Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed the new-age poetry movement. Poetry formerly had a rap for being boring, confusing, hoity-toity, and not relatable. However, several poets are jumping on the new-age poetry bandwagon to address topics like drugs, rape, love, self-love, sex, divorce, heartbreak, war, etc. Milk & Honey’s Rupi Kaur certainly isn’t the first poet to address these topics in a modernized way; Ellen Hopkins is a YA poet who I’ve been reading for years; she writes about hard topic in free verse format and they’re extremely addicting! Recently, I’ve come across several other collections of poetry that are equally as captivating.
Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur has been gaining popularity fiercely and there’s no wondering why. First of all, the simplicity of the matte-black cover with a couple of hand-drawn bees is unique. Secondly, there’s illustrations in the book (her own illustrations!); who doesn’t love a picture book?! Furthermore, the poetry takes on real topics that numerous women can relate to. The book is divided into four sections:
- The Hurting
- The Loving
- The Breaking
- The Healing
Kaur takes you through a journey of molestation, abuse, a toxic relationship, heartbreak, self-love, love, and femininity. Every young woman can relate to something in the collection. Every. Single. Woman. The book has taken off and if you loved it as much as I did, I have a few recommendations that you’ll love as well.
The Good Braider
In spare free verse laced with unforgettable images, Viola’s strikingly original voice sings out the story of her family’s journey from war-torn Sudan, to Cairo, and finally to Portland, Maine. Here, in the sometimes too close embrace of the local Southern Sudanese Community, she dreams of South Sudan while she tries to navigate the strange world of America a world where a girl can wear a short skirt, get a tattoo or even date a boy; a world that puts her into sharp conflict with her traditional mother who, like Viola, is struggling to braid together the strands of a displaced life.
Terry Farish’s haunting novel is not only a riveting story of escape and survival, but the universal tale of a young immigrant’s struggle to build a life on the cusp of two cultures. (Goodreads)
This is one of my all time favorite books. It’s written by a local author (for me, at least) and not only refers to the struggles of a young woman, but also the struggles of a person enduring the war in Sudan, the struggles of a refugee trying to make sense of a new world. It’s INCREDIBLE. DO NOT HESITATE TO READ THIS BOOK!!
The Princess Saves Herself in This One
A poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. Explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations. (Goodreads)
Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately
In Alicia Cook’s second poetic effort, designed in the style of an old mixtape, she sets her thoughts to a nostalgic tune. There is no Table of Contents. Instead, there is a “Track List,” making it easy to refer to them to your friends with a, “Hey did you read track seven?!” There are no chapters. Instead, the book is divided into two parts, or as one would say in the 90’s, two “sides.” Side A holds poetry that touches on all aspects of the human condition like life, death, love, moving on, evolving, growing up, hometowns, family dynamic, life after trauma, and make-ups and breakups. Side B holds the “remixes” of these poems, in the form of blackout poetry, also known as “found poetry.” Side B gives the material a fresh twist by creating new poetry out of Side A. There is also a very special surprise at the end of each track. (Goodreads)
Whiskey Words & a Shovel
There’s three volumes currently published of Whiskey Words & a Shovel. Sin’s words focus on self-love, self-worth, relationships, perseverance, acceptance, heartbreak, pain and vulnerability; they’re all basically about human emotion. Although the volumes are labeled I, II & III, they books can stand on their own and be read in any order. A lot of the poems are short, but are provoking .
I loved these books and passed them along to my friends who have been ranting and raving about them as well. I’m happy to see girls, who typically wouldn’t step foot inside a book store, being excited about reading. The other review’s I read are either 5 stars or 1. I’ll admit, the books can be a bit repetitive; but any book that motivates people to read and promotes self-love is good by me!
Rest in the Mourning
By the same author as Whiskey Words & a Shovel, this was his debut book!
The calm before and after the storm. Rest in the Mourning is a steady and profound stream of conscious thoughts and emotion. Documenting unhealthy relationships and why the heart ends up in the hands of those deemed unworthy. It speaks to the heart’s ability to hold on to relationships that no longer deserve our energy as well as what happens when we are ready to let go. Rest in the Mourning is about self-care and self-love. (Amazon)
I’m endlessly amazed by the emotional punch that each and every one of these books deliver. These poets have a way of captivating and relating to millions of people through their concise, eloquent poetry. These new-age poetry collections described are just the ones I’ve read! I’ve done a bit of research and there are endless books similar to Milk & Honey. Although I can’t vouch for the following, here are a few more that I’ve found:
- The Chaos of Longing by K.Y. Robinson
- Diary of an Oxygen Thief by Anonymous
- Words that Kill by Vivid Vega
- I Wrote This For You by Iain S. Thomas
- Uncaged Wallflower by Jennae Cecelia