Back to Blog

Whether you’re a poet and you know it or you’re just intrigued by the flow of words, get into the poetic spirit by checking out these poetry books!

*CCPL Staff picks are chosen by CCPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We’d love to hear your ideas too, so write to us and tell us what you’d recommend!*

Forever Words: the unknown poems” by Johnny Cash

Present a collection of previously unpublished poems and lyrics by the legendary music icon that is complemented by original handwritten documents sharing insights into his observations about culture, family, fame, freedom, mortality and Christmas.

The Odyssey” by Homer 

When Robert Fagles’ translation of the Iliad was published in 1990, critics and scholars alike hailed it as a masterpiece.” “Now Robert Fagles presents us with the Odyssey, Homer’s best-loved and most accessible poem, recounting the arduous wanderings of Odysseus during his ten-year voyage home to Ithaca, after the Trojan War.

No more hash tags: remembrance and reflections” by Monica Leak (local author)

You’ve seen the headlines. You’ve heard the names. You’ve followed the hashtags, which trend for a moment but are soon quickly forgotten. This collection is one of reflection and remembrance of those persons whose voices have been silenced in death, have gone unheard, and for whom justice is yet being demanded.

Don’t read poetry: a book about how to read poems” by Stephanie Burt

In Don’t Read Poetry, award-winning poet and literary critic Stephanie Burt offers an accessible introduction to the seemingly daunting task of reading, understanding, and appreciating poetry. Burt dispels preconceptions about poetry and explains how poems speak to one another–and how they can speak to our lives.

Living nations, living words: an anthology of First Peoples poetry” by Joy Harjo

A powerful, moving anthology that celebrates the breadth of Native poets writing today. Joy Harjo, the first Native poet to serve as U.S. Poet Laureate, has championed the voices of Native peoples past and present. Her signature laureate project gathers the work of contemporary Native poets into a national, fully digital map of story, sound, and space, celebrating their vital and unequivocal contributions to American poetry.

Poetry 101: from Shakespeare and Rupi Kaur to iambic pentameter and blank verse, everything you need to know about poetry” by Susan Dalzell

Poetry never goes out of style. An ancient writing form found in civilizations across the world, poetry continues to inform the way we write now, whether we realize it or not–especially in social media–with its focus on brevity and creating the greatest possible impact with the fewest words. Poetry 101 is your companion to the wonderful world of meter and rhyme, and walks you through the basics of poetry.

Home body” by Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur constantly embraces growth, and in home body, she walks readers through a reflective and intimate journey visiting the past, the present, and the potential of the self. home body is a collection of raw, honest conversations with oneself – reminding readers to fill up on love, acceptance, community, family, and embrace change. Illustrated by the author, themes of nature and nurture, light and dark, rest here.

Dandelion” by Gabbie Hanna

New York Times bestselling author Gabbie Hanna delivers everything from curious musings to gut-wrenching confessionals in her long-awaited sophomore collection of illustrated poetry. This edition includes a collection of uncomfortably honest personal essays about Gabbie’s childhood and relationships. In this visually thrilling installment of the inner-workings of Gabbie’s mind, we’re taken on a journey of self-loathing, self-reflection, and ultimately, self-acceptance through deeply metaphorical imagery, chilling twists on child-like rhymes, and popular turns of phrase turned on their heads. Through raw, provocative tidbits, Dandelion explores what it means to struggle with a declining mental health in a world where mental health is both stigmatized and trivialized. The poems range from topics of rage and despair to downright silliness, so if you don’t know whether to laugh or cry, just laugh until you cry.

100 poems to break your heart

100 of the most moving and inspiring poems of the last 200 years from around the world, a collection that will comfort and enthrall anyone trapped by grief or loneliness, selected by the award-winning, best-selling, and beloved author of How to Read a Poem.

Call Us What We Carry: Poems” by Amanda Gorman

Gorman explores history, language, identity, and erasure through an imaginative and intimate collage. Harnessing the collective grief of a global pandemic, her poems shine a light on a moment of reckoning and reveal that Gorman has become a messenger from the past, our voice for the future. The final poem in the book is The hill we climb, which was read at President Joseph Biden’s 2021 inauguration.

Looking for more ways to celebrate National Poetry Month? Come on out to our Grand Slam Poetry Jam at Waldorf West on Thursday, April 7th from 6-7:30 pm! Click the link for more information.