I think there is something so magical about poetry—the way words are put together to evoke a feeling or create a certain atmosphere. I never had much interest when it came to poetry because I could not understand the hidden meanings and stories behind the words but as I read more, I found that I liked searching for the story and that I liked researching who the poet was, where they came from, what drastically happened in their lives that could have been the inspiration or influence for their work.

Over the years, I have read quite a few poetry books. I often had to take a bit of a break from novels by reading something short, and not only did it help but it also made my love and understanding grow for the genre.

Poetry is something I would recommend to everyone. Even if it is something you have trouble understanding and analysing, I think it would do you wonders to explore this genre other than those you are accustomed to.

“Poetry is not a fancy way of giving you information; it’s an incantation. It is actually a magic spell. It changes things; it changes you.” —Philip Pullman

A while back, I saw this quote by Philip Pullman from The New Yorker going around Instagram and not only did it explain how I felt, it also bound my love for fantasy (Harry Potter) and poetry in one beautiful quote.

1. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur 

Milk and honey’ is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. ‘milk and honey’ takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

Milk and Honey is one of the first poetry books I can remember reading. I think I picked it up in the end of 2017, to be precise. I had not yet been part of the bookstagram community but there was no need, because it exploded all over the internet. Everyone was talking about it and it seemed as if it was loved by all. I reread it a few months ago and I still love it. It touches many aspects that stir your heart. There were quite a few times where I had to put it down to try and hold back tears and I think that is what poetry is about. It is a book written to all women.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 4 out of 5.

2. The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur 

From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself.

Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.

Excited for this one after I read Rupi’s first book, I dived in with very high expectations but I, unfortunately, did not enjoy this one as much as I thought I would. I feel that her first one was a bit better written.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

3. Born to Love, Cursed to Feel by Samantha King 

For fans of r.h. Sin comes a new voice, Samantha King’s raw, relatable poetry both celebrates love and mourns the human “curse to feel.” Her verse transports readers to the most private reaches of love and longing. 

Born to Love, Cursed to Feel is about love—the good, the bad, and the confusing. It touches on morals and how when emotions are involved it’s not as black and white. The poetry is frequently written in a narrative manner that evocatively pulls you in and makes you feel. This book is about falling in love, bad decisions, and ultimately growth. The essence of it all is to show that no matter how far one falls all the mistakes don’t have to be what defines them.

I came across her husband’s (r.h. Sin) work through Instagram and have been a fan for so long. His poetry was one of the first I discovered on the platform and when I found out his wife is a poet too, I just knew I had to read her work. I honestly think it is so wonderful and special that they write together. Both their books were well written and I am planning on reading more of their work soon.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 4 out of 5.

4. I hope this reaches her in time by R.H. Sin 

One of the things I love about the poet’s work is that he writes mostly about the kind of relationship a woman needs to have with herself, as well as how she deserves to be treated. All his poems are written extremely short but that does not make them any less important. I think the poems serve as reminders, if that makes sense. If you are looking for something really short, easy, yet meaningful to get through, this may be one for you.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 4 out of 5.

5. A Love Letter from the Girls Who Feel Everything by Brittainy C. Cherry and Kandi Steiner

Bestselling authors Brittainy C. Cherry and Kandi Steiner come together for the first time in an emotional compilation of poetry and prose. Written and collected over the course of more than two years, A Love Letter from the Girls Who Feel Everything is an intimate, honest, and raw assemblage of two women’s feelings in a modern world that often quiets any kind of emotion past indifference. 

Discussing themes of love, worth, loss and hope, A Love Letter from the Girls Who Feel Everything is a journey of discovery and healing. 

“We are the girls who feel everything.

And this is our love letter. To you, to them, to us, to the world, to no one at all. Whether it’s the brightest, sunniest day where everything is perfect, or the darkest, dreariest night of rain where life seems unbearable — we have lived it, we have survived it, and we have felt every, blissful, aching second.

Here’s to embracing the feels, to the brave souls that listen to the way their hearts beat and aren’t afraid to ask someone else if they feel those same beats, too. Here’s to the girls, the boys, the love we sometimes share and the love we all-too-often conceal.

And more than anything, Reader — here’s to you.”

These two authors are well known in the bookish community for their romance novels. The genre is not one I pick up anymore but I really wanted to give this poetry book a try. It was one I signed up for and received an eARC of. The words inside were honestly so beautifully written. It is a book that I think anyone would like because it is about life, loss, love and healing.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

6. Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill 

Poet, writer, and Instagram sensation Nikita Gill returns with a collection of fairytales poetically retold for a new generation of women. 

