Part two of my socially distant Thanksgiving Break activities is to read! You may not have time to read a long novel or get invested in a series when finals will be right around the corner. So, poetry collections are a way to read, find some new favorite writers, and, most importantly, stay safe during the pandemic which is still going on.
1. Flux by Orion Carloto
Carloto was one of the first YouTubers I watched when I was younger and watching her writing and poetry grow has been nothing less than delightful. Her poetry is personal, beautiful, and will probably make you cry. It was an amazing debut and I look forward to her next collection, Film For Her, debuted on November 17th.
2. Black Movie by Danez Smith
Danez Smith is one of the best poets I've had the pleasure of reading. They use their writing as a call for change. They're angry but they use their poetry to show their anger and fear. It's heavy and raw and will have you marking down different poems and lines that strike a chord with you. A must-read.
3. Peluda by Melissa Lozada-Oliva
Melissa Lozada-Oliva is a master at creating poems and prose. Her live performances on ButtonPoetry always have a way of building up so many emotions for me. Her craft is well done and top-notch. I read this collection in one sitting then went back and read through it again, but slower. There's so much to unpack in her words that you just have to read through it more than once.
4. Life of the Party by Olivia Gatwood
One of my closest friends introduced me to Olivia Gatwood's work when I was a freshman in college. They showed me her performances on ButtonPoetry and let me borrow this specific collection. We even used her work for our week-long presentation on gender theory in literature. Gatwood's work is inspiring and all-around amazing.
5. If They Come For Us by Fatimah Asghar
Finally, Fatimah Asghar is by far one of my all-time favorite poets. I was introduced to her my senior year of high school and even had the pleasure of meeting her at the Dodge Poetry Festival in 2016. This collection delves into themes of race, culture, and sexuality. Asghar has some of the most incredible poems have ever read. Her bingo poem is one of the most memorable and unique poems I have ever read.