5 Books to Read on Earth Day

Earth Day is April 22, which is the perfect day to pick up some inspiring poems for Earth Day, or even an entire collection. There are many environmentalist poets to choose from. To help you find your favorite, we’ve selected five poetry books to read on Earth Day (or any time of the year, really). 


A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year edited by Jane McMorland Hunter

This inspiring poetry collection offers a wide array of styles and eras. Whether you want to read all 365 poems in one sitting or pace yourself with just one poem each day, this carefully curated collection is the perfect book to pick up for Earth Day. Poems from William Wordsworth, Christina Rossetti, and John Keats pay homage to the beauty and ever-changing state of nature. Throughout the book, readers will also find breathtaking black-and-white illustrations to stir the imagination. 


A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver

The iconic Mary Oliver is known for her clear and powerful observations of the natural world. Her collection A Thousand Mornings is no exception. Inspired by her beloved hometown of Provincetown, Mass., Oliver transports readers to a clear, quiet, and pensive place along the coastline. In her classic style, Oliver finds worlds of insight in life’s smallest moments. 


Bright Wings edited by Billy Collins

Poems and paintings sit side-by-side in this beautiful collection curated by former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins and illustrated by America’s foremost bird illustrator, David Allen Sibley. Birds have served as sources of poetic metaphor and inspiration for centuries, and this collection is an ode to their intimate connection with nature and with humanity.


Poetry for the Earth edited by Sara Dunn and Alan Scholefield

To experience the world through a variety of times, styles, and settings, Poetry for the Earth is the perfect collection. This anthology brings together poetic responses to the environment from different centuries across the globe. Read from classical Greece, Elizabethan England, 17th century Japan, contemporary Africa, and beyond. This collection does more than celebrate nature; it asks readers to contemplate how humans’ relationship to the earth has changed over time. 


Turtle Island by Gary Snyder

San Francisco-born poet Gary Snyder offers a series of poems and essays in his 1974 collection Turtle Island, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1975. In this collection, Snyder envisions a world in which humans live in harmony with the natural world. Although gentle and meditative in nature, these poems do not hide their political pressure to care for the earth and its creatures. 


While Earth Day is a wonderful reminder of the importance of our planet, it’s important to keep it in mind all year long. If you’re interested in simple ways to reduce your environmental impact, Every Day is Earth Day by Harriet Dyer is brimming with insightful tips to help you lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle. From reducing your plastic use to shopping more sustainably, Every Day is Earth Day will help you discover new ways to put the planet first in your day-to-day life.