As an avid reader and lover of poetry, I can read it on any occasion. In cooler months, I love to curl up with a book and warm beverage. In the spring, I enjoy sitting out on the porch with a nice, cool drink and a book of poetry in hand. So it’s no secret that when summer hits, I find almost any place to nestle up and indulge in a poetry collection or two.
Lately, I’ve experienced perfect weather, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and some of the best poetry collections a girl could ask for, so I wanted to share a few of my favorite summer poetry reads with you. I have some that will fit well in your travel tote for your next vacation. I have others that are perfect for a lazy beach day. Finally, I have a couple you might enjoy on a warm summer night alone with a full-bodied glass of your favorite libation and an open heart. Each book helped me to unwind, reflect, and return to myself, pushing my cares and worries out of my mind for a while. If you’re looking to do the same, here are a few suggestions. I hope you enjoy!
1. love in my language by alex elle
“I am not afraid of my truth anymore-
and I will not omit
pieces of me to make
This book of poetry reads like beautiful self-love letters to me, and I love it. Not only is Alex Elle vulnerable and introspective in this collection, she’s affirming as well. She uses the lessons she’s learned in life and love to pass wisdom on to her readers. If you’re looking for poetry to read this summer, this is one to enjoy beachside or in the outdoor breeze (with a glass of lemonade, preferably).
2. bone by yrsa daley-ward
“You will come away bruised
but this will give you poetry.”
Reading bone was a reminder that everything I’ve been through, whether favorable or otherwise, makes me the woman I am today. This book is all about living your truth, admitting your hurt, and allowing yourself to heal from it. This is one is great late at night for exploring layers of yourself you may not be comfortable sharing with others yet.
3. helium by rudy francisco
“My hobbies include: editing my life story,
hiding behind metaphors,
and trying to convince my shadow
that I’m someone worth following.”
Helium is a thought-provoking book of poetry I found myself fully invested in from the first page. I could not put it down until I was finished. It’s such an honest, “no frills” collection of thoughts and feelings on love, life, current events, and being black in America. Even those who don’t find poetry to be their favorite literary genre will relate to the heartbreak and self-reflection shared in these pages. Instead of wasting your break away checking up on your ex via social media, grab a copy of Helium here. Take this one on a long ride with you and soak in all the feels.
To get a taste of Rudy Francisco’s style, check out my favorite poem by him here.
4. neon soul by alex elle
“everything that shatters us
creates room for self-discovery.
Even in the thick of the mess
And madness lives magic.”
Neon Soul is my second selection from Alex Elle on the list and for good reason. With this collection, she discusses hurt and healing in such a soul-stirring way. She beautifully weaves her wounds into words that would otherwise be hard to choke down. Then, she provides the salve for healing said wounds. If you choose summer vacation as your chance to start your self-care or self-love journey, I suggest taking this one with you.
5. the witch doesn’t burn in this one by amanda lovelace
wear makeup for others
the same way
my house for others.
this is my home
& everything I do
If you’ve read the princess saves herself in this one, you may know how Amanda Lovelace fought through grief, loss, depression, and suicidal thoughts to save herself. In this follow-up collection, she comes out blazing and fearless in her words. Lovelace comes for the patriarchy and any man who has stifled the voice of a woman, making her feel inferior. Reading this made me feel empowered and proud to be a woman. I wanted to take back any power I had ever given any man and use it to build up myself and other women, just as Amanda Lovelace did with this collection. This declaration of unapologetic womanhood is a must-read this summer!
Since summer vacation is defined by having time to yourself to decompress and sift through your thoughts, I hope these reads help you to do just that. Allow yourself to be captivated by the beautiful words and relax. Forget about the deadlines, to-do lists, and worries by getting lost in these books of poetry. Your mind, body, and spirit will enjoy the temporary escape.
What poetry collections have you read or plan to read this summer?