Poetry Month Listens that Bring It

This April marks the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Month! Started in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, Poetry Month reminds us that poetry is alive—and available to everyone. Bridging the space between the written word, performance, and song, there’s something uniquely wonderful about hearing poets read their own work. In this spirit, we’re celebrating National Poetry Month with audiobooks that bring the intimacy and power of verse to you, wherever you are.

On Inauguration Day, January 20, 2021, Amanda Gorman took the stage after the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden, and captivated the nation with her poem “The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country.” The Hill We Climb can now be cherished in this special audiobook, with a foreword by Oprah Winfrey.

Author: Mary Oliver
Read By: Mary Oliver

A New York Times bestselling collection of favorite poems. Beloved by her fans, Oliver’s dog poems offer a special window into her world. In Dog Songs she offers portraits of the companions that have accompanied her daily walks, warmed her home, and inspired her work—opening our eyes to the lessons of the moment.

In God I Feel Modern Tonight, Catherine Cohen reads her poems of heartbreak, self-critique, urban adventures, and love on the road. In these short, captivating lyrics, this one-woman stand-up chanteuse ponders guys who call you “dude” after sex, true love during the pandemic, and English-major dreams.

Author: Marge Piercy
Read By: Marge Piercy

A bountiful group of poems—direct, honest, and revelatory—that reflect on language, nature, old age, young love, Judaism, and our current politics. On the Way Out, Turn Off the Light is yet more proof of Piercy’s love and mastery of language—it is moving, stimulating, funny, and full of the stuff of life.

Author: Ruth Padel
Read By: Ruth Padel

Ruth Padel’s new sequence of poems, in four movements, is a personal voyage through the life and legend of one of the world’s greatest composers. In Beethoven Variations, she uncovers the man behind the music.

In Mister Toebones, the award-winning poet Brooks Haxton turns a searching gaze toward the shared habitat and intertwined fates of man and animal. He looks back and forward in time, down at the soil, up at the stars, and deeply into his personal relationships. Note this audio production is read by award-winning narrator Edoardo Ballerini.

The Math Campers is a father and husband’s meditation on love, adolescence, and the mysterious mechanisms of poetic creation. The poet’s art is revealed in stages in this “making-of” audiobook, where we listen as poems take shape—first as dreams or memories, then as drafts, and finally as completed works set loose on the world.

Author: Jasmine Mans
Read By: Jasmine Mans

From spoken word poet Jasmine Mans comes an unforgettable poetry collection on audio about race, feminism, and queer identity. With echoes of Gwendolyn Brooks and Sonia Sanchez, Black Girl, Call Home is a vital companion to any woman on a journey to find truth, belonging, and healing.

In Little Big Bully, renowned Native poet Heid E. Erdrich applies her rich inventive voice and fierce wit to the deforming effects of harassment and oppression. These poems are immediate, personal, political, cultural, even futuristic object lessons. Here, survivors shout back.

Finna is Nate Marshall’s sharp, lyrical poetry collection celebrating the Black vernacular—its influence on pop culture, its necessity for familial survival, its rite in storytelling and in creating the safety found only within its intimacy.

I Had a Brother Once is a brilliant, genre-defying work—both memoir and epic poem—about the struggle for wisdom, grace, and ritual in the face of unspeakable loss.

Hooked on meter? Browse our Poetry on Audio collection.