Poetry for the Pandemic to Help Fight Quarantine Blues

Hello friends. I hope you are all doing well and taking care of yourselves! I don’t know about you, but my reading life has certainly changed with quarantine. Some people are reading more than ever, but that’s not true for everyone! Certainly not for me. However, I have been reading one thing: poetry. And I’ve got some poetry for the pandemic to help you fight your own quarantine blues!

Over the past few months, I’ve barely been able to read anything. I’m an anxious person on the best of days, and dealing with my mental health and ADHD in the wake of a global crisis is not helping. Not only so, but I’ve been trying to do schoolwork because I’m a graduate student! Needless to say, it’s been, and is, a very stressful time. I’m usually a big fiction and feminist nonfiction reader, but lately I’ve only been able to read poetry. Perhaps because the books are smaller, pages shorter; there’s less commitment. Or maybe because they help me deal with my own emotions. I don’t know! But I do love them.

Today I’ve compiled a list of some of my favourite poetry collections for the pandemic that I’ve returned to or discovered over the past couple of months. Something in them resonated with me and I want to share them with you!

Break your glass slippers by Amanda Lovelace

Paperback, 160 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
I was sent a copy of this by the author! Squee!

This is the latest offering by my favourite contemporary poet, Amanda Lovelace. She is the author of the women are some kind of magic series, and this is the first book in her new series, you are your own fairytale. I read this one right before the pandemic really hit. I took it with me to the library and read it all in one sitting. It was such a joy, as usual!

Aphrodite made me do it by Trista Mateer

Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Central Avenue Publishing
I was sent a copy by the publisher.

This poetry collection beautiful with some mixed media in full colour! There are photos, handwritten poems, drawings. It’s amazing! I love a good feminist poetry collection (especially if queer—holla!) and this was perfect. It also has glossy pages. I love glossy pages. 

When the stars wrote me back by Trista Mateer

Hardcover, 208 pages
Published June 2nd 2020 by Random House Books for Young Reader

This is Mateer’s latest! It was a lovely surprise the first week of June—you see, I forgot I had pre-ordered it so when it arrived, I was extra pumped! Similar to Aphrodite made me do it, there is a mixed media element to this collection! Mateer seems to be doing more experimenting with digital art and it’s beautiful. Her last two collections were a little more my speed, but I still loved this one!

Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur

Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Andrews McMeel (first published November 4th 2014)

I know when it comes to contemporary poetry, Rupi Kaur is ubiquitous. But it’s for good reason! Amanda Lovelace got me back into poetry, and Kaur was the next poet I picked up. I have a vivid memory of reading this collection in a cafe when I was on a trip to California (oh how I miss trips #firstworldproblems). This collection is simple and beautiful and worth the read, if you haven’t aready.

A handful of stars by Ruby Dahl

Paperback, 206 pages
Published September 7th 2018 by Monarch Publishing, LLC

I came across this poet on Instagram and fell in love pretty quickly. I knew the next time I picked up a new book it had to be this one. So, when I was rewarding myself for keeping up with my routine (yay newbie ADHDer rewards), I ordered myself a copy. I was not disappointed.

Born to love, cursed to feel by Samantha King

Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 27th 2016 by Andrews McMeel Publishing

I bought this one a few years ago but somehow never got around to reading it. Since I was rereading seemingly all the poetry collections I own, I thought I would finally give this one a go. As the title suggests, this collection is written by and for someone who feels things deeply. And as an ADHDer and highly sensitive person… that’s me. I really enjoyed the feeling in this one.

River woman by Katherena Vermette

Paperback, 112 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by House of Anansi Press

My sweet, sweet best friend had this sent to me from a local indie shop. Obviously touched, I started reading it right away. While different than my usual fare, I really enjoyed it. This collection is by popular Métis poet and author Katherena Vermette, a fellow Canadian. My favourite line from the collection is, “she is the healing/ not the hurt/she is the knowing/not unknown.” Fucking stunning.

In a dream you saw a way to survive by Clementine von Radics

Paperback, 83 pages
Published April 9th 2019 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
I was sent a copy by the publisher.

This collection is so good. I’ve read it about a hundred times now. As the title suggests, a lot of it has to do with perseverance and surviving anyway you know how, and that has been perfect for me in this season of my life or whatever. Love it.

This is the journey by Allison Malee

Paperback, 144 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
I was sent a copy by the publisher.

Similarly to In a dream you saw a way to survive, this collection is hopeful and about strength. Especially about finding strength where you are now in this moment. Pick it up! Do it!

Wild embers by Nikita Gill

Paperback, 150 pages
Published November 16th 2017 by Trapeze

I grabbed a copy of this a couple years ago in NYC when I was at Book Expo. Nikita was on a panel with Amanda Lovelace and Trista Mateer, two poets I love, so I knew I had to check her out! I was not disappointed. You won’t be, either!

Noctural by wilder poetry

Paperback, 176 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Andrews McMeel Publishing (first published June 28th 2018)

I was sent a copy by the publisher.

This has become one of my all-time favourites, I think. I’m obsessed with it. I’m so glad the publisher sent a copy my way. I immediately followed the poet on Instagram and they have filled my feed with joy ever since. I can’t recommend this one enough!

Between you & these bones by F.D. Soul

Paperback, 192 pages
Published May 14th 2019 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
I was sent a copy by the publisher.

If you’ve read or enjoyed any of these poets, you’ll like this collection, too! In the same vein as many instagram poets, F.D. Soul accompanies short poems with beautiful drawings. You won’t want to miss it.

Take Me with You by Andrea Gibson

Paperback, 200 pages
Published January 23rd 2018 by Plume Books
I was sent a copy by the publisher.

If you are looking for something feminist, awesome, and queer, look no further than Andrea Gibson. In this collection, they write all gender, sexuality, life, forgiveness, all that good stuff. It’s such a good book! And it’s cute and pocket sized.

What have you been reading? What poetry collections would you recommend? Want to support yours truly? Consider “buying” me “a coffee” on Ko-fi or by using my affiliate links!