The Best Poetry Books of 2016 (A Year-End List Aggregation)

The Best Poetry Books of 2016

“What are the best Poetry Books of 2016?” We aggregated 28 year-end lists and ranked the 273 unique titles by how many times they appeared in an attempt to answer that very question!

There are thousands of year-end lists released every year and, like we do in our weekly Best Book articles, we wanted to see which books appear on them the most. We used 28 lists and found 273 unique titles. The top 16 books, all appearing on 3 or more lists, are below with images, summaries, and links for learning more or purchasing. The remaining books, along with the articles we used, can be found at the bottom of the page.

Be sure to check out our other Best Book of the year lists:

And if you want to see how they compare to last year, take a look at the 2015 lists as well!

Happy Scrolling!


The Top Poetry Books of 2016

16 .) Blackacre by Monica Youn

Lists It Appears On:

  • Entropy
  • MPR News
  • Buzzfeed Books

“Blackacre” is a centuries-old legal fiction―a placeholder name for a hypothetical estate. Treacherously lush or alluringly bleak, these poems reframe their subjects as landscape, as legacy―a bereavement, an intimacy, a racial identity, a pubescence, a culpability, a diagnosis. With a surveyor’s keenest tools, Youn marks the boundaries of the given, what we have been allotted: acreage that has been ruthlessly fenced, previously tenanted, ploughed and harvested, enriched and depleted. In the title sequence, the poet gleans a second crop from the field of Milton’s great sonnet on his blindness: a lyric meditation on her barrenness, on her own desire―her own struggle―to conceive a child. What happens when the transformative imagination comes up against the limits of unalterable fact?

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15 .) Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems, 1995-2015 by Kevin Young

Lists It Appears On:

  • Entropy
  • Washington Post
  • Boston Globe

Blue Laws gathers poems written over the past two decades, drawing from all nine of Kevin Young’s previously published books of poetry and including a number of uncollected, often unpublished, poems. From his stunning lyric debut (Most Way Home, 1995) and the amazing “double album” life of Jean-Michel Basquiat (2001, “remixed” for Knopf in 2005), through his brokenhearted Jelly Roll: A Blues (2003) and his recent forays into adult grief and the joys of birth in Dear Darkness (2008) and Book of Hours (2014), this collection provides a grand tour of a poet whose personal poems and political poems are equally riveting.

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14 .) House of Lords and Commons by Ishion Hutchinson

Lists It Appears On:

  • NY Times
  • Library Journal
  • The New Yorker

“In House of Lords and Commons, the revelatory and vital new collection of poems from the winner of the 2013 Whiting Writers’ Award in poetry, Ishion Hutchinson returns to the difficult beauty of the Jamaican landscape with remarkable lyric precision. Here, the poet holds his world in full focus but at an astonishing angle: from the violence of the seventeenth-century English Civil War as refracted through a mythic sea wanderer, right down to the dark interior of love.

These poems arrange the contemporary continuum of home and abroad into a wonderment of cracked narrative sequences and tumultuous personae. With ears tuned to the vernacular, the collection vividly binds us to what is terrifying about happiness, loss, and the lure of the sea. House of Lords and Commons testifies to the particular courage it takes to wade unsettled, uncertain, and unfettered in the wake of our shared human experience.”

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13 .) Sunshine by Melissa Lee-Houghton

Lists It Appears On:

  • The Guardian
  • Five Books
  • Bustle

Sunshine is the new collection from Next Generation Poet Melissa Lee-Houghton. A writer of startling confession, her poems inhabit the lonely hotel rooms, psych wards and deserted lanes of austerity Britain.Sunshine combines acute social observation with a dark, surreal humour born of first-hand experience. Abuse, addiction and mental health are all subject to Lee-Houghton’s poetic eye. But these are also poems of extravagance, hope and desire, that stake new ground for the Romantic lyric in an age of social media and internet porn. In this new book of poems, Melissa Lee-Houghton shines a light on human ecstasy and sadness with blinding precision.

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12 .) The Black Maria by Aracelis Girmay

Lists It Appears On:

  • Publishers Weekly
  • Boston Globe
  • Chicago Review of Books

Taking its name from the moon’s dark plains, misidentified as seas by early astronomers, the black maria investigates African diasporic histories, the consequences of racism within American culture, and the question of human identity. Central to this project is a desire to recognize the lives of Eritrean refugees who have been made invisible by years of immigration crisis, refugee status, exile, and resulting statelessness. The recipient of a 2015 Whiting Award for Poetry, Girmay’s newest collection elegizes and celebrates life, while wrestling with the humanistic notion of seeing beyond: seeing violence, seeing grace, and seeing each other better.

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11 .) Bestiary by Donika Kelly

Lists It Appears On:

  • MPR News
  • Buzzfeed Books
  • The Undefeated
  • Bustle

Across this remarkable first book are encounters with animals, legendary beasts, and mythological monsters–half human and half something else. Donika Kelly’s Bestiary is a catalogue of creatures–from the whale and ostrich to the pegasus and chimera to the centaur and griffin. Among them too are poems of love, self-discovery, and travel, from “Out West” to “Back East.” Lurking in the middle of this powerful and multifaceted collection is a wrenching sequence that wonders just who or what is the real monster inside this life of survival and reflection. Selected and with an introduction by the National Book Award winner Nikky Finney, Bestiary questions what makes us human, what makes us whole.

