Poetry Books

Short and sweet poems and sonnets or lyrical and lengthy epics, sit back and relax while you enjoy the work of these wonderful wordsmiths.

A Blood Condition

A Blood Condition

Author: Kayo Chingonyi Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/04/2021

The moving, expansive, and dazzling second collection from award-winning poet Kayo Chingonyi Kayo Chingonyi's remarkable second collection follows the course of a 'blood condition' as it finds its way to deeply personal grounds. From the banks of the Zambezi river to London and Leeds, these poems speak to how distance and time, nations and history, can collapse within a body. With astonishing lyricism and musicality, this is a story of multiple inheritances -- of grief and survival, renewal and the painful process of letting go -- and a hymn to the people and places that run in our blood.

The Hill We Climb

The Hill We Climb

Author: Amanda Gorman Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/03/2021

On 20 January 2021, Amanda Gorman spoke a message of truth and hope to millions. Aged twenty-two, she delivered a poetry reading at the inauguration of US President Joe Biden. Her poem, 'The Hill We Climb', addressed the country and reached across the world: a call for a brave future. This special edition, which includes an enduring foreword by Oprah Winfrey, marks that poem and offers us courage, consolation and the inspiration to make change.

Eat Or We Both Starve

Eat Or We Both Starve

Author: Victoria Kennefick Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/03/2021

Shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2021. Victoria Kennefick's daring first book, Eat or We Both Starve, draws readers into seemingly recognisable set-pieces - the family home, the shared meal, the rituals of historical occasions, desire - but Kennefick forges this material into new shapes, making them viable again for exploring what it is to live with the past - and not to be consumed by it. Rebecca Goss writes: 'Victoria Kennefick writes with a fresh urgency, giving us poems that are honest and fearless. She once said: Poetry has saved my life, made my life. Reading and writing it have taught me bravery and discipline. Kennefick is unafraid to explore bereavement, sex and the female body in her poetry. She writes with a visceral originality. Her poems are rich with physical sensations. She is able to find beauty in the big subjects like sorrow and desire, offering us the finest, most startling details. Her identity as a young Irish woman is hugely important to her, something she explores with intelligence and candour. I have always felt there is nothing Victoria could not tackle. The scope in her work is exhilarating.'

Many Different Kinds of Love

Many Different Kinds of Love

Author: Michael Rosen Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/03/2021

Many Different Kinds of Love has the subtitle ‘A story of life, death and the NHS’. This book is a thank you to the NHS healthcare professionals and helpers who looked after Michael Rosen when he caught Covid-19 last year. These weren’t just doctors and nurses, but also speech & language therapists and physios, all working out of their own comfort zone to help on the frontline. Michael Rosen can’t describe most of his ICU experience, as he spent 48 days in an induced coma. But this diary of his hospital stay uses a mixture of poems, drawings, diaries and letters from hospital staff, family and friends to provide an honest account of what it feels like to care for someone with severe Covid. Michael Rosen talks about not just how he felt physically during his recovery and rehab, but emotionally too – revealing his frailty and fragility. He shows warmth and gratitude for the people who saved his life, and anger towards those who deny the seriousness of the pandemic. This book is full of raw emotion – sad, honest and thought-provoking, but also uplifting, heartwarming and enlightening. A joy to read!

Audiobooks of the Month
When I Think of My Body as a Horse

When I Think of My Body as a Horse

Author: Wendy Pratt Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2021

When I first read the title of this book, I was unsure what to expect. To my delight I discovered a collection of quite beautiful and extremely emotive poems. To analyse any would be to completely spoil the intense feeling that I had when I read them. Frequently I find poetry collections from a single poet rather disappointing as I will only engage with a few of them. Here, however, I found myself drawn in by the subject matter and beautifully evocative language of each individual poem. This is a book that I should like to own and to read and reread. I welcome the experience of discovering it. Val Rowe, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Empty Nest

Empty Nest

Author: Carol Ann Duffy Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/02/2021

'Duffy is magnificent, grounded, heartfelt, dedicated to the notion that poetry can give us the music of life itself' Scotsman In this stunning anthology Carol Ann Duffy has selected 99 poems exploring parenting. The special bond between parent and child is both powerful and unique. And yet there is a time when that bond must ease, where our grip on that dear one must loosen, when we must let them go whether we are ready to or not. In Empty Nest, a beautiful selection of modern and classic poems range along the tender line between parent and child, covering growing old, the deep love of a parent, the everyday of family life and leaving home to live an independent life, but also unthinkable grief, loss and estrangement. Some of our very favourite poets feature in the selection, such as Elizabeth Bishop, Jackie Kay, Simon Armitage, Shakespeare, Imtiaz Dharker, Seamus Heaney and Don Paterson. These poems are by turns wry, affecting, profound, melancholy and wise; they will console and comfort those suddenly facing a house that's much cleaner but also much quieter than it was. There is something here for every reader to treasure.

