Maybe you see it as the stuff of musty old books on dusty old shelves, the worst part of English class, or terrible rhymes written in teenage angst. In many ways, poetry has always been fiction's cringe cousin. But things are changing. Readership of poetry is on the rise, particularly among young people. It could be thanks to its digestible nature, or because Millennials are more in touch with their emotions. But I reckon it’s because a new generation of poets is shaking up the status quo. I've selected some of the most inspiring poetry books by female writers you should snap up this minute.
Not everyone is keen on poetry's new direction, as the Guardian reported, with some young writers derided as "Insta-poets" and criticised for lacking complexity in their work. While it's true that plenty of new poetry is more accessible than its past forms, isn't it precisely this relatability that's attracting new readers? Besides, dismissing the work of a new wave of largely female writers for being too "simplistic" sounds a lot like old-fashioned sexism to me. Some of the poets on my list are direct in their writing, others are a little more lyrical, but they're all open — open to interpretation, to modernity, and to new and different readers. And that sounds a lot better than being a closed book if you ask me. Here are some of the best poetry books by women writers you should be reading.
It's time to dust off your old assumptions about poetry and dive into these new creations. Enjoy.