8 Perfect Poetry Books to Excite You for World Poetry Day

Poetry is magical, isn’t it?

The way poets can summon words in a way that stirs powerful ideas and emotions within us.

Words that weave into lines and verses that flourish in all sorts of fantastic ways.

Every element breathes literary life onto the page.

From language and lexicon, to syntax and structure.

To the rules of rhythm, rhyme and metre.

Down to every last comma.

Poetry really is word magic.

And on World Poetry Day, we get to celebrate poems all over the world.

So what better way to celebrate than to get your hands on these perfect poetry books, chosen by us at The Book Nook?

They’re sure to exercise your poetic passions (have you guessed that I love alliteration?).

Here are 8 of our favourite poetry books to excite you for World Poetry Day. Enjoy the list and tell us what you think in the comments below!

Please note, the affiliate weblinks below direct you to view the title on our Bookshop.org page.

Whilst we do receive a small percentage of book sales from this site, we are a completely independent businesses and are not involved with the ordering or delivery processes. Where possible, we’d encourage you to order directly through us (see bottom of the post for more details).

8 Perfect Poetry Books to Excite You for World Poetry Day

1. Alexa, what is there to know about love? By Brian Bilston

Fancy a poetic lesson in love? Let this fab poetry collection be your guide.

From romantic love to long-distance love, internet love and even politics, this set of poems by Bryan Bilston covers all angles of love; that warm, fuzzy stuff that makes the world go round.

Brilliant, witty and heart-breaking, you need to read Alexa, what is there to know about love?

For more books about love, why not read our blog post: 9 Heart-Warming Stories That’ll Change the Way You Think About Valentine’s Day?

2. The Historians by Eavan Boland

If you’re a historian at heart, you’ll love this poetry book.

The Historians comes from Eavan Boland, one of the most commanding poets of the last century. And to be frank, it has won so many literary awards that it hardly needs an introduction, anyway.

A crucial voice in Irish and feminist literature, she has been hailed for her "edgy precision, an uncanny sympathy and warmth, an unsettling sense of history" (J.D. McClatchy).

Here in her finale volume, Boland explores the ways in which the hidden stories of female lives can enlighten our sense of history. Over a titanic, nearly sixty-year career, she is famed for her ability to tell the tales of ordinary women with a forceful poetic voice.

3. Dearly: Poems by Margaret Atwood

From the bestselling, world-famous author of The Handmaid’s Tale, this book is Margaret Atwood’s first poetry collection in over a decade.

Dearly: Poems is a wild-ride through planet Earth and beyond, from the natural world, to myth and legend, and even alien encounters. Wise and observant, her poems here study bodies and minds ‘in flux’, as well as everyday objects and rituals.

Get ready to meet all forms of animal life, including mythical beasts like werewolves and sirens, in this stunning poetic safari from one of the most acclaimed authors of our time.

4. Violet Bent Over Backwards Over The Grass by Lana Del Rey

Is that the Lana Del Rey, you ask? That’s right, your favourite dream pop superstar is a poet, too. In fact, The Atlantic has said that this book reinforces her as the "essential writer of her times".

In Violet Bent Over Backwards, the multi-award-winning singer has written more than thirty authentic poems, many exclusive to the book. In her own words, she describes the book as ‘eclectic and honest and not trying to be anything other than what they are’. Beautifully designed, the hardcover edition features typewritten manuscript pages and even Lana’s original photography.

Safe to say, this book is truly an artist’s work and a gateway into the mind of one of the most iconic singers of the last decade.

5. Up in the Attic by Pam Ayres

They say laughter is the best medicine. So if you’re after a laugh, this book will do just the trick.

This new collection from treasured writer & broadcaster Pam Ayre is not only hilarious but also nostalgic, reflective, and moving. It’s no wonder that she’s featured in the Sunday Times bestseller list in almost every decade since the 1970s.

Up in the Attic takes you on a wonderfully witty tour of everyday life. It sits you down at the pub with ‘Don’t Put My Dinner on the Slate!’, invites you to dinner as she plays hostess with ‘The Dinner Party’ and takes you down memory lane with ‘Up in the Attic’.

This poetry book comes packed with comedy as well as moments of real poignance.

6. Empty Nest: Poems for Families (Ed. Carol Ann Duffy)

The bond between parent and child is like no other. Its power has no limits.

Empty Nest is a stunning selection of 99 poems exploring parenthood, chosen by one of the nation’s favourite poets, Carol Ann Duffy. Hand-picked by a true expert, our former Poet Laurette, this curated poetry book contains both classic and modern poems that trace the relationship between parent and child.

These beautiful, tender poems chart this unique bond from youth to old age, with reflections on family life, flying the nest, to grief, loss and detachment. Titan poets such as Shakespeare, Seamus Heaney, Elizabeth Bishop, Jackie Kay, and Simon Armitage are all to be found in this incredible book.

For more of our best books on parenthood, check out our blog post: 12 Perfect Books We Know Your Mum Will Love This Mother’s Day.

7. Many Different Kinds of Love by Michael Rosen

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected all of our lives in so many ways, hasn’t it? Its seismic impact on the world will forever be etched into the history books.

But Michael Rosen, one of Britain’s most loved poets, has his own incredible story to tell. After struggling to breathe, our national treasure went into hospital and ended up fighting for his life with six weeks in an induced coma.

Many Different Kinds of Love is a heart-warming book featuring marvellous new prose poems by Michael Rosen. And here’s a twist: It also includes real-life diary accounts from his NHS doctors, nurses and his wife Emma-Louise Williams who helped him during his time in hospital.

This is poetry celebrating the power of community.

8. Selected Poems by W.B. Yeats

A good poem can transport you to another world, sometimes beyond your wildest dreams.

Yeats can do just that. One of the most celebrated modern poets of all time, and a major Irish writer of the twentieth century, his Romantic verses seem to have made a permanent mark on Irish culture.

Selected Poems features Yeats’ epic narrative poem The Wanderings of Oisin alongside many of his famous lyrics (inspired by historic poets like William Blake) that you’ll absolutely love. His sublime lyrics paint vivid pictures of Irish landscapes and far-away fantasy worlds, and they're so sublime that you’ll find yourself lost and enchanted.

Which book from this list has caught your eye? I'm planning on diving back into my favourite Yeats poems – a true Lit geek at heart!

Be sure to tell us your favourite book from this list over on The Book Nook Facebook page. Or, you can tweet us over at @Book_Nook_Shop!

We can’t wait to get poetic with you on World Poetry Day, this Sunday. Keep an eye on our social media pages for what we’re up to and you can join in the fun.

Like what you see? Here’s how to order:

You can order any of the books above from The Book Nook - even during lockdown! You can email us at info@booknookshop.co.uk, drop us a social media message or call us on 01920 467 597 during our non-contact opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to 2pm.

Orders can either be collected at the door during our non-contact opening hours or can be delivered directly to your home (additional postage and packaging charge applies).

If you’d prefer to browse and shop online, please consider using our affiliate Bookshop.org page or by clicking on the links above to specific titles.

Please note, whilst a small percentage of the book sales from Bookshop.org are donated to The Book Nook, we are two independent businesses. The Book Nook will are not involved with the ordering or delivery of your Bookshop.org purchase. We’d therefore encourage you to order directly from us where possible!

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