Why buy

Just a reminder if you’re shopping this weekend that poetry books make beautiful gifts. Some nice sales, some good reasons…

The Poetry Lab has an awesome list of poetic craft books on Bookshop.org (free shipping through 11/28/2022)

Milkweed Editions (free shipping from Open Books in Minneapolis via Bookshop)

Transom Bookshop (a local independent bookstore, just across the river from me) created a “yes, you DO like poetry” list (free shipping through 11/28/2022)

Black Lawrence Press is having a sale on its backlist—so much lovely poetry here

Elsewhere Editions holiday sale (not poetry, but gorgeous international children’s books from publishers who know poetry)

The top 20 reasons to give poetry books as gifts

20 – Won’t go out of fashion (because it isn’t fashionable to begin with).

19 – They probably don’t already have it.

18 – Everyone needs more poetry!

17 – Shows that you think of them as extremely intelligent, emotionally sensitive, and spiritually evolved people.

16 – Makes you seem quite intelligent, emotionally sensitive, and spiritually evolved.

15 – Non-perishable.

14 – Cheaper than a great bottle of wine.

13 – Invites reading lines aloud (i.e., more fun at a party than a bottle of wine).

12 – Re-giftable (even after they enjoy it).

11 – Unexpected gifts are the best.

10 – So that your friends can’t say they “don’t get” poetry, because, um, they just got it (get it?).

9 – No one else is getting it for them. You’re the cool friend who knows that they secretly LOVE poetry.

8 – Maybe they will give you a poetry book, too!

7 – Easier and less potentially embarrassing than writing them a poem yourself.

6 – Bargain! You could pay $4.79 for one lackluster poem in a greeting card, or about 35 cents per poem in an award-winning collection.

5 – So you can skip getting them a greeting card.

4 – Media-rate postage is cheap, and you get a tracking number, so you know they received it.

3 – Easy to wrap these slim rectangles of bliss.

2 – A very pretty gift! Poetry collections have the most beautiful covers. Just tie a ribbon around, which can serve as a lovely bookmark.


1 – Poetry is purified love, distilled from language, breath, and deep longing. Who could imagine a more loving and sincere gift?

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