8th March 2021
Recommended Poetry Reads
Those of you keen SURLY followers may have heard of the Student Poetry Competition that we are running in collaboration with the Monash Creative Writers Club. The theme is Folklore and Folktales, and the deadline is fast approaching on March 17th!
Perhaps you consider yourself a poet and simply cannot wait to spin some yarns or spit some rhymes. Maybe you have already submitted your work. Or perhaps you have no idea what poetry is other than the first-grade acrostic poem you wrote about your pet dog…. Well, even if that’s the case, you still have time to get inspired by our top ten recommended poetry anthologies!
Aphrodite made me do it by Trista Mateer
Bestselling and award-winning author Trista Mateer takes an imaginative approach to self-care in this new poetry and prose collection, Aphrodite Made Me Do It. In this empowering retelling, she uses the goddess mythology to weave a common thread through both past and present. By the end of this book, Aphrodite makes you believe in the possibility and the power of your own healing.
No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay
Following the success of her breakout poem, B, Sarah Kay releases her debut collection of poetry featuring work from the first decade of her career. No Matter the Wreckage presents readers with new and beloved work that showcases Kay’s knack for celebrating family, love, travel, history, and unlikely love affairs between inanimate objects, for instance, Toothbrush to the Bicycle Tire, amidst other curious topics. With both freshness and wisdom, Kay’s poetry allows readers to join her on an intimate journey of discovering herself and the world around her. It is an honest and powerful collection.
A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver
In A Thousand Mornings, Mary Oliver returns to the imagery that has come to define her life’s work, transporting us to the marshland and coastline of her beloved hometown of Provincetown, Massachusetts. Between these pages, Oliver shares the wonders of dawn, the grace of animals, and the transformative power of attention. Whether studying the leaves of a tree or mourning her adored dog, Percy, she is ever-patient in her observations and open to the teachings contained in the smallest of moments.
Our most precious chronicler of physical landscape, Oliver opens our eyes to the nature within, to its wild and its quiet. With startling clarity, humor, and kindness, A Thousand Mornings explores the mysteries of our daily experience.
While Standing in Line for Death by C. A. Conrad
“From these rituals come notes; from those notes come poems; and from those poems comes not just a view into his process, but an entrance into another present.” —Boston Globe
After his boyfriend Earth’s murder, CAConrad was looking for a (Soma)tic poetry ritual to overcome his depression. This new book of eighteen rituals and their resulting poems demonstrates that success, alongside other political actions and exercises that testify to poetry’s ability to reconnect us and help put an end to our alienation from the planet in which we inhabit.
Depression & Other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim
Depression & Other Magic Tricks is the debut book by Sabrina Benaim, one of the most viewed performance poets of all time, whose poem Explaining My Depression to My Mother became a cultural phenomenon with over 5,000,000 views.
Depression & Other Magic Tricks explores themes of mental health, love, and family. It is a documentation of struggle and triumph, a celebration of daily life and of living. Benaim’s wit, empathy, and gift for language produces a work of endless wonder.
The Dark Between Stars by Atticus
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 finding yourself alone once again. While grappling with the question of how to live with purpose and find meaning in the journey, the poems offer both honest explorations of loneliness and our search for connection, alongside light-hearted and humorous observations. As Atticus writes poignantly about dancing, Paris, jazz clubs, sunsets, sharing a bottle of wine on the river, rainy days, creating, 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.
Our Numbered Days by Neil Hilborn
“When you’re dumb enough for long enough, you’re gonna meet someone too smart to love you, and they’re gonna love you anyway, and it’s gonna go so poorly,” Neil Hilborn writes in his debut full-length collection, Our Numbered Days. In 2013, Hilborn’s poem OCD went viral, amassing over 11 million views to date. While this collection ruminates on love, heartbreak, and mental illness, the poems are anything but saccharine. Hilborn uses the same humor and self-deprecation that propelled OCD to success in order to make his unmatched vulnerability all the more powerful. Ultimately, Hilborn is a poet of the people – his work is accessible, honest, and entertains a revitalizing entry in contemporary poetry.
Whiskey Words & a Shovel II by R. H. Sin
Raw and real, the voice of R. H. Sin delivers gritty, impassioned truths on matters of loving, living, and leaving in his second book of poetry. Sin’s first book is a bestseller and continues to delight his one million followers.
R.H. Sin’s second volume continues the passion and vigor of his previous publication. His stanzas inspire strength through the pure emotional energy and the vulnerability of his poems. Relationships, love, pain, and fortitude are powerfully rendered in his poetry, and his message of perseverance in the face of emotional turmoil cuts to the heart of modern day life.
R.H. Sin’s poems are often only a few lines long, and yet the emotional punch of his language gives these words an enduring power beyond the short page. He doesn’t back away from the pains and struggles of life and love, and yet his determined, unapologetic voice provides a measure of comfort and a message of perseverance that is at once realistic and indomitable. This blend of determination and painful vulnerability gives his poetry a distinctive and engaging resonance.
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 divided into four chapters, each chapter serving a different purpose — to deal with a different pain or to heal a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers on a journey through the most bitter moments in life and finds a certain sweetness in them. Kaur reminds us there is sweetness everywhere if you are willing to look.
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 sections: the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you. The princess, the damsel, and the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, whilst you addresses the reader and humankind as a whole, exploring life and all of the love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, and inspiration that comes with it.