Live Your Midsummer Night’s Dream with These Four Poetry Collections

Summer is that mystical, light-hearted time where it’s easy to believe in love spells and fairies running through moonlit gardens. In other words, it’s the perfect season to live your life like it’s one of Shakespeare’s comedies, with a cast of hilarious characters and misadventures that always lead to happy endings. These four poetry collections invite you to live your midsummer night’s dream, turning up the whimsy and romanticism of everyday life. 


1. Fairy Poems by Lynne Greenberg

Some of the most prolific and famous poets have taken inspiration from fairies and fairy-based imagery, a history that Lynne Greenberg nods to in this beautiful and wide-ranging anthology. Spanning from ancient mythology to modern day, the collection brings together works by Sylvia Plath, Claude McKay, John Keats, Neil Gaiman, and others—including Shakespeare himself—for a multi-faceted look at the role fairies have played and continue to play in verse. 


2. you are your own fairytale by Amanda Lovelace

Sometimes fairies and their stories look how we expect them to look. Other times, their enchantment and power come across in more nuanced or radical ways. Such is the case in Amanda Lovelace’s best-selling poetry book, you are your own fairytale, which subverts traditional storybook tales and the characters within them, such as the idea of a fairy godmother, to encourage women to find strength, beauty, and inspiration in themselves and their own experiences. Lovelace’s poems explore and depict the magic and mysticism that women bring about in the real world. Could you be a fairy already, without even knowing it?


3. Fierce Fairy Tales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill

Similarly to Lovelace, feminist poet Nikita Gill takes figures like fairies and princesses and subverts them, finding new dimensions and themes to highlight in these storied tropes. Along with poems that illuminate and emphasize the fairy-like, these related illustrations take readers a step further into this fantastical reality. Enjoy sprawling, hand-drawn art that will make you feel like you’re getting lost in a lushly overgrown garden. 


4. You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World by Ada Limón

While this anthology edited by Poet Laureate of the United States Ada Limón doesn’t directly include fairies, it speaks to a belief that’s central to the fairies—namely, that we have to pay attention to the sights, sounds, and small details around us in order to witness and appreciate the otherworldly magic within them. Limón calls on readers to do just that in this anticipated release, which spans locations from the sea to one’s own backyard. Tap into the appreciation for nature that fairies are always in tune with through contemplative, imagery-rich poems by Jericho Brown, Diane Suess, and others. 


Now, it’s time to set up your string lights and grab one of these collections—happy reading!