This week’s TTT, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, asks us to list the ten books from a particular genre we’ve recently added to our TBRs. Due to my eclectic tastes, I’ve been adding all kinds of random books to my ‘want’ lists, so I’m going to focus on poetry because I can realistically pretend that’s a genre.
100 Days by Juliane Okot Bitek
This is about the Rwandan genocide in 1994. It sounds harrowing but like the kind of thing that changes your whole mentality by reading it.
Kumukanda by Kayo Chingonyi
A debut collection of poems by a Zambian-born poet, this covers, according to one review, “black boyhood, masculinity and grief.”
The Unaccompanied by Simon Armitage
Armitage is the not-so-secret crush of all the female English teachers in my department and this is just one reason I want to read this, his eleventh collection of poems.
Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling by Lucy Frank
I’ve recently got really into verse novels and this is another one. It’s about the developing friendship between two teenage girls sharing a hospital room.
Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong
Ocean Vuong was born in Saigon in 1988 before moving to the US as a young child. He’s described in one review as “the Walt Whitman of Vietnamese American literature” and I’m intrigued.
American Ace by Marilyn Nelson
This has been on my radar for ages; it’s an exploration of American history and race through the experiences of a teenage boy who discovers the man he thought was his father actually isn’t. It’s another verse novel.
Stranger, Baby by Emily Berry
My reasons for wanting this are slightly superficial; I have a weird love for these simple Faber and Faber covers and the colours on this one appeal to me. It focuses on grief and is Berry’s second collection of poems.
Stone Mirrors: The Sculpture and Silence of Edmonia Lewis by Jeannine Atkins
This is another verse novel, this time focusing on a half Native American, half African American sculptor working in the years following the Civil War. It sounds like nothing I’ve read before.
Silencer by Marcus Wicker
Influenced by hip-hop, this poetry collection is described as being set in “Marcus Wicker’s Midwest, where the muzzle is always on and where silence and daily microaggressions can chafe away at the faith of a young man grieved by images of gun violence and police brutality in twenty-first century America.” Whew. It sounds really amazing.
New American Best Friend by Olivia Gatwood
I am trying really hard not to buy books until I’ve read a chunk of the millions I’ve bought this year, but this one is testing my resolve. I saw a video of Gatwood performing a poem called ‘Ode to My Bitch Face’ (I’m linking to her website here because I think this needs to be watched) and it blew my mind; I love it when I find a poem that so perfectly captures my own feelings. I might actually go and order this now. I have no self-control.
Have you read any of these or do you now feel a tremendous urge to do so? If you have any recommendations for me, please fire away (although be aware that I read The Princess Saves Herself in This One and hated it, and am sworn off that style of poetry forever).