Weekend Writing: Poetry Collections to Read in 2018

If you are a poetry lover like me, it's time to clear some space on your bookshelf for the new poetry collections being released in 2018. From one fan to another, these collections are well worth the wait. Poets are writing about the world around us. They have thoughts to share, so listen. 

Below are five poetry collections you can soon add to your "to be read" list. You won't want to miss them.

Lauren Moseley's "Big Windows"
1. "Big Windows" - Lauren Moseley 

Big Windows is Lauren Moseley's debut poetry collection, and it has a lot of potential. Her poems occur in both real and imagined places, taking her readers to worlds between doubt, fear, wonder, and empowerment. In the real, natural world, Moseley writes about love, family, marriage, and self-knowledge--all while searching for something sacred to bind her emotions together.

Written in a lyrical style, the poems in Big Windows are exactly what the title suggests--a window into Moseley's life, where she breaks down the boundaries between herself and the environment surrounding her.

Be sure to look for Moseley's collection, available on February 13.

Tracy K. Smith's "Wade in the Water"
2. "Wade in the Water" - Tracy K. Smith 

If there's a poetry collection to read this year, it's definitely Tracy K. Smith's Wade in the Water. Her name might sound familiar to you, as she was named the United States Poet Laureate in September 2017. She has also received a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2012 for her collection, Life on Mars. 

So, yes, add Wade in the Water to your reading list because this is one poet you should know. Arriving on April 3, the collection is a striking meditation on modern American life and our history. Smith writes on everything from slavery and racism to pollution, violence, wealth inequality, and more. Smith writes about being a citizen, a mother, a wife, and an artist in a culture judged by wealth, men and violence.

But, don't just take my word for it. Read her collection to see for yourself why Tracy K. Smith deserved to be named the U.S. Poet Laureate.

3. "Eye Level" - Jenny Xie 
Jenny Xie's "Eye Level" (photo/amazon.com).

This is another poetry collection you need to read this year. Also arriving on April 3, Eye Level is the winner of the 2017 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets. So...it has to be good, right? Walt Whitman is the father of American poetry, therefore for Xie to win this prestigious award, her poetry is something you will definitely want to read.

Eye Level transports readers to various locations, including Phnom Penh, Corfu, Hanoi, New York, and more. The poetry explores immigration, personal and cultural borders, and how you can feel peaceful even when you're in the middle of a crowded area.

In fact, Tracy K. Smith commented on Xie's collection: "Eye Level renders the world with such lyric precision, such a quiet hugeness of spirit, such fresh astonishment. Already I am certain Xie is one of the voices that will help me, quite simply, to live."

4. "yesterday i was the moon" - Noor Unnahar 

Noor Unnahar's "yesterday i was the moon"
I find it interesting that Unnahar started writing poetry on Instagram, gained a following, and then decided to produce her first collection--yesterday i was the moon

Unnahar's voice is one of power and depth. The collection focuses on themes of love and emotional loss, the catharsis of creating art, and the struggle to find one's voice. The poet explores her Pakistani heritage, finds a universal truth, and determines what it means to have a physical and emotional home. Maybe yesterday she was the moon, but what will she be today?

Unnahar's poetry has inspired fans on Instagram and now for the first time on March 27, she has a collection that can continue to inspire.

5. "Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl" - Diane Seuss 

Diane Seuss's "Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and
a Girl" (photo/amazon.com).
I actually had the pleasure of meeting Diane Seuss last spring when she attended a reading hosted by my school, Ohio Northern University. I read her collection, Four-Legged Girl, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. I loved this collection and I highly anticipate her upcoming collection, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl, arriving on May 1.

The collection, named after a Rembrandt painting, is a dark take on femininity, violence, and the reader's own gaze on the collection. Rembrandt's painting is represented across the collection in various pieces, overturning traditional customs of gender, class, and luxury. Seuss invites readers into her world--ones who aren't glamorous, popular, and rich. The ones who would otherwise be overlooked.

Stay tuned for Seuss's collection, available on May 1.


Of course, there are so many wonderful poetry collections forthcoming in 2018. It's a beautiful time to be a poet. We write because we have something to say--about life, politics, war, violence, history, peace, and beauty. So, when you pick up these collections, free your mind. Listen to what these poets have to say.

Read on.



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