Reading list

11 poetry books to look forward to in 2017

To celebrate National Poetry Day, we're looking forward to some of the books of 2017 (and a few late 2016 entries) that we can't wait to get our hands on.


1. Penguin Modern Poets Two

The Penguin Modern Poets series highlights some of the most exciting voices of our age. This second volume features Michael Robbins, Patricia Lockwood and Timothy Thornton.

Available 27 October 2016

2. Float by Anne Carson

New from Anne Carson comes this collection of 12 booklets, which can be read in any order. Each configuration brings with it a new choir of voices, a new time structure, an abandonment of structure. A funny, emotional and intellectual contribution from a much-loved poet.

Available 27 October 2016

3. Poetry by Heart 

Revisit the pleasure of poetry out loud with this collection of over 200 poems, ranging from the Old English of Chaucer to the contemporary vernacular of Zephaniah.

Available 3 November 2016

4. The Abandoned Settlements by James Sheard

James Sheard brings together the ephemeral nature of human emotion with the indisputable tangibility of our world, pitting the echoes of loss against the structures in which we build our lives.

Available 5 January 2017

5. Unreconciled by Michel Houllebecq

This collection spans 21 years of work, covering everything from love to globalisation. Houllebecq's work is characterised by its hints of hope, even as it exposes the faultlines in our divided world.

Available 12 January 2017

6. Penguin Modern Poets Three

This third, and highly anticipated, instalment in the Penguin Modern Poets series, entitled Your Family, Your Body, features the work of Malika Booker, the Guyanese-British writer and performer behind London- and Chicago-based collective Malika's Kitchen; the Pulitzer Prize-winning Sharon Olds, one of America's most brilliant, beloved and candid voices; and Warsan Shire, the award-winning poet and first ever Young Poetry Laureate of London who also lent her words to Beyoncé's visual album Lemonade.

Available 26 January 2017

7. A Herring Famine by Adam O'Riordan

This is a collection full of tensions: abundance and famine; endings and beginnings; presence and absence. The second book from a clever, elegant and emotionally potent writer.

Available 2 February 2017

8. Still Life with Feeding Snake by John Burnside

John Burnside captures the times and spaces that exist on the edge in his latest book. Each poem is an essay in still life and a memento mori, illuminating transient experience with a profound clarity and a charged, sensual beauty.

Available 2 Feburary 2017

8. Don't Let Me Be Lonely by Claudia Rankine

Written during George W. Bush's presidency in an America still reeling from the 9/11 attacks and charging headlong into war in Iraq, this is an early 21st-century work of great wit, intelligence and depth of feeling, with urgent lessons for the present. An earlier example of the 'American Lyric' style, combining essay, verse and photography, that made Citizen such a captivating read.

Available 2 February 2017

8. The Zoo of the New 

Nick Laird and Don Paterson, two of our most beloved living poets, bring together an anthology for our times, taking in everything from familiar works by Shakespeare and Eliot, to undiscovered voices, poetry in translation and verse taken from oral traditions. This collection will alter the way you think about poetry.

Available 2 March 2017

9. Penguin's Poems for Weddings

A wonderfully varied anthology of love poems. You'll find endless inspiration for readings here. Whether your audience will appreciate the classic sentiment of a Shakespearean sonnet or the wry observational style fo Carol Ann Duffy, you'll be well prepared for wedding season.

Available 2 March 2017

10. Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

A remarkable debut by a young Vietnamese-American writer, this is a book steeped in war and cultural upheaval. Vuong writes about the most profound subjects – love and loss, conflict, grief, memory and desire – and attends to them all with lines that feel brand new.

Available 4 May 2017

11. Angel Hill by Michael Longley

Michael Longley employs the eye of an artist to transport us to the landscapes of his home in County Mayo, and bring us visions painted in vivid shapes and colours.

Available 1 June 2017

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