Now more than ever, poetry is a tool that connects us, inspires us, and heals us in the face of uncertainty and fear. So while you’re social distancing at home, try something new this April and celebrate National Poetry Month by reading a book of poems, sharing a poem a day with a loved one, or learning more about this written form.

Below is a list of poetry books available at our library through our Curbside Pickup service or digitally through the Libby app. Let us know what poems are getting you through the Coronavirus pandemic with hope, strength, and solace. We miss you!

An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo, Poet Laureate of the United States

In the early 1800s, the Mvskoke people were forcibly removed from their original lands east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory, which is now part of Oklahoma. Two hundred years later, Joy Harjo returns to her family’s lands and opens a dialogue with history. In An American Sunrise, Harjo finds blessings in the abundance of her homeland and confronts the site where her people, and other indigenous families, essentially disappeared. Joy Har­jo, the 23rd Poet Lau­re­ate of the Unit­ed States, is a mem­ber of the Mvskoke Nation and belongs to Oce Vpofv (Hick­o­ry Ground).

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Nebraska by Kwame Dawes

Kwame Dawes is not a native Nebraskan. Born in Ghana, he later moved to Jamaica, where he spent most of his childhood and early adulthood. In 1992 he relocated to the United States and eventually found himself an American living in Lincoln, Nebraska. In Nebraska, Dawes explores the intersection of memory, home, and artistic invention. The poems are set against the backdrop of Nebraska’s discrete cycle of seasons. While he shovels snow or walks in the bitter cold to his car, he is engulfed with memories of Kingston, yet when he travels, he finds himself longing for the open space of the plains and the first snowfall. With a strong sense of place and haunting memories, Dawes grapples with life in Nebraska as a transplant.

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She Walks in Beauty: A Woman’s Journey Through Poems edited by Caroline Kennedy

Inspired by her own reflections on more than fifty years of life as a young girl, a woman, a wife, and a mother, She Walks in Beauty draws on poetry’s eloquent wisdom to ponder the many joys and challenges of being a woman. Whether it’s falling in love, breaking up, friendship, marriage, motherhood, or growing old, She Walks in Beauty is a priceless resource for anyone, male or female, who wants a deeper understanding and appreciation of what it means to be a woman.

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Dog Songs by Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver’s Dog Songs is a celebration of the special bond between human and dog, as understood through the poet’s relationship to the canines that have accompanied her daily walks, warmed her home, and inspired her work. Oliver’s poems begin in the small everyday moments familiar to all dog lovers, but through her extraordinary vision these observations become higher meditations on the world and our place in it. Throughout, the many dogs of Oliver’s life emerge as fellow travelers and guides, uniquely able to open our eyes to the lessons of the moment and the joys of nature and connection.

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Carrying Water to the Field by Joyce Sutpen

Joyce Sutphen’s evocations of life on a small farm, coming of age in the late 1960s, and traveling and searching for balance in a very modern world are both deeply personal and familiar. Readers from Maine to Minnesota and beyond will recognize themselves, their parents, aunts and uncles, and neighbors in these poems, which move us from delight in keen description toward something like wisdom or solace in the things of this world. Sutpen was named Minnesota’s State Poet Laureate in 2011.

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All book descriptions were borrowed from Goodreads.com.

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