Traditional fairytales are rife with cliches and gender stereotypes: beautiful, silent princesses; ugly, jealous, and bitter villainesses; girls who need rescuing; and men who take all the glory.

But in this rousing new prose and poetry collection, Nikita Gill gives Once Upon a Time a much-needed modern makeover. Through her gorgeous reimagining of fairytale classics and spellbinding original tales, she dismantles the old-fashioned tropes that have been ingrained in our minds. In this book, gone are the docile women and male saviors. Instead, lines blur between heroes and villains. You will meet fearless princesses, a new kind of wolf lurking in the concrete jungle, and an independent Gretel who can bring down monsters on her own.

Complete with beautifully hand-drawn illustrations by Gill herself, Fierce Fairytales is an empowering collection of poems and stories for a new generation.

This was one of my most anticipated releases back in 2018. Nikita Gill is a poet whose books I have been wanting to get to for so long and I am really glad that this one was my first read of hers. Scrolling through Pinterest late at night, searching for her poems and saving them all has become a habit, I would say. Fierce Fairytales is magical. That is the only way to describe it. She took the fairytales we have all been told our entire lives, and turned them into something completely different—something much needed. 

R A T I N G :

Rating: 5 out of 5.

7. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo 

A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent. 

With the length of a novel and style of a poetry book, The Poet X is unlike any book I have ever read. Xiomara wants to break free from the invisible chains that is keeping her in one place by expressing herself through slam poetry. The protagonist’s determination and courage is what keeps you intrigued and this book, I think, will end up on many readers’ most-rememberable lists of books read.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 4 out of 5.

8. The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace 

“Ah, life- the thing that happens to us while we’re off somewhere else blowing on dandelions & wishing ourselves into the pages of our favorite fairy tales.”

A poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. Explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations.

A lot of people were talking about this book and as I am always looking for new poetry books, I was really excited to get to it. I went into it with really high expectations because it was a Goodreads Choice 2016 Winner and I was really disappointed that I did not love it as much as I had hoped. To me, it was not very special and I just could not relate to the poems that much.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

9. The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace 

The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.

Although I did not enjoy these poems much, I would never encourage anyone to not read them. My personal opinion is only that a) I did not enjoy them as much as I had hoped to and b) I think the books could have been written in a different way to help the reader connect to the poems just a bit more.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

10. Love Her Wild by Atticus Poetry 

The first collection of poetry by Instagram sensation Atticus.

Love Her Wild is a collection of new and beloved poems from Atticus, the young writer who has captured the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of avid followers on his Instagram account.

In Love Her Wild, Atticus captures what is both raw and relatable about the smallest and the grandest moments in life: the first glimpse of a new love in Paris; skinny dipping on a summer’s night; the irrepressible exuberance of the female spirit; or drinking whiskey in the desert watching the rising sun. With honesty, poignancy, and romantic flair, Atticus distills the most exhilarating highs and the heartbreaking lows of life and love into a few perfectly evocative lines, ensuring that his words will become etched in your mind—and will awaken your sense of adventure.

I feel like I have talked so much about Atticus’ poetry on all of my social media that I do not want to get into it too much. What I quickly would just like to say is that the poet has a way of making you feel happy, free and as if you could get through anything that comes your way.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 5 out of 5.

11. The Dark Between Stars by Atticus Poetry 

From the internationally bestselling author of Love Her Wild comes The Dark Between Stars, a new illustrated collection of heartfelt, whimsical, and romantic poems from Instagram poetry sensation, Atticus.

Atticus, has captured the hearts and minds of nearly 700k followers (including stars like Karlie Kloss, Emma Roberts, and Alicia Keys). In his second collection of poetry, The Dark Between Stars, he turns his attention to the dualities of our lived experiences—the inescapable connections between our highest highs and lowest lows. He captures the infectious energy of starting a relationship, the tumultuous realities of commitment, and the agonizing nostalgia of being alone again. While grappling with the question of how to live with purpose and find meaning in the journey, these poems offer both honest explorations of loneliness and our search for connection, as well as light-hearted, humorous observations. As Atticus writes poignantly about dancing, Paris, jazz clubs, sunsets, sharing a bottle of wine on the river, rainy days, creating, and destroying, he illustrates that we need moments of both beauty and pain—the darkness and the stars—to fully appreciate all that life and love have to offer.

