This collection of bold and scathingly beautiful feminist poems imagines what comes after our current age of environmental destruction, racism, sexism, and divisive politics.

    The Octopus Museum Book Cover Picture
  3. 3

    Poems of Paris

    Poems of Paris covers a wide range of time, from the Renaissance to the present, and includes not only the pantheon of classic French poets, from Ronsard to Baudelaire to Mallarmé, but also tributes by visitors to the city and famous expatriates from all over the world, including Pablo Neruda, Samuel Beckett, Rainer Maria Rilke, Vladimir Nabokov, and many more.

    Poems of Paris Book Cover Picture
  4. 4

    How to Love a Country

    This new collection from the renowned inaugural poet Richard Blanco explores immigration, gun violence, racism, LGBTQ issues, and more, in accessible and emotive verses.

    How to Love a Country Book Cover Picture
  5. 5


    Invoking human-animal hybrids in various stages of metamorphosis, Drolleries veers between the beasts of the forest and the opulence of the art gallery.

    Drolleries Book Cover Picture
  6. 6

    If They Come for Us

    From a co-creator of the Emmy-nominated web series Brown Girls comes an imaginative, soulful debut poetry that collection captures the experiences of being a young Pakistani Muslim woman in contemporary America.

    If They Come for Us Book Cover Picture
  7. 7


    In this, her fifth collection, Cynthia Zarin turns her lyric lens on the worlds within worlds we inhabit and how we navigate our shared predicament—the tables of our lives on which the news of the day is strewn: the president speaking to parishioners in Charleston, the ricochet of violence, near and far.

    Orbit Book Cover Picture
  8. 8

    The Rain in Portugal

    From former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins comes a twelfth collection of poetry offering over fifty poems that showcase the generosity, wit, and imaginative play that prompted The Wall Street Journal to call him “America’s favorite poet.”

    The Rain in Portugal Book Cover Picture
  9. 9

    American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

    A powerful, timely, dazzling collection of sonnets from one of America’s most acclaimed poets, Terrance Hayes, the National Book Award-winning author of Lighthead.

    American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin Book Cover Picture
  10. 10

    Dolefully, A Rampart Stands

    The poems in Paige Ackerson-Kiely’s third collection are set primarily in the rural northeast of America, and explore rural poverty, entrapment, captivity, violence, and a longing to vanish.

    Dolefully, A Rampart Stands Book Cover Picture
  11. 11

    Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals

    Bizarre, hilarious, wild, and lewd, Patricia Lockwood’s writing will leave you breathless. Set in nature but bursting at the seams, Lockwood’s poems are manic and tell-everyone amazing.

    Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals Book Cover Picture
  12. 12

    It Shouldn’t Have Been Beautiful

    Purpura’s short, punchy poems draw on proverbs and riddles to ask the big questions about time, impermanence, and being.

    It Shouldn't Have Been Beautiful Book Cover Picture
  13. 13

    Blue Horses

    Beloved bestselling poet, Mary Oliver, delivers a meditative collection on the beauty, nature, and the small moments of clarity in everyday life.

    Blue Horses Book Cover Picture
  14. 14

    The Long Take

    From the award-winning British author—a poet’s noir narrative that tells the story of a D-Day veteran in postwar America: a good man, brutalized by war, haunted by violence and apparently doomed to return to it, yet resolved to find kindness again, in the world and in himself.

    The Long Take Book Cover Picture
  15. 15

    Blizzard of One

    The poems are filled with “the weather of leavetaking,” but they are also unexpectedly funny. The erasure of self and the depredations of time are seen as sources of sorrow, but also as grounds for celebration. This is one of the difficult truths these poems dramatize with stoicism and wit.

    Blizzard of One Book Cover Picture
  16. 16

    Voyage of the Sable Venus

    Winner of the National Book Award, this electrifying poetry debut is a tender and shocking study of stereotype.

    Voyage of the Sable Venus Book Cover Picture
  17. 17

    Eat This Poem

    The twenty-five inspiring poems in this book—from such poets as Marge Piercy, Louise Glück, Mark Strand, Mary Oliver, Billy Collins, Jane Hirshfield—are accompanied by seventy-five recipes that bring the richness of words to life in our kitchen, on our plate, and through our palate.

    Eat This Poem Book Cover Picture
  18. 18

    Love Poems for Married People

    Full of brilliant wit, dynamic energy, and a heavy dose of reality, Love Poems for Married People takes the poetic form, turns it upside down and leaves it in the dishwasher to dry. Inspired by one of the most shared New Yorker pieces of all time, this collection captures the reality of life once the spark of a relationship has settled–and hilariously so.

    Love Poems for Married People Book Cover Picture
  19. 19


    From the celebrated poet Yrsa Daley-Ward comes a poignant collection of poems about the heart, life, and the inner self. The poems in Yrsa Daley-Ward’s collection bone are reflections on a particular life honed to their essence—so clear and pared-down, they become universal.

    bone Book Cover Picture
  20. 20

    Chasers of the Light

    Chasers of the Light features some of Tyler Knott Gregson’s most insightful and beautifully worded pieces of work—poems that illuminate grand gestures and small glimpses, poems that celebrate the beauty of a life spent chasing the light.

    Chasers of the Light Book Cover Picture

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