From debut poets like Aline Mello and Christabelle Marbun to national bestsellers like Courtney Peppernell and Atticus, 2022 has poetry for everyone on your list. Collections dive into themes of motherhood, childhood, self-love, romantic love, fantasy, and unfiltered reality—among many others. Here are our Read Poetry recs from 2022.
1. The ABCs of Self Loveby Melody Godfred
From the author of highly acclaimed Self Love Poetry: For Thinkers & Feelers comes an uplifting guide that teaches what self-love actually is. In The ABCs of Self Love, Melody Godfred offers a unique blend of inspiration, education, and action to make self-love an instinctual part of your daily life.
2. unlock your storybook heart by Amanda Lovelace
Amanda Lovelace, the bestselling & award-winning author of the “women are some kind of magic” poetry series, presents unlock your storybook heart, the third & final installment in her feminist poetry series, “you are your own fairy tale.” this is a collection about being so caught up in the fable that is perfectionism that you miss out on your own life. be honest: when was the last time you stopped to take in the everyday enchantment all around you?
3. 100 Poems That Matter by The Academy of American Poets
100 Poems That Matter examines universal themes of love, loss, and the experiences that define us. At turns moving, thoughtful, and thrilling, 100 Poems That Matter feeds into the connections we all have to poetry and encourages us to bring a deeper sense of honesty into our lives. Featured poets include Emily Brontë, E.E. Cummings, Kahlil Gibran, Audre Lorde, and Emily Dickinson.
4. Love Is Enough by Andrea Zanatelli
Drawing its inspiration from the past, Love is Enough references the decorative arts of a bygone era, and is a combination of romantic imagery, antique fabrics, and allegorical illustrations mixed with poems and mottos. Often mistaken for real embroidery pieces, the artworks are in fact very detailed and intricate digital collages, made to look and feel like handcrafted works.
5. The Moonflower Monologues by Tess Guinery
From celebrated Australian artist Tess Guinery comes The Moonflower Monologues, her second book of beautifully designed poetry and prose. This collection is many things: an exploration of strength and femininity, an invitation to let things go wrong, a reminder that growth comes in many forms, and an acknowledgment that “some things can’t be written in sugar, only salt.” Some of the writings are extravagant, some are sparse, but all are infused with Guinery’s introspection, stillness, and kindness.
6. Unraveling by Brandon Leake
From famous spoken word poet, artistic educator, and founder/CEO of “Called to Move” Brandon Leake comes his debut poetry collection Unraveling. In an era of self love, the ability to love oneself is only as effective as the ability to know oneself. Throughout his collection, Leake asks readers to look at something beautiful, yet still see its flaws. On the flip side, he encourages readers to look at something evil, and yet still see the beauty it holds.
7. More Salt than Diamond by Aline Mello
An unflinching, heartbreaking collection of poetry about life in the U.S. as a Brazilian immigrant, Aline Mello’s debut poetry collection, More Salt Than Diamond, is a true testament to the power of finding a home.
8. Serenity by F.S. Yousaf
Featuring 140 poems and accompanying illustrations, Serenity is the perfect escape from daily life, helping readers refocus energy and kindness toward themselves and their cherished relationships.
9. The Shift by Melody Godfred
The Shift is a collection of poems designed to reframe how we see and move through this brave new, post-pandemic world. Each pair of poems inspires a shift from the old way of thinking to the new: from guilt to gratitude, resistance to surrender, and fear to love. The left side of every spread is dedicated to the old way. The right side offers a shift in perspective that lovingly illuminates the new. Each seemingly simple poem instantly elicits a profound reset and is coupled with beautiful line drawings that awaken not just the mind, but also the heart. The Shift’s unique poem pairings uplift the soul by offering a hopeful salve for our collective burnout.
10. Starry Night, Blurry Dreams by Henn Kim
From popular South Korean illustrator Henn Kim comes a moving collection of graphic poetry about loneliness, love, and the surreality of everyday life. When words aren’t enough to describe our emotions, this book offers comfort, joy, and a friend in the dark. In her spare yet powerful style, Kim navigates subjects like mental health, trauma, loneliness, and loss. Pairing exquisite, black-and-white illustrations with short, surprising captions, each page of Starry Night, Blurry Dreams inspires wonder and introspection.
11. The Way Back Home by Courtney Peppernell
Returning with her newest poetry book, beloved poet Courtney Peppernell combines storytelling, poetry, and prose in a uniquely inspirational way. Filled with heartfelt anecdotes and insightful messages, The Way Back Home is a tribute to rebuilding our lives after loss. Divided into sections that draw on themes of courage, resilience, purpose, and hope, the collection has Peppernell once again walking us through a redemptive journey of the heart, mind, and soul.
12. little astronaut by J. Hope Stein
A poetry collection about the beautiful and disorienting period of new motherhood, little astronaut is a fully revised and updated edition of the limited-release poetry collection by critically acclaimed poet J. Hope Stein. Featuring over 50 pages of new poems this book brings to vivid life the deeply personal—and also incredibly relatable—challenging and magical early days of new motherhood.
