Contemporary Poetry You Should Check Out

In the last year or two, contemporary poetry has really started to make a resurgence. You may have seen little snapshots on Instagram, with excerpts from various popular poetry books. Each little poem is incredibly personal to the reader, paired with a thoughtful caption, and it seems as though many more people have found a new way to connect through poetry. In many cases, the author uses their book as a way to navigate their own feelings (an experience many can find themselves relating to), so it makes sense as to why contemporary poetry has more recently garnered a large audience. If you have even the slightest of interest, or maybe you’re looking for something different to check out, here are some suggestions to hopefully steer you towards something new and exciting.


milk and honey

An international phenomenon, milk and honey by Rupi Kaur (a fellow Canadian!) explores topics such as love, loss, abuse and femininity. Divided into four chapters, Kaur takes us on a journey through her healing process, accompanied with her own beautiful illustrations.


“Wow. Rupi Kaur really touched me deeply with this incredible work of art. Her words of truth and honesty are so powerful and so full of emotion, I can't imagine anyone's eyes staying dry while reading it.” -Kai from Goodreads





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Whiskey Words And A Shovel

Out of all the collections on this list, Whiskey Words And A Shovel by R. H. Sin has to be my personal favorite. This book chronicles Sin’s past relationships, traumas and heartbreak, leading up to the point where he meets his wife. The verses are incredibly blunt, but phrased in such a way that I found myself being able to connect and relate to a lot of what his poetry explored.

“I deeply enjoy poetry and am quite new to reading poetry as well. I like the concept of writing all of your feelings on paper. Coping by turning an art out of words. This book graciously explains art in word form, and also is very touching. If you are going through tough times and want to cope by reading a book, I would recommend. To understand this book in a really connecting way I feel you have to have gone through some milestones in your life. I like it, R.H is one of the best poets out there. And it broke and mended my heart reading this.” - yt_rhi from Goodreads





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Love & Misadventure

Lang Leav brings us a chilling journey, one that follows her through the initial butterflies of being in love, its blissful euphoria and the eventual downfall. However, throughout all of this she manages to instill this everlasting hope through the words she so artfully graces the pages with. Love & Misadventure is a great collection for anyone who enjoys a simplistic read, as Leav doesn't boast any intricate or ornamental wordplay; she allows the reader to make their own connections.


“I've been reading this off and on for the longest time, but I finally made my way through the collection! I'll admit, I don't really know how to review poetry. I enjoyed this collection immensely and I definitely have the desire to pick up more works by Lang Leav. I think she depicted love in an excellent way, showcasing the good, the bad, & the straight up ugly.” -JesseTheReader from Goodreads





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Yrsa Daley-Ward uses bone to tackle a range of complex topics: from religion to growing up as a first generation black British woman, Daley-Ward isn’t afraid to bear it all, and doesn’t shy away from doing so. Her words are incredibly raw with emotion and detail her journey through life and all of its hardships. This is for those who may need a break from all the lovey-dovey, starry-eyed poetry.


“Beautifully written and heartbreaking. I didn't connect with every poem, but there were a few that really hit home for me. Overall I think it's a powerful collection that's definitely worth the read.” -Hannah from Goodreads



Poetry is no longer just something your high school English teacher glosses over because they know most of the class won't be paying attention anyway; it’s now a more popular and mainstream tool many young people are using to navigate feelings they may not even understand. When someone has so artfully pieced together the inner workings of your mind, that, “Oh, this all makes sense now” moment can be incredibly comforting. Even if you’ve never considered going into the realm of poetry, or even if you don't read at all, this might be the the perfect time to start.