New Beginnings

New Beginnings

Author: Victoria Day-Joel Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/11/2020

In 'New Beginnings' Victoria Day-Joel chronicles some of the more important recent events in her life in verse. From finally meeting her 'man of the earth, mind of the universe' to looking for her 'home in the sun.....my new beginning' the poems describe the development of her relationship and the processes in her decision to move abroad in intimate and relatable detail. Each individual poem is followed by an eloquent explanation of the circumstances that gave rise to it. I really enjoyed the honesty and beauty of these verses and their imagery and I think readers will be left hoping that she successfully makes the move to Spain in the search for her spiritual home. Drena Irish, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Toy Soldiers

Toy Soldiers

Author: Amy Tollyfield Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/11/2020

‘Toy Soldiers’ is a short collection of 28 poems by Amy Tollyfield. There’s a wide variety of themes focused on in this collection and any poetry fan is bound to find a new piece to suit their mood.  I enjoyed how each poem flowed, had its own pace but there is a notable lyricism in the author’s writing that I found stayed consistently throughout. Throughout the collection I found that Tollyfield was able to craft poems that were immediately immersive and evocative. Each one left me pausing for a moment, contemplating the scene that had just been brought to life, before moving on to the next.  My favourite poem in the collection is ‘Gentle Rain’, there’s a cosiness and a comfort to it that sat very well with me, although I also found ‘Boudicca’ to have some powerful imagery too. I think that this is a great collection for fans of poetry. One that entices you back. I read this cover to cover then when skipping back to ponder over my favourites. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
The Historians

The Historians

Author: Eavan Boland Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/10/2020

A forceful and moving final volume from one of the most masterful poets of the twentieth century. Throughout her nearly sixty-year career, acclaimed poet Eavan Boland came to be known for her exquisite ability to weave myth, history, and the life of an ordinary woman into mesmerizing poetry. She was an essential voice in both feminist and Irish literature, praised for her 'edgy precision, an uncanny sympathy and warmth, an unsettling sense of history' ( J.D. McClatchy). Her final volume, The Historians, is the culmination of her signature themes, exploring the ways in which the hidden, sometimes all-but-erased stories of women's lives can powerfully revise our sense of the past. Two women burning letters in a back garden. A poet who died too young. A mother's parable to her daughter. Boland listens to women who have long had no agency in the way their stories were told; in the title poem, she writes: 'Say the word history: I see / your mother, mine. / ... Their hands are full of words.' Addressing Irish suffragettes in the final poem, Boland promises: 'We will not leave you behind', a promise that animates each poem in this radiant collection. These extraordinary, intimate narratives cling to the future through memory, anger, and love in ways that rebuke the official record we call history.

In a Time of Distance And Other Poems

In a Time of Distance And Other Poems

Author: Alexander McCall Smith Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/10/2020

Best known for his No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series, Alexander McCall Smith’s writing is nothing if not warm-hearted, charming and filled with the joys of friendship - themes and characteristics that are at the heart of this delightful poetry anthology. Being a book to treasure and return to through the year (and across years), this will make a wonderful gift for fans of his fiction - even those who don’t usually read poetry. With sections covering the likes of journeys, Scotland through the seasons, animals, love and longing, books and reading, and places - with contextualisation coming courtesy of the author’s personal anecdotes - many of the poems invite readers to slow down, to look, to see, to remember. To take-in “the simple facts of being”. Others take readers on evocative journeys - we stand beside the author as he observes Mumbai from his hotel room, and as he and a friend save an oak tree in Scotland. We sit beside him as his train pulls into Kings Cross, as he drives through Los Angeles, as he explores Kerala, South India, and rural Australia. And all of them inspire reflection, and an empathetic urge to take-in the world through the eyes of others.

The Lost Words Card Game

The Lost Words Card Game

Author: Thames & Kosmos Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/10/2020

A wonderful game for all the family, this really would make the most beautiful gift to celebrate the wonder of nature. Based on the best-selling book The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris this is a game for two to four players from the age of 8 and up. The Lost Words was one of our Books of the Year in 2017, and the more recent The Lost Spells is another LoveReading Star Book, these are books to celebrate and treasure. The card game has been created in conjunction with the authors, and is firmly embedded within the ideology found in the books. The cards are large (tarot size), feel luxurious to touch, and the pack contains the beautiful artwork of Jackie Morris (Nature Cards), spells of Robert Macfarlane (Spell Cards), and Special Cards which instruct an action, such as fishing for a Spell Card or sealing and protecting a completed pair. The aim of the game is to be the first player to place a matching Spell Card, on to all of your displayed Nature Cards. I would suggest you thoroughly read the instructions before starting, and perhaps form a few rules of your own, such as when you match a Spell and Nature Card, you read or chant or sing the spell! The game takes roughly 30 minutes, I was thoroughly beaten when playing for the first time. I would say there is a small amount of skill involved, but it is mostly down to the luck of the draw, which means all of the family can play together. The Lost Words Card Game would make the perfect stocking filler for Christmas, and comes with a celebratory thumbs up from me.  

Books of the Month
The Lost Spells

The Lost Spells

Author: Robert Macfarlane, Jackie Morris Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2020

A seriously beautiful, absolute treasure of a book which is just as magical and bewitching as its big sister The Lost Words. Read, chant, feel each spell-poem by Robert Macfarlane and sink into the artwork by Jackie Morris, each giving life to the other. I was haunting my postbox waiting for this to arrive, suitable for any age it would be the perfect present for any lover of our natural world. It isn’t in the slightest bit fluffy (as the barn owl declares), instead you’ll find the most vibrantly real and alive book awaits you. Jackie Morris and Robert Macfarlane make the most wonderful combination of words and pictures together, each part without the other would be lost, together they just create magic. The fox, both city and countryside dweller is the perfect start, the jackdaw leapt into my heart and was conjured in front of me, while the last spell sent a shiver skittering down my arms. This is a book to tell your friends about, I’ve read the poems to family and friends and I will be thrilled when I see it on their bookshelves. Yes, of course I adored it, once again I have lost my heart to a creation of the team behind The Lost Words. It just had to be one of my picks of the month, and a LoveReading star book too, it really is that gorgeous.

Star Books