5 Poetry Books You NEED To Read In College

Last year was my freshman year of college. I was excited, but very nervous to start this new chapter in my life. The summer before move in day, my close friend and I took a trip to Barnes & Noble. She took me to the poetry section of the store and raved about how much she loved reading and writing poetry. We picked up a few books together and she convinced me I would love them. She was right. Ever since then I've been buying and reading as many as I can get my hands on. 

I think poetry is light reading, but a few lines can have so much meaning behind it. It's also relatable, and some of these books have helped me through hard times (like breakups for example) that I've experienced while in college. I want to share my top 5 favorite poetry books I've been reading and hopefully spark your interest into buying one of them. 

1. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur


Okay, so I know this book has not been the internet's favorite because of all the memes that surfaced on Twitter about it. To be honest, I had been putting off reading it because I thought I would be disappointed based off of what I saw on Twitter. I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, this book does have some extremely short poems, but it's the way the author, Rupi Kaur, placed the shorter poems after longer ones to make sure the shorter ones still impact you. This book also covers a lot of different difficult experiences. Some for example being love, abuse, and healing. It talks about things most poetry books don't. I can see why it is a New York Times Bestseller. I think this is definitely a must read for college-aged women.

2. Whiskey Words & A Shovel I by R.H. Sin

This is easily one of my favorite poetry books. I am quite the hopeless romantic and this book encapsulates that. These poems walk you through the heartbreak of someone not loving you the way you love them, but not being able to let go of them. It ends beautifully with the author thanking his current love for being there for him and the journey he had while beginning to fall for someone new. Almost every other page in my book has a corner folded over because the poems are so good. I read this after I had a small heartbreak, and I'm not going to lie, I cried a lot. Sin has plenty of other books out that I am so excited to read. If you feel like getting emotional, this is the book for you.

3. Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet

Michael Faudet and his girlfriend, Lang Leav, have written books and poems dedicated to each other. They are both extremely talented poets and have numerous poetry books out. I believe this is Faudet's first book. There are short, one line poems, but they have great analogies that make you imagine what he is writing about in your head. This is a very romantic book because it was written for Leav. Most of the poems fit on one page, but they leave you lingering for a bit after. His longer poems that take up more pages typically have some dialog. It feels like you're being transported into his experiences. It's a beautiful book that I highly recommend wether you are in love or not. 

4. Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav

This book is split into three parts titled Misadventure, The Circus of Sorrows, and Love. The illustrations you see in the book were done by Leav herself. Again, this book is dedicated to Faudet. The poems in here are all about the same length. This is one of my favorites on this list because she writes with a lot of rhymes. Most of the other books on this list don't rhyme at all. When I was little and thought of poetry, I always associated it with rhyming. All the poems in this book flow nicely and I'm excited to read more of Leav's books.

5. It Shouldn't Have Been Beautiful by Lia Purpura

Unfortunately, I don't have this book with me because it is at home, but I thought I should still put it on this list. Purpura writes about more than just love in this book. It has poems that talk about the outside world and it's beauty as well as more compelling ideas like memory and time. It's a harder read than the other four books on this list because the meaning behind the poems isn't always made clear. I'm not a poetry expert, so it was challenging, but her poems made me stop and think. 

This concludes my list for the top five poetry books you need to read in college. I hope at least one of these books interested you enough to pick up. Happy reading!