Out of his three books, I found myself loving this one best. Again, I love all this poems but I remember marking almost the entire book with sticky notes so that I can easily go back to my favourite ones. 

R A T I N G :

Rating: 5 out of 5.

12. The Truth About Magic by Atticus Poetry 

From the internationally bestselling author of The Dark Between Stars and Love Her Wild, Instagram sensation Atticus returns with another romantic and deeply moving collection. 

The Truth About Magic builds on the pains and joys of romance explored in Love Her Wild and the New York Times bestseller, The Dark Between Stars—heartbreaks and falling in love, looking back and looking inwards—by taking a fresh, awakened journey outward. An adventure into the great unknown. It’s about finding ourselves, our purpose, and the simple joys of life. It’s about lavender fields, drinking white wine out of oak barrels on vineyards, laughing until you cry, dancing in old barns until the sun comes up, and making love on sandy beaches. 

The Truth About Magic is a vibrant, transcendent journey into growth, which will leave you energized and eager to explore the wider world.

Atticus’ third book was one of my most anticipated releases in 2019. I counted down the weeks until I could have it in my hands and I ended up really enjoying it. I feel as if I loved his first two books a bit more but this one is also one of the poetry books I have read and ended up most loving.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 5 out of 5.

13. Flux by Orion Carloto 

“YouTube Mastermind” Orion Carloto turns raw emotion into powerful, digestible verse in her debut collection of poetry.

Flux is a somber narrative, an ode to change, a collection of poetry and prose written from the many states of grief over a broken heart.  With original illustrations by artist Katie Roberts, Orion Carloto creates a dream world for the brokenhearted and paints a whimsical picture around the themes of love, loss, solitude, depression, sex, nostalgia, and unrequited romance. Flux takes readers through a raw and sorrowful journey of each and every bitter moment of heartbreak. Forewarning, Flux is best read with a warm cup of coffee in hand.

Many people were talking about this one and I decided to pick it up too as it was all over Instagram. I thought I would love it a bit more than I actually did but it was still really good. Most poems were about heartbreak and the impact relationships can have on a person. I found this book quite heartbreaking and somber. However, I cannot fully understand the total hype about the book, I can understand why people love it. 

R A T I N G :

Rating: 4 out of 5.

14. The Octopus Curse by Salma Farook 

Science would have us believe that we are nothing but cell upon cell. I disagree. We are made up of stories. The stories we hear from our mothers, the ones we tell our daughters. The tales we share with sisters and friends. The ones we never say out loud, but are heavy on our minds and run like a fever in our blood.

There are a multitude of great divides between us; race, religion, cultures, the way we dress, the languages we speak, but the stories we tell bridge us together in the universal tongue of smiles, tears, pain and laughter. They remind us that, as women, we’re all chasing similar fairy-tales.

This book is a call to celebrate the bridges, delight in our stories and to focus on the joy in our lives right now, rather than racing behind the happily-ever-after. That will come in it’s own time.

A few of my friends on bookstagram were talking about this one prior to its release as they received an advanced copy. I then bought it for free as soon as it was released and immediately dived in. Never did I expect to love it as much as I did. This is what poetry is about. The poet wrote about such important topics that made such an impact on me. It is one I will not forget soon and I find myself still thinking about it from time to time. The Octopus Curse is a poetry book I highly recommend.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 5 out of 5.

15. Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet 

Dirty Pretty Things is the much anticipated book by Michael Faudet. His whimsical and often erotic writing has already captured the hearts and minds of literally thousands of readers from around the world. He paints vivid pictures with intricate words and explores the compelling themes of love, loss, relationships and sex. All beautifully captured in poetry, prose, quotes and little short stories.

Let me start off by saying that I really liked this poetry book. The poet writes beautifully and so descriptive. However, this is more for those who want to read something romantic and intimate. 

R A T I N G :

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

16. Bitter Sweet Love by Michael Faudet 

Bitter Sweet Love is the much-anticipated second collection of internationally best-selling poet Michael Faudet, author of “Dirty Pretty Things,” a finalist in the 2015 Goodreads Readers Choice Awards. Michael Faudet’s whimsical and often erotic writing has captured the hearts and minds of literally thousands of readers from around the world. He paints vivid pictures with intricate words and explores the compelling themes of love, loss, relationships, and sex. All beautifully captured in poetry, prose, quotes, and little short stories.

