100 Poems That Matter

5 Moving Anthologies for Any Occasion

Poetry anthologies are an excellent way to discover new poets and explore the diverse landscape of contemporary poetry. To help you get your hands on your next favorite book, we’ve gathered a selection of poetry anthologies that offer something for every mood and theme.


Whether you’re in the mood for love poems, nature poetry, or social justice themes, these anthologies showcase the work of a wide range of poets and cover various topics and emotions. From classic works by established poets to emerging voices and experimental forms, there is something here for everyone.


These anthologies also provide an opportunity to delve deeper into different poetic styles, forms, and techniques, making them an excellent resource for writers and poetry enthusiasts alike.


100 Poems That Matter edited by the Academy of American Poets

Curated by the nation’s leading champion of American poetry, this anthology features some of the biggest hitters in poetry history: Emily Brontë, E.E. Cummings, Kahlil Gibran, Audre Lorde, Emily Dickinson, and more. 100 Poems That Matter collects the genre’s foremost voices to delve into themes of love, loss, and self-discovery. 


African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song edited by Kevin Young

Gathering poems from the colonial period to the present, African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song is the most ambitious anthology of Black poetry to date. This anthology showcases poems by some of the most iconic Black American poets, like Phillis Wheatley, Langston Hughes, and Gwendolyn Brooks, alongside rare, out-of-print, or hard-to-find poems to broaden reader’s horizons. 


Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability edited by Sheila Black and Jennifer Bartlett

An absolutely groundbreaking anthology, this book explores the place where poetry and disability, intersect, overlap, collide, and make peace. A mix of prose, poetry, and essays, Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability was chosen by the American Library Association as a 2012 Notable Book in Poetry. 


Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection edited by James Crews

Readers craving a sense of community and connection will fall in love with this tender and uplifting anthology. Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection unites the voices of poets such as Mark Doty, Ross Gay, and Naomi Shihab Nye to encourage readers to push past the negativity that surrounds us and embrace the ordinary moments of kindness and connection we encounter day to day. 


Poetry Unbound: 50 Poems to Open Your World edited by Pádraig Ó. Tuama

For those who like their anthologies with a little reflection from the editor on the side, this book is for you. Poetry Unbound: 50 Poems to Open Your World gathers a diverse range of voices, including Ada Limón, Margaret Atwood, Ocean Vuong, and more. With each poem comes a keen and insightful reflection from the editor, sure to illuminate and inspire any reader. 


Anthologies are a valuable resource for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of poetry or discover new poets and themes. Whether you’re a writer, a poetry enthusiast, or simply someone looking to connect with the beauty and power of language, these anthologies will surely inspire, provoke, and move you.