Shamseddin Hafez, a contemporary of Chaucer, is still considered the greatest poet of Iran, and even taxi drivers sing his ghazals.
Filled with flashes of deep insight, “Phases” by poet Mischa Willett covers subjects as diverse as classical antiquity and old girlfriends.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry collection “Olio” by Tyehimba Jess bends poetry our of its familiar groove to tell a story few Americans know.
The 15 ekphrastic poems in “Rayfish” by Mary Hickman, honored with the James Laughlin Award, explore culture and its meaning.
In “Afterland,” winner of the Walt Whitman Award, poet Mai Der Vang explores what happened to the Hmong people after the Vietnam War.
“Say Something Back” by British poet Denise Riley considers the ways we do and don’t communicate, almost a plea to listen and hear each other.
“Les Fauves,” the newest collection of poetry by Barbara Crooker, is inspired by the paintings of the Fauvism movement, especially those of Henri Matisse.
Dave Malone may write about his beloved Missouri Ozarks, but the poems he writes are universal, and about family, friends, and geography.
“The Seasons of Cullen Church” by Bernard O’Donoghue is moving and soul-searching, an exploration of the memories that make a life.
“Let Them Eat Chaos” by Kate Tempest is a long poem written to be read aloud, and it blows up the boundaries between poetry and performance.
In “Mariner: A Voyage with Samuel Taylor Coleridge,” Malcolm Guite tells the story of the poet’s life through the words and themes of his most famous poem.
“Still Pilgrim” by poet Angela Alaimo O’Donnell tells us that both the major events of our lives and the everyday are but steps in a pilgrimage.
“The Performance of Becoming Human” by Daniel Borzutzky won the National Book Award for Poetry, and its 18 poems confront political and social issues.
Before “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” there were “The Children of Hurin” and “The Lay of Aotrou & Itroun” by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Jacob Polley’s poetry collection “Jackself” won the T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize for 2016, and it’s a work filled with folklore, childhood, and imagination.
James Laughlin Award winner “The End of Pink” by Kathryn Nuernberger is a wild, exuberant poetry collection, sitting there at the frontier of imagination.
Susan Lewis develops a theme of uncertainty in “Heisenberg’s Salon”; Shanna Powlus Wheeler interprets childhood and memory in “Lo & Behold.”
“Deep Lane” by Mark Doty includes nine poems with the title of “Deep Lane, ” and creates a sense of emotional if not physical distance.