1. Brown by Kevin Young
Keen-eyed Kevin Young is the poetry editor of The New Yorker. His latest piece, Brown, centers around aspects of the color brown and all that is reminiscent of it, from politics to history, culture, and the musty interior of a Salvation Army store. His poem “Money Road” weaves an illustration of nostalgia among a decaying socioeconomic landscape and can be previewed here.

2. Take Me With You by Andrea Gibson

Fans of poetry and not-regular-readers alike will inevitably find their hearts entangled with revere for Andrea Gibson’s Take Me With You. An easy but no less poignant and wonderfully quotable read, Gibson’s messages on love, family, sexuality, gender, and forgiveness combined with the line drawings of artist Sarah J. Coleman will guide you towards healing whatever it is that may ail your heart.

3. Wade in the Water by Tracy K. Smith

A darker, but important read, poet laureate Tracy K. Smith’s Wade in the Water fearlessly and viscerally addresses themes of violence and injustice, both on the personal and wider political levels.

4. Sticky Notes by Indy Yelich

Sticky Notes by Indy Yelich (pop-singer Lorde’s little sister!) is the perfect company for staying indoors during those sporadic summer thunderstorms. From love to politics to adjusting to the delightfully tumultuous hubbub of New York City, Yelich shows what it means to be on the cusp of youth and adulthood in this political age.

5. Eye Level by Jenny Xie

Eye Level by Jenny Xie is Xie’s first published collection and was awarded the 2017 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets. Xie’s carefully and creatively selected word choices cut deep into an exploration of the self and the world. Those who consider themselves to be poets will be especially inspired by Xie’s refreshing style.

6. The Breakbeat Poets, Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic by Mahogany L. Browne, Idrissa Simmonds, and Jamila Woods

This must-read anthology waxes unapologetically about all aspects of black girlhood and womanhood. From the more nostalgic, empowering, and homey details of styling hair to the very real confrontations of police brutality, this collection is essential reading and unbreakable magic through and through.