Most poems in the poet’s books are erotic and I just could not connect with the words as I am always looking forward to when it comes to poetry.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 4 out of 5.

17. Smoke & Mirrors by Michael Faudet 

Smoke & Mirrors is the third book from internationally bestselling poet Michael Faudet, author of Bitter Sweet Love and Dirty Pretty Things—both finalists in the 2016 and 2015 Goodreads Readers Choice Awards.

Michael Faudet’s latest booktakes the reader on an emotionally charged journey, exploring the joys of falling madly in love and the melancholy world of the brokenhearted. Beautifully captured in poetry, prose, and short stories, Faudet’s whimsical and sometimes erotic writing has captured the hearts and minds of thousands of readers from around the world. 

I did find a few short treasures throughout these books that I really enjoyed, though, and looked forward to continuing the rest of the poet’s books. 

R A T I N G :

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

18. Winter of Summers by Michael Faudet 

Winter of Summers is the fourth book of internationally bestselling poet Michael Faudet, author of Smoke & Mirrors, Bitter Sweet Love, and Dirty Pretty Things—a finalist in the Goodreads Readers Choice awards. His whimsical and sometimes erotic writing has captured the hearts and minds of thousands of people from around the world.

Michael Faudet’s latest book explores the fine line between love and loss, the fragility of relationships, self-empowerment, and social commentary. Every page taking the reader to a world of conflicting emotions, where nothing is what it seems and beautiful dreams come to life. All exquisitely captured in a thought-provoking collection of poetry, prose, and short stories.

If this sounds like the kind of poetry you would like to read, I highly recommend because I do have to admit, he has a way with words.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

19. Cult of Two by Michael Faudet 

Michael Faudet’s latest book delves deeper into the meaning of love, the intricacy of relationships, self-empowerment, seduction, and sex. Taking the reader on a whimsical and sometimes heartbreaking journey, where fantasy and reality collide. Cult of Two is much more than just a beautiful collection of poetry, prose, and short stories. It is a compelling invitation to confront and explore the conflicting emotions that live within all of us. 

Cult of Two is the fifth book of internationally bestselling poet Michael Faudet, author of Winter of Summers, Smoke & Mirrors, Bitter Sweet Love, and Dirty Pretty Things—a finalist in the Goodreads Readers Choice awards. His intimate writing style and exquisite ability to paint pictures with words has captured the imagination and hearts of thousands of people from around the world.

I really would have loved these books if the poet touched a few more subjects and not just romance because I just love his writing style.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 4 out of 5.

20. Chameleon Aura by Billy Chapata 

Zimbabwean poet Billy Chapata provides a thought-provoking take on the universal experiences of love, pain, and what comes next through messages of empowerment. This collection of poetry and prose will justify heartache and inspire the fortitude to survive and prosper. 

Chameleon Aura presents a harmonious blend of experience and advice through a chaptered series of prose and poetry that focuses on shared experiences in love and loss. Emboldened words and phrases capture the essence of the author’s message and distinguish his unique style. Chapata’s touching narrative celebrates humanity for their biological resilience and undeniable worth. This collection leaves readers warm with hope for growth, rebirth, and, most prominently, self-acceptance.

As with most, I came across this poet on Instagram. I think he writes beautifully and I was so happy to have finally bought his book. I had the most amazing time binging his poems and absorbing his words. The topics and themes of his poems are what I love reading about as he touched many aspects and feelings a person experiences. I really could connect with his words. This book does quite have many pages and poems so I would recommend it if you are in the mood for a longer poetry book.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

21. Spinning Hair into Gold: poems and faity tales by Caitlin Keely Gemmell 

A collection of poems and fairy tales about magic, nature connections and weaving the threads of fate.Oriana is “The Weaver of Fate.” She is a creature crafted from the honeyed rays of sun and mysterious shadows in equal measure. Her story, a blended retelling of fairy tales such as “Rapunzel” and “Rumplestiltskin” is woven throughout these pages.These magical poems and story threads traverse the path between destiny and free will, remind us that enchantment can be found lurking in every corner, and delve into the mysteries of dreams and the otherworld.This collection is ideal for lovers of nature, magic, fairy tales, and mythology from the British Isles.

I saw one of my biggest Instagram inspirations, @thomreads, mention this book in his Instagram stories one time. As I am always on the hunt for poetry books, I bought it without a second thought. This one is all about fairy tales and mythology. I thought each poem was written really well. It is one I would recommend to anyone looking to read something magical.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 4 out of 5.

