A flatlay of must-read poetry collections set against a navy blue background.
Reading lists

The best poetry collections of 2021 so far

From debut works about grief, mental health and global diasporas to long-overdue anthologies by poetry icons, here are some of the year’s best books of verse.

It was once a cliché that poetry was an inaccessible medium, shielded in ivory towers of academia or banished to decades-old school textbooks. But there’s arguably never been a better time to reacquaint yourself with the pleasures of the artform.

In recent years, a new generation of poets have reminded readers why the medium remains as vibrant as ever, and 2021 has been no exception: this year, a host of brilliant poets have brought it to life on London estates, at inauguration podiums, in Covid hospital rooms and on West Country roads.

Whether you’re a master of verse or looking to jump in for the first time, there’s something for you in our roundup below of the must-read poetry collections making waves this year.

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Image: Alicia Fernandes/Penguin

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