With the holiday season approaching, you may be wondering what presents to give (or to ask for yourself). If you’re shopping for someone with a passion for poetry—or if you’re a poet with an empty wishlist—let this roundup point you in the right direction.
As soon as I spot a stack of my most anticipated reads under the tree, I take part in my favorite holiday tradition: Reading for hours in front of the fireplace. If there’s a book your poet won’t stop talking about, that’s a sure bet for the perfect present. If you have no idea where to start, try a title from this year’s National Book Awards Longlist for Poetry. The list spans 2019 collections from ten amazing poets, including big names like Jericho Brown and Ilya Kaminsky.
Personally, I’ll be asking for Build Yourself a Boat by Camonghne Felix. Another hard-to-beat pick? The 2019 edition of The Best American Poetry anthology, which brings some of the most evocative, recently published poems together into one stunning volume.
Bonus: Instagram’s favorite “book cart”
This Ikea utility cart got an unexpected upgrade when book lovers on Instagram started using it as a shelf. It’s an offbeat, trendy fixture that can fit into any studio apartment.
Journals that inspire
Poets run out of journals fast. Help them avoid that catastrophe with a classic Moleskine in any color, a pretty notebook set, or a bright and trendy spiral.
Sleek or sassy writing tools
Pencils make the perfect stocking stuffer. Take them to the next level with this gold, striped set from Kate Spade. I also love this colorful assortment from Bando—each pencil displays a different compliment (something poets definitely need when struggling with imposter syndrome or first drafts).
Lastly, you can give a gift that will last for years… seven years, to be exact. The popular Seven Year Pen from Seltzer Goods comes in many different colors and patterns. I personally like this baby pink one that says “Feelings.” Could anything more aptly describe a poet’s emotionally charged stanzas?
Dependable tote bag
A poet needs a bag to lug around all that stationary! This tote from literary brand Out of Print looks just like a composition notebook.
Forget scents like “fresh laundry” and “ocean breeze.” Any living room can smell like a bookstore with the bookstore-scented candle from Frostbeard Studio.
Comforting weighted blanket
Did you know that writers are statistically more likely to have anxiety and other mental illnesses? Despite that unfortunate fact, there are ways to show you care and to help provide relief. Cozying up with a weighted blanket—like this budget-friendly one—can help alleviate a poet’s anxiety while they write, read, or indulge in a much-needed Netflix binge.
Yep, this exists. Options include loose-leaf blends inspired by Sylvia Plath and Gertrude Stein.
Bonus: Cute mug or savvy, temperature control mug
Who doesn’t need another book-themed mug to add to their collection? This one, which says “Hot Tea, Warm Blankets, & Good Books,” summarizes my perfect evening. To elevate the tea experience, even more, consider the high-tech, temperature control mug, which keeps beverages hot for hours. The inventive product is perfect for people who get so sucked into writing or reading that they completely forget about their drink.
Fashionable librarian looks
Book T-shirt? Book skirt? Socks that proudly proclaim “Book Nerd?” Yes, ModCloth has all of it—whether you want to rock a statement piece or go wild with a whole outfit.
A subscription to look forward to
What’s better than poetry? High-quality poetry delivered regularly in a gorgeous magazine. Consider a subscription to Poetry Magazine or Ploughshares. Another favorite, The Writer, contains monthly writing tips, lists of contests, conferences, and MFA programs, and timely, interesting articles about the writing industry today.
Now, how will I resist buying all of these awesome things for myself?