5 New Collections for the Poetry Fan in Your Life

By November 14, 2017New Releases, Poetry

Poetry collections always make lovely gifts for the reader. Books can be hard to buy as gifts, especially for readers as you often don’t know what they love, or what they’ve already read. But a collection of poetry is like a garden you can wander through the gate of whenever you like, spending a few moments or a few hours!

When many of us think of poetry we often think of stuffy tomes and undecipherable old English but modern poetry isn’t like that at all, and to show you, we’ve put together a list of 5 poetry collections, all released in recent years and all bright, modern, relatable and engaging and by poets who are very much still alive.

Check these out!

You Took The Last Bus Home – Brian Bilston

Fans of our social media pages may already have heard of Brian Bilston. Bilston is the Twitter Poet Laureate as far as we’re concerned and he writes fun and visually pleasing poetry about all sorts, the world, life, and buses…. Apparently! You Took the Last Bus Home is out in paperback on Thursday and I’m really hoping it’s in my Christmas stocking!

You Took the Last Bus Home US
You Took the Last Bus Home UK

Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur

Social Media seems to lend itself to poetry, and here’s another poet that make her name on social platforms, amassing 1.3 million Instagram followers. Milk and Honey is a New York Times bestseller and has already sold almost 100,000 copies. The collection contains themes of violence, abuse, love, loss and femininity, and the very least you should do right now is follow Rupi on Instagram!

Milk and Honey US
Milk and Honey UK

A Poem for Every Day of the Year – Edited by Allie Esiri

This one is a collection from various poets and as it contains a poem for each day of the year, we think it would make the perfect Christmas gift. There are 366 poems in all and the collection is funny, thoughtful, inspiring and empowering.

A Poem for Every Day of the Year US
A Poem for Every Day of the Year UK

Her – Pierre Alex Jeanty

Her is specifically a collection about women, their strengths and beauties. Written by Pierre Alex Jeanty whose style is short and punchy with instant flow. This collection was released back in February, but Her II came out in August so there’s even a follow up collection too!

Her US
Her UK

Bantam – Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay is the Scottish Makar right now, that’s a kind of bard or poet laureate for the uninitiated, and her collection Bantam was released last month to much applause. The poetry in Bantam is all connected, bringing three generations into sharp focus in a collection that sings of what connects us, and what divides us in the times of uncertainty in which we live.

Bantam US
Bantam UK

2018 National Book Awards Longlist: Poetry

By | Literary Awards, News, Poetry | No Comments
This week we’re bringing you the longlist via the New Yorker for the National Book Awards 2018. So far we’ve had fiction, young people’s literature, and translated literature but today we’re looking at the poetry nominations.

The longlist for poetry is an eclectic collection with a range of poetry styles and collections. Some we’ve heard of, some poets are new to us, but we do know that if it’s in the longlist then it’s almost guaranteed to be a fantastic collection.

And here it is, the National Book Awards Longlist for Poetry 2018:

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Literary Laugharne: From 1172 to Dylan Thomas

By | Authors, Literary Places, Poetry | No Comments
Don’t tell everyone, but last week I sneaked off on a little holiday down the coast and while I was there I went to spend a day in Laugharne. The small town is best known for being home to Dylan Thomas but less well known is its connection to Richard Hughes (A High Wind in Jamaica).

Laugharne is steeped in history, and was well before Thomas decided to reside there. It has a castle that dates back to the 1100s, laid siege by Cromwell in the 1600s but still standing in ruinous form today. The town also contains many fine examples of Georgian townhouses and is home to the Laugharne Corporation, the last surviving medieval corporation in the UK.

It is however, best known for being the home of Dylan Thomas and the town is scattered with landmarks connected to the author, from the boathouse, to his writing shed, the castle gazebo where he and Richard Hughes wrote together, the Dylan Thomas birthday walk, inspired by Poem in October, and his final resting place.
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Ted Hughes: in his own words

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Ted Hughes was born in Yorkshire, England on the 17th of August, 1930 and grew up in and around farmland where he learned to fish and hunt. His poetry is steeped with natural imagery, flora and fauna. The savagery of the natural world- both beautiful and violent- influenced him greatly, prompting him to use animals and nature as metaphorical devices.

Hughes’ terse yet powerful use of language, coloured by his West Riding dialect, created a hard energy to his work- emphatic but evocative, and never self-indulgent.

Watch below for a wonderful reading of The Crow by the poet himself.

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The Night of the Murdered Poets

By | Poetry, Political | No Comments
It sounds like the plot to a fantastic movie doesn’t it? Sadly the truth is a stain on history and yet another blot that fascism has left on our past.

On 12th August 1952, the execution of thirteen Soviet Jews in the Lubyanka Prison in Moscow in the then Soviet Union was carried out, the charges? Counterrevolutionary crimes and organised action meant to topple, undermine, or weaken the Soviet Union, whatever that means. Read More

Pablo Neruda: Tonight I Can Write the Saddest Lines

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Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto, better known for his pen name Pablo Neruda was a Chilean poet, diplomat and politician born on July 12th 1904. Neruda started receiving recognition for his poetry aged just thirteen and wrote in a variety of styles including surrealist poems, historical epics and even political manifestos, although he is probably best known for his passionate love poems.

Neruda had many accolades to his name, for his political work and his poetry. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971 and was described by Gabriel Garcia Marquez as “The greatest poet of the 20th Century in any language.” Read More

Neil Gaiman Wins Science Fiction Poetry Prize

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Neil Gaiman’s poem The Mushroom Hunters has won first prize in the Long Poem category at The 2018 Rhysling Awards.

The Science Fiction Poetry Association’s award was started in 1978 in recognition of achievements in the field of speculative poetry. The award was named after the blind singer and storyteller “Noisy” Rhysling, the protagonist of Robert A. Heinlein’s “The Green Hills of Earth“.

Neil Gaiman’s poem The Mushroom Hunters beat a whole array of other-worldly poems to gain the prestigious first prize for a long poem. The poem has been heralded as the “first feminist poem about the dawn of science“.

Watch the reading, or read it yourself below.

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