Perpich News

Amazing Poetry Books from Perpich Library

April 25, 2024

Happy National Poetry Month!

To celebrate the occasion, here are a few of the amazing poetry books from our collection. If you aren’t a regular reader of poetry, we encourage you to seek it out and give it a try. Poetry comes in so many different forms, you are bound to find something you love!

All items on this list are available at the Perpich library. Click on titles for more information.

1. Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds, artwork by Jason Griffin
Jason Reynolds and his best bud, Jason Griffin, had a mind-meld. And they decided to tackle it, in one fell swoop, in about ten sentences, and 300 pages of art, this piece, this contemplation-manifesto-fierce-vulnerable-gorgeous-terrifying-WhatIsWrongWithHumans-hope-filled-hopeful-searing-Eye-Poppingly-Illustrated-tender-heartbreaking-how-The-HECK-did-They-Come-UP-with-This project about oxygen. And all of the symbolism attached to that word, especially NOW.

2. All the Flowers Kneeling by Paul Tran
In poems of desire, gender, bodies, legacies, and imagined futures, Tran elucidates the complex and harrowing processes of reckoning and recovery, enhanced by innovative poetic forms that mirror the nonlinear emotional and psychological experiences of trauma survivors.

3. frank: sonnets by Diane Seuss
These poems tell the story of a life at risk of spilling over the edge of the page, from Seuss’s working-class childhood in rural Michigan to the dangerous allures of New York City and back again.

4. Homie: Poems by Danez Smith
Homie is Danez Smith’s magnificent anthem about the saving grace of friendship. Rooted in the loss of one of Smith’s close friends, this book comes out of the search for joy and intimacy within a nation where both can seem scarce and getting scarcer.

5. Little Big Bully by Heid E. Erdrich
Poet, artist, filmmaker, and curator Heid E. Erdrich explores the indigenous experience in multifaceted ways-personal, familial, biological, cultural. These poems, written from the perspective of an Ojibwe woman, reveal what sustained harassment does to people, especially to women, children, and Native and Indigenous people, how it can lead to the oppression of others and even ourselves, and how experiencing misogyny and sexual abuse can make a person vulnerable to future abuse.

6. Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong
In this intimate second poetry collection, Vuong searches for life among the aftershocks of his mother’s death, embodying the paradox of sitting within grief while being determined to survive beyond it.

7. We Want Our Bodies Back: Poems by jessica Care moore
A powerful full-length collection from jessica Care moore, one of the leading spoken word poets of our time. Reflecting her transcendent electric voice, this searing poetry collection is filled with moving, original stanzas that speak to both Black women’s creative and intellectual power, and express the pain, sadness, and anger of those who suffer constant scrutiny because of their gender and race.

8. Words Like Thunder: New and Used Anishinaabe Prayers by Lois Beardslee
A collection of poetry by award-winning Ojibwe author Lois Beardslee. Much of the book centers around Native people of the Great Lakes but has a universal relevance to modern Indigenous people worldwide. Beardslee tackles contemporary topics like climate change and socioeconomic equality with a grace and readability that empowers readers and celebrates the strengths of today’s Indigenous peoples. She transforms the mundane into the sacred.

9. Yellow Rain by Mai Der Vang
In this staggering work of documentary, poetry, and collage, Mai Der Vang reopens a wrongdoing that deserves a new reckoning. As the United States abandoned them at the end of the Vietnam War, many Hmong refugees recounted stories of a mysterious substance that fell from planes during their escape from Laos starting in the mid-1970s. This substance, known as “yellow rain,” caused severe illnesses and thousands of deaths.

10. Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency: Poems by Chen Chen
In his highly anticipated second collection, Chen Chen continues his investigation of family, both blood and chosen, examining what one inherits and what one invents, as a queer Asian American living through an era of Trump, mass shootings, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

All items on this list are available at the Perpich Library.