The blossoming beauty of nature and the ever changing weather of April seem like the perfect partners to poetry.  Celebrate National Poetry Month by reading some poems from one or more of these selections.

Compiled by:
Dory L.
Anthologies and Collected Works
The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop

Kevin Coval
Adult Nonfiction - 811.608 Cov

In the last twenty years, Hip-Hop has become a real cultural force. This collection presents some of the best poetry produced in the form and translates this dynamic spoken-word music onto the page.

Collected Poems

Jack Gilbert
Adult Nonfiction - 811.54 Gil

His years living in Greece gave Gilbert a different perspective on life. This collection contains all Gilbert’s essential work about travel, love, nature, and his boyhood in gritty, industrial Pittsburg.

Collected Poems

Galway Kinnell
Adult Nonfiction - 811.54 Kin

Found here in one volume is the life’s work of this gifted lyrical poet who wrote about Hiroshima, the pulse of life in New York City, nature, the self and the family.  Culled from six decades of his writing, this makes an essential collection.

Wild Beauty = Belleza Salvaje: New and Selected Poems

Ntozake Shange
Adult Nonfiction - 811.54 Sha

Presented in both English and Spanish, this collection shows the span of the famous poet and playwright’s work. From the beginning, Shange tackled difficult subjects: prejudice, the targeting minorities, suicide, parenthood, and domestic violence—all in her famous idiosyncratic style.

Jane Hirshfield
Adult Nonfiction - 808.81 Wo

Prayers, poems, and songs from the earliest times to now about the spiritual in life written by princesses, freed slaves, healers, revolutionaries, ministers, rebels and more.

Individual Works
Bringing the Shovel Down

Ross Gay
Adult Nonfiction - 811.6 Gay

In praise of redbuds, orchids, beekeepers, and opera singers, these lyrical poems celebrate nature, love, and life.  Professor Gay teaches writing at Indiana University--Bloomington.

Leavings: Poems

Wendell Berry
Adult Nonfiction - 811.6 Ber

Known for his environmental activism and love for the land, Wendell Berry gathers poems about love, his Kentucky farm, and a section of Sabbath poems, where Berry retells his Sunday morning wanderings and shares his observations on humanity and nature.

Nancy Chen Long
Adult Nonfiction - 811.6 Lon

Local Indiana author, Long, brings her multicultural past to life in this lyrical collection. In moving language, she celebrates the intersection of science and literature.  She also artfully plays with various forms in her poetry.

Pelvis with Distance

Jessica Jacobs
Adult Nonfiction - 811.6 Jac

In her debut collection, Jacobs celebrates the landscape of the artist, Georgia O’Keeffe. Wandering the trails around Abiquiu and Ghost Range, she brings the beautiful New Mexican landscape to life. She also jumpstarts poems inspired by O’Keeffe’s own letters.

Rocket Fantastic: Poems

Gabrielle Calvocoressi
Adult Nonfiction - 811.6 Cal

Calvocoressi resists the limitations of language—especially where gender is concerned—to more fully capture the experience of a self "unlimited in its possibilities." (To announce the repeated manifestations of her recurring character the Bandleader, Calvocoressi uses the musical segno symbol, signifying a "confluence of genders in varying degrees, not either/or nor necessarily both in equal measure.") The setting of her third collection is woodsy, nocturnal, and by turns sinister and merciful; where "it did get dark" enough to see the stars "but how bright it was."