22. Bloom: Poems of love and loss by Beau Taplin 

This is your renewal. This is your regrowth … You may come into this softly or bristling with thorns, beneath the light of the sun or the moon and the stars, so long as you always remember it is never too late to return to the root of your heart and begin again.

Broken hearts, false starts, new beginnings: nothing lost. The philosophy of Beau Taplin – and the beauty of his words and books – has made him of one of Australia’s most internationally recognised voices on love and life, and a social-media sensations. This collection was first published in 2016 and has already sold more than 10,000 copies. Now available through retailers in Australia for the first time.

I discovered Beau Taplin’s poems on Instagram and I am always looking forward to see his work pop up in my feed because his writing is just so beautiful. I was finally able to get my hands on a copy before Christmas last year and I really love the look and simplicity of it. The poet has a way of convincing you that you are enough and that you are your own best friend. He wants you to see that even when the world seems dark and lonely, you still have yourself to depend on. That, to me, is a topic one rarely reads about and it is one I shall always remember.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 4 out of 5.

23. I Am Her Tribe by Danielle Doby 

#IAmHerTribe creator Danielle Doby shares her poetry for the first time in a collection long anticipated by her followers.

Positive and powerful, I Am Her Tribe is a collection of poetry drawing on the viral Instagram handle and online hashtag that serves to create moments of connection through empowerment and storytelling. Focusing on inspiration, Doby’s poetry invites its reader to “Come as you are. Your tribe has arrived.  Your breath can rest here.”

I Am Her Tribe, I would say, is a poetry book written mostly for female readers as it is about how women should stand up for themselves, as well as relationships. I really loved her writing style and it is a book I really enjoyed.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 4 out of 5.

24. Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook 

In Alicia Cook’s second poetic effort, designed in the style of an old mixtape, she sets her thoughts to a nostalgic tune. There is no Table of Contents. Instead, there is a “Track List,” making it easy to refer to them to your friends with a, “Hey did you read track seven?!” There are no chapters. Instead, the book is divided into two parts, or as one would say in the 90’s, two “sides.” Side A holds poetry that touches on all aspects of the human condition like life, death, love, moving on, evolving, growing up, hometowns, family dynamic, life after trauma, and make-ups and breakups. Side B holds the “remixes” of these poems, in the form of blackout poetry, also known as “found poetry.” Side B gives the material a fresh twist by creating new poetry out of Side A. There is also a very special surprise at the end of each track. 

Alicia decided to self publish this effort after leaving her publishing house. She views this book as her “independence” and official separation from that venture. She also drew the front and back cover herself. 

After reading just a few pages, I was completely captivated. I think this is a book for everyone and I do have to say, I loved it more than I thought I would. Reading Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately really helped me focus on what is important. I have been struggling to find my way these past few months and these books acted as a how-to guide to help me find my direction.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 4 out of 5.

25. Divan of Shah by Shah Asad Rizvi 

Divan of Shah represents an unconscious longing for union within. It is beautifully illustrated and a wonderful amalgamation of some of Shah’s brilliant work filled with the raw emotion of love as if he himself has spilled his heart onto a canvas and has painted love itself. Shah has tapped into the collective unexplored and perhaps his own realm of dreams.

The book meticulously presents so many aspects of love in specific detail which harkens one’s appreciation for love even more than before and some examples of love we may have taken for granted. It shows the limitless power and ways love presents itself and how it can change one’s life for the better or worse.

This one is a thoughtful collection of poetic lines that invites the reader into the dimension of love, which happens to be the idea of a reflective mirror having no color yet for all colors of the embodiment are reflected back.

The poet asked me a while ago if I would be interested in reading and reviewing his book and I heartily accepted. Divan of Shah is a book with a collection of 106 poems with many themes and topics on lost love, dancing and more. The only two things that bothered me a bit was that the poems weren’t arranged by theme and I found that some poems carry out the same message, which was a bit repetitive. It was overall a really nice read and easy to get through.

R A T I N G :

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

All these books contain modern poems and even though I loved each book in a different way, I would now like to explore more classic poetry. I had to analyse and study many of them for my English literature classes in the past three years and I miss digging through past events that influenced those poems. To me, it is killing two birds with one stone: exploring classic poetry and learning history.

Keep on reading and never stop telling stories.


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