Poetry Pairings: Brunch Edition

Poetry and brunch might have more in common than you think: both pair well with coffee; both are subject to personal taste; and, ultimately, both nourish us. The same way many poetry lovers have a beloved poem they can recite from memory, many avid brunch-goers have a go-to dish that they hold dear to their hearts. To feed both the body and the mind, we’ve made a list of eight poets to read based on your favorite brunch dish. 


If an acai bowl soothes your soul, you’ll love Marala Scott

Health is a deeply personal journey. Good food makes you feel good, and good poetry does, too. Marala Scott’s work will make you feel good from the inside out. Read “A Painter’s Canvas” by Scott for a glimpse of her uplifting work. 


If avocado toast delights your palate, you’ll love E.E. Cummings.

You eat with your eyes, and you know aesthetics make all the difference. Although E.E. Cummings has a strong body of traditional work, the poet is best known for his idiosyncratic syntax, punctuation, and typographical choices. His 1961 poem “(timeless…)” is a prime example of his heart-stopping line breaks. 


If biscuits and gravy warm your heart, you’ll love Ted Kooser

Some down-home cooking warms your heart. You’re unpretentious and find joy in simple things. Ted Kooser’s conversational poetic style will suit you well. His appreciation for the quotidian places him at the center of the Midwest Poetry Renaissance. See his poem “Daddy Longlegs” for a peek at his charm.


If a hot bagel is calling your name, you’ll love Anne Waldman.

New York, New York is knocking at your door—with a bagel and Anne Waldman’s Fast Speaking Woman in tow. Waldman’s career is deeply rooted in the Beat movement and the New York School of Poets second generation. Read “A Phonecall from Frank O’Hara” to catch her vibe.  


If pancakes make your heart sing, you’ll love Amanda Lovelace.

You haven’t lost your childlike wonder—or your love for pancakes. Poet Amanda Lovelace is your perfect match. Drawing inspiration from classic fairy tales, she brings childhood into the modern-day. Read an excerpt from Break Your Glass Slippers to experience the magic. 


If a classic omelet is your constant, Derek Walcott will be too. 

You’re a tried and true friend with a love for the classics. The enduring poetry of Derek Walcott will earn a special place on your shelf. Read “Map of the New World,” for a preview of his pensive, timeless tone. 


If french toast is your main squeeze, you’ll love Sierra Demulder

You have an open heart and a lot of love to give. The poetry of Sierra Demulder will match your giving nature. The poem “Chai and Whiskey” from her collection Today Means Amen will linger in your heart. 


If you pick a bloody mary as your meal, you might like Dorothy Parker

You’re witty, creative, and you have a taste for the unexpected. Poet, critic and satirist Dorothy Parker is right up your alley. As a critic from The Nation put it best, her work is “caked with a salty humor, rough with splinters of disillusion, and tarred with a bright black authenticity.” Read “Parties” for a taste of her sardonic style.