Poetry Pairings: Halloween Candy Edition

Halloween is almost here! Whether you’re enjoying a spooky, solo night in with a collection, flipping through poems while waiting for trick-or-treaters or bringing friends together with a festive, themed reading or book swap, there are so many ways to make poetry a part of your Halloween. One way is by pairing the deliciousness of poetry with the deliciousness of candy. These poetry collections contain bite-sized poems to pair with your favorite seasonal treats. 


M&M’s and The Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson 


When you think of the most classic candy, M&M’s likely come to mind. The same could be said for poetry and Emily Dickinson, one of the most famous and canonized writers in the genre. Just as M&M’s remain popular across generations, Dickinson’s poetry is timeless – as valuable and enduring now as when it was first published. M&M’s also constantly reinvents itself with new packaging, spin-offs, and advertising, similar to how Dickinson’s legacy and image have been continually revamped. Take this cover, for example, which brings modernized design to Dickinson’s poetry, or the TV show Dickinson.


Candy corn and Poetry as Spellcasting by Tamiko Beyer, Destiny Hemphill, and Lisbeth White 


While many types of candy are enjoyed year-round, October seems like the standout month where both candy corn lovers and haters reawaken their debate. This candy seems distinctly autumnal, spooky, and Halloween-core. Similarly, Poetry as Spellcasting will have you leaning into the uniquely witchy energy that arises during Halloween time. 


Reese’s Pieces and The Space Between Us by Courtney Peppernell and Zack Grey 


Reese’s Pieces helped establish peanut butter and chocolate as one of the ultimate flavor pairings. Without the presence and balance of both flavors, this candy fave would be incomplete. Similarly, the collection The Space Between Us is all about collaboration, with the voices and styles of writers Courtney Peppernell and Zack Grey melding together. Neither overpowers the other – rather, they enhance each other’s creative work. 


Milk Duds and Film for Her by Orion Carloto 


When you go to the movies, what concession snacks do you opt for? One popular answer is salty, buttery popcorn mixed with sweet, chocolatey candy, often Milk Duds. A box of Milk Duds conjures the cinematic and nostalgic vibe that Orion Carloto channels in Film for Her, which blends poetry, photography, and prose. 


Sour Patch Kids and Good Poems for Hard Times by Garrison Keillor


The love for Sour Patch Kids revolves around one simple dichotomy: sour and sweet. Just as the commercial notes “First, they’re sour, then they’re sweet,” the poems in the anthology Good Poems for Hard Times, edited by Garrison Keillor, strike a similar balance. These poems speak to difficult emotions and experiences but also provide a sweet comfort and reassurance. 

Looking for more poetry-related Halloween reads? Check out our poetry and costume pairing roundup.