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Poetry Books For 20 Year Olds That Will Change Your Life

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poetry collections

Poetry can be raw, emotional, lyrical and more. I’ve found the more I read poetry, the more my mind becomes a more thoughtful, emotionally aware and creative space. 

Not to mention, some poets bring striking commentary on social issues or raise awareness about misrepresented and underrepresented topics. If that’s not enough to convince you to turn some chapbook pages, perhaps this might: It’s fun! The readings are shorter and in my opinion, more exciting than fiction and nonfiction sometimes. So, I’ve compiled a list of 20 poetry collections every 20-something should read.

There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker

poetry collections

Bright Dead Things by Ada Limón

poetry collections

American Sonnets for my Past and Future Assassin by Terrance Hayes

poetry collections

How to Love the World by James Crews

poetry collections

Magical Negro by Morgan Parker

poetry collections

My Baby First Birthday by Jenny Zhang

poetry collection

Lessons on Expulsion by Erika Sánchez

poetry books

Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

Night Sky With Exit Wounds

A Twelve Step Guide by Jason Bredle

A twelve step guide

If They Come For Us by Fatimah Asghar

If they come for us

Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith

Don't Call Us Dead

Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay

Catalog of unabashed gratitude

This Clumsy Living by Bob Hicok

This Clumsy Life

Blowout by Denise Duhamel


The Dottery by Kirsten Kaschock

The Dottery

Other Worlds by Albert Goldbarth

poetry collections

Bestiary by Donika Kelly


Good Stock Strange Blood by Dawn Martin

Good stock strange blood

Exit Pastoral by Aidan Forster

Exit Pastoral

Heart Talk by Cleo Wade

Poetry collections

Which of these poetry collections are you going to read next? Are there any poetry collections we missed that we should cover in a list next time? Let us know in the comment section below!

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