If you’re not a heavy reader, maybe you’ve considered reading poetry.
Poetry might be underrated, but you’ll be surprised at how many people read poetry. The genre is easy to digest for readers with short attention spans. Plus, it centers on relatable emotions and situations and allows readers of color to feel like they’re not alone in their feelings.
Historically, poetry has been considered a male-dominated field, so consider reading books from these women for World Poetry Day to motivate and empower you.
You Are Only Just Beginning
Morgan Harper Nichols is a bestselling author and artist who combines her two passions into poems that weave narratives of creativity and purpose for anyone who needs motivation.
Her newest poetry book, You Are Only Just Beginning: Lessons For The Journey Ahead, empowers you to rethink what it means to embark on life’s challenges. Nichols’ writing reminds you that no matter what age you are, you are always learning. Surrounding her poems is her eye-catching art that also includes themes of friendship, grief and hope.
If you want to read more about Nichols’ work, follow her on Instagram at @morganharpernichols for more of her poetry and artwork.
And Yet: Poems
New York Times bestselling author Kate Baer writes about motherhood, womanhood, love and grief in And Yet, her second full-length poetry book. The book touches Baer’s journey as a mother of four, where she describes situations and feelings mothers experience like frustration, joy, exhaustion, comfort and curiosity over cultural events and family life.
Although this book touches on serious topics, it paints a picture of modern-day motherhood that is honest and allows readers to feel seen.
These Are My Big Girl Pants
Artist Amber Vittoria’s debut book discusses what it’s like to navigate the complexities of womanhood. Not only does she go into detail about femininity and cultural expectations of female body image, but she also dives into her experience of individuality and self-acceptance through ribbons of multicolor chrome prints.
To get more of a glimpse of her abstract art, find Vittoria at @amber_vittoria on Instagram.
Chrome Valley is an honest and bold portrait of a Black woman living in modern-day America. Written by Mahogany L. Browne, it paints a detailed view of her life and other women like her as she grapples with inherited maternal trauma. Lines like “We praise their names / & the hands that write / Praise the mouth that speaks” honor Black women before her as a tribute to their multifaceted lives.
Browne discusses themes that can relate to many readers, including young love, innocence, friendship, and even anxiety. Throughout the book, she details finding inner strength and self-determination from the women who have inspired and taught her.
All About Love
Feminist and poet bell hooks’ first volume teaches the reader in All About Love that romance, lust and desire aren’t the sole answers to loving others, but that care, community and compassion are key instead. Answering the question “What is love?” she provides wisdom in stanzas that lead to emotional connection: “To truly love we must learn to mix various ingredients—care, affection, recognition, respect, commitment, and trust, as well as honest and open communication.”
Declared one of the “100 Visionaries Who Can Change Your Life” by the Utne Reader, bell hooks will convince you that you are deserving of love in a polarized society.