17 best poetry books to add to your bookshelf pronto

Despite all the technology you can want at your fingertips thanks to our phones, there’s something about a book that can provide some much-needed escapism. While a beach holiday seems unlikely this year, we’re all about curating a summer reading list and for 2021, we’ve got our eyes on the best poetry books to enjoy.

A great poem can evoke the biggest of emotions in even the most steadfast of people, and whether it’s joy, injustice, race or gender, poetry can explore all aspects of life. While a novel tells a story from the first to last page, an anthology can offer something new with each poem and can be read straight through or enjoyed across months.

Reading can also be part of our self-care, and after a difficult year living through a pandemic, we’re in desperate need for a spot of relaxation. It’s important for our mental wellbeing and we all know it’s been proven to help aid sleep, which, we don’t know about you, but since emerging out of lockdown, has been hard to come by. Poetry can also be a look back through history, create hope for the future and confront injustices facing people from different cultural and racial backgrounds across the globe.

But where to start? Whether you’re a budding poet yourself seeking inspiration or new to the genre, we’ve found the absolute must-haves for your reading collection.

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For fans of icon Dr Maya Angelou, there’s Still I Rise or for a history-making speech that stole the show at the 2021 presidential inauguration there’s The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem by Amanda Gorman. For a timely reminder of how wonderful the NHS is, pick up a copy of These Are The Hands: Poems from the Heart of the NHS that pays tribute to healthcare workers, and for a raw, honest look at identity and race, Teeth In The Back Of My Neck by Monika Radojevic, one of the winners of the #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize, is essential reading.

For more from Glamour UK Freelance Commerce Writer Louise Whitbread, follow her on Instagram @louisewhitbread.

After more book recommendations? We’ve got the best romance novels ever, the best autobiographies that everyone should read at least once in their lifetime and our interview with GLAMOUR’s Women of the Year Gamechanging Author, Bernardine Evaristo.

All are available to shop now, so get stuck and in and start adding to your reading list, for summertime and beyond. Here are the best poetry books of 2021 to shop now…


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