Poetry Audiobooks DO Exist — Here Are 6 Of Our Favorites

by Melissa Ragsdale

Whether it's fiction or nonfiction, there's a general assumption that most audiobooks are written in prose. But you might not have realized that there are some fantastic poetry audiobooks out there, just waiting for you to listen to them. It's a completely different listening and reading experience, and once you try it, you won't be able to stop.

Most poetry audiobooks are read by the poets themselves. It's a little bit like having a poetry reading, in the privacy of your own home. These performances can be intimate, they can be powerful, and they can certainly be unforgettable. But unlike an IRL poetry reading, you can pause, rewind, and listen to a poem again and again and see how your understanding of the poem changes.

Plus, poetry audiobooks tend to be on the shorter side. Often, they clock in under two hours. This is perfect for people who multi-task while they listen to audiobooks, because you can listen to the entire book in the time that it takes you to clean your room or cook dinner or drive to your mom's holiday dinner. Here are six of my favorite poetry audiobooks, including one novel-in-verse:

'The Poet X' by Elizabeth Acevedo

The winner of National Book Award for Young People's Literature, The Poet X is a novel-in-verse about Xiomara Batista, a young girl in Harlem who finds herself through spoken word poetry.

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'The Carrying' by Ada Limón

Ada Limón's poetry will crack into your emotional core in a beautiful, uninhibited way. In this audiobook, Limón reads her newest collection, and it's a profound and breathtaking experience.

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'And Still I Rise: A Book of Poems' by Maya Angelou

Who wouldn't want to listen to the effervescent Maya Angelou herself in their headphones? You'll be moved in an entirely new way by the audiobook version of this classic collection of poetry.

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'Wade in the Water: Poems' by Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith is the current Poet Laureate of the United States, and her newest collection is not to be missed. In Wade in the Water, Smith explores America's fraught history and perilous present. It's a powerful read, and an equally powerful listen.

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'Electric Arches' by Eve L. Ewing

Eve L. Ewig explores black girlhood and womanhood in this vibrant collection that plays the boundaries of time and space.

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'If They Come for Us: Poems' by Fatimah Asghar

In this gorgeous debut collection, poet and co-creator of the Emmy-nominated web series "Brown Girls" Fatimah Asghar weaves together her personal life with her cultural history to capture the experience of being a young Pakistani Muslim woman in America.

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