13. What the Moon Gave Her by Christi Steyn
What the Moon Gave Her is a poetry collection born from self-discovery. The debut collection from Christi Steyn delves into themes of self-doubt, anxiety, and the unprecedented loss felt during the height of the pandemic. Beauty is found in every corner of this book’s six dynamic chapters––“birth by the ocean”, “you plucked too many petals,” “how to grow wings,” “dancing dolphins,” “full moon/bloom” and “two trees intertwined.”
14. LVOE by Atticus
For the first time since he began writing, three-time New York Times bestselling author Atticus is inviting readers to take a look behind the mask as he embarks on a powerful journey inward in search of love, peace, and acceptance. His fourth poetry collection, LVOE., is a study into himself. Using his instantly recognizable lyrical style, gorgeous black-and-white illustrations, and relatable themes, Atticus will once again dazzle readers, inspiring them to also look within. This collection will feature all-new poems, each paired with beautiful sketches that bring the words alive from the page. An exploration of self-love, meditation, meaning, loss, and romance, LVOE. is a look forward, a look backward, but most importantly a look inward to the often confusing yet hopeful human experience.
15. We Find Our Way by Reyna Biddy
We Find Our Way, the latest and third collection of poetry from creator Reyna Biddy, explores themes of love and dependency, both within ourselves and with the people we hold close. Biddy’s propensity for making readers feel welcomed, healed, and hopeful is evident in every poem; every sentence; every word she pens. The variety of writing styles––from short, thought-provoking pieces to longer, more lyrical versification––perfectly cradle Biddy’s unique thoughts on intimate topics like motherhood, childbirth, and sacrifice, and many of the other complexities life contains. Biddy’s words are more influential and necessary now than ever.
16. Fortunate by Kim Rashidi
Based on the rider-waite-smith tarot cards, this book dives into the world of tarot through delicate and illuminating poetry that stirs the soul. Inside, you will find 78 poems, one for each card in the Major and Minor Arcana—all a poetic interpretation by the author. An index is included at the back to help readers navigate the poems as primarily this book is intended to be used for “readings,” with blank pages beside each poem for the reader to use however they wish, in essence becoming the co-author of their own copy.
17. find her. keep her. by Renaada Williams
Renaada Williams beckons readers into her deepest thoughts and most intimate experiences as a queer black woman living in America with her latest collection of poetry. Much like her first book, Williams presents themes like sexuality and acceptance through her stunningly arranged words, but this time she dives much deeper. find her. keep her. delivers an amplitude of emotion and rawness; reading her poetry feels as if you’ve stumbled upon her secret journal and are reading words that were never meant to be found.
18. When the Dark Spoke to Me by Christabelle Marbun
Teen breakout poet Christabelle Grace Marbun brings her latest collection When the Dark Spoke to Me to life through words wise beyond her years. Her uniquely positive perspective on life, death, and everything in between makes this book equally as comforting as it is compelling. Marbun’s exceptional thoughtfulness is evident in every word she pens––her messages of hope and her effortless optimism are sure to inspire every person who touches this book.
19. Door to Door by Emma Hamilton
Door to Door is a celebration of accident and grace in a world where wonder is too often supplanted by obligation. This collection of poems is split into four parts roughly corresponding to the author’s life phases, touching on her experiences of childhood, family, motherhood, and aging, as well as her reflections on art, love, loss, and the mysteries of the natural world. Award-winning, best-selling author Emma Walton Hamilton’s love of language is evident throughout; her voice is playful, at times reverential, and always interested in the magic and imagery of the subjects she tackles.
20. Golden by Wilder Poetry
Accompanying Wilder’s first book of poetry Nocturnal, Golden is another collection of celestial-themed poems and art by poet Wilder Poetry. Differing from its sister book, this collection is divided into four parts––“Magic Hour,” “Soul,” “Oracle,” and “Sanctuary”––and focuses on the brightest star in our solar system: the Sun. Much like the celestial body that inspired its name, Golden explores the brighter, sunnier emotions life has to offer. Readers are guided down a sunlit path to happiness and learn that once the heart is open, opportunities for love never cease.
21. Velvet Dragonflies by Billy Chapata
Cushioned with love and tenderness, breakout poet Billy Chapata escorts readers through the oftentimes coarse path back to self-love in his latest collection of poetry, Velvet Dragonflies. This collection is divided into five sections––“Viscose,” “Koigu,” “Damask,” “Charmeuse,” and “Landing”––with each section representing the evolving softness that is found when true, deep self-respect and acceptance is rediscovered. Much like his two previous works, Chapata writes words that will echo around readers’ minds long after they’ve finished reading.
22. The Best American Poetry 2022, edited by David Lehman and Matthew Zapruder
Since 1988, The Best American Poetry series has been “one of the mainstays of the poetry publication world” (Academy of American Poets). Each volume presents a selection of the year’s most brilliant, striking, and innovative poems, with comments from the poets themselves lending insight into their work. For The Best American Poetry 2022 guest editor Matthew Zapruder, whose own poems are “for everyone, everywhere…democratic in [their] insights and feelings” (NPR), has selected the seventy-five new poems that represent American poetry today at its most dynamic. Chosen from print and online magazines, from the popular to the little-known, the selection is sure to capture the attention of both Best American Poetry loyalists and newcomers to the series.