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10 .) Float by Anne Carson

Lists It Appears On:

  • Entropy
  • NPR
  • CBA
  • Financial Times

Anne Carson consistently dazzles with her inventive, shape-shifting work and the vividness of her imagination. Float reaches an even greater level of brilliance and surprise. Presented in an arrestingly original format–individual chapbooks that can be read in any order, and that float inside a transparent case–this collection conjures a mix of voices, time periods, and structures to explore what makes people, memories, and stories “maddeningly attractive” when observed in spaces that are suggestively in-between.

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9 .) Odes by Sharon Olds

Lists It Appears On:

  • The Guardian
  • Good Books Guide
  • Boston Globe
  • Buzzfeed Books

Following the Pulitzer prize-winning collection Stag’s Leap, Sharon Olds gives us a stunning book of odes. Opening with the powerful and tender “Ode to the Hymen,” Olds addresses and embodies, in this age-old poetic form, many aspects of love and gender and sexual politics in a collection that is centered on the body and its structures and pleasures. The poems extend parts of her narrative as a daughter, mother, wife, lover, friend, and poet of conscience that will be familiar from earlier collections, each episode and memory burnished by the wisdom and grace and humor of looking back. In such poems as “Ode to My Sister,” “Ode of Broken Loyalty,” “Ode to My Whiteness,” “Blow Job Ode,” and “Ode to the Last Thirty-Eight Trees in New York City Visible from This Window,” Olds treats us to an intimate examination that, like all her work, is universal, by turns searing and charming in its honesty. From the bodily joys and sorrows of childhood to the deaths of those dearest to us, Olds shapes the world in language that is startlingly fresh, profound in its conclusions, and life-giving for the reader.

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8 .) ShallCross by C.D. Wright

Lists It Appears On:

  • Publishers Weekly
  • Washington Post
  • Entropy
  • Library Journal

In a turbulent world, C.D. Wright evokes a rebellious and dissonant ethos with characteristic genre-bending and expanding long-form poems. Accessing journalistic writing alongside filmic narratives, Wright ranges across seven poetic sequences, including a collaborative suite responding to photographic documentation of murder sites in New Orleans. ShallCross shows plain as day that C.D. Wright is our most thrilling and innovative poet.

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7 .) The Performance of Becoming Human by Daniel Borzutzky

Lists It Appears On:

  • Entropy
  • Buzzfeed Books
  • Brian Fanelli
  • Bustle

Daniel Borzutzky returns to confront the various ways nation-states and their bureaucracies absorb and destroy communities and economies. In THE PERFORMANCE OF BECOMING HUMAN, the bay of Valparaiso merges into the western shore of Lake Michigan, where Borzutzky continues his poetic investigation into the political and economic violence shared by Chicago and Chile, two places integral to his personal formation. To become human is to navigate borders, including the fuzzy borders of institutions, the economies of privatization, overdevelopment, and underdevelopment, under which humans endure state-sanctioned and systemic abuses in cities, villages, deserts.

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6 .) The Remedies by Katharine Towers

Lists It Appears On:

  • The Guardian
  • Good Books Guide
  • Five Books
  • Bustle

Katharine Towers’ second collection is a book of small wonders. From a house drowning in roses to crickets on an August day, from Nerval’s lobster to the surrealism of flower remedies, these poems explore the fragility of our relationship with the natural world. Towers also shows us what that relationship can aspire to be: each poem attunes us to another aspect of that world, and shows what strange connections might be revealed when we properly attend to it. The Remedies is a lyric, unforgettable collection which offers just the spiritual assuagement its title promises, and shows Towers emerging as a major poetic talent.

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5 .) Collected Poems: 1950-2012 by Adrienne Rich

Lists It Appears On:

  • MPR News
  • The New Yorker
  • NY Times
  • Good Books Guide
  • Buzzfeed Books

Adrienne Rich was the singular voice of her generation and one of our most important American poets. She brought discussions of gender, race, and class to the forefront of poetical discourse, pushing formal boundaries and consistently examining both self and society.

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4 .) Falling Awake by Alice Oswald

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Five Books
  • Good Books Guide
  • The Guardian
  • The New Yorker

Alice Oswald’s award-winning and highly acclaimed volume Memorial portrays fallen soldiers from Homer’s Iliad. Falling Awake expands on that imagery―defining life as a slowly falling weight, where beings fight against their inevitable end. Oswald reimagines classical figures such as Orpheus and Tithonus alive in an English landscape together with shadows, flies, villagers, dew, crickets―all characterized in tension between the weight of death and their own willpower.

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3 .) Olio by Tyehimba Jess

Lists It Appears On:

  • Entropy
  • Library Journal
  • NPR
  • Publishers Weekly
  • The Undefeated

Part fact, part fiction, Tyehimba Jess’s much anticipated second book weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded African American performers directly before and after the Civil War up to World War I. Olio is an effort to understand how they met, resisted, complicated, co-opted, and sometimes defeated attempts to minstrelize them.

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2 .) Look by Solmaz Sharif

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Buzzfeed Books
  • Entropy
  • Goodreads
  • NPR
  • NY Times
  • Publishers Weekly
  • San Francisco Chronicle 2
  • Washington Post

“Solmaz Sharif’s astonishing first book, Look, asks us to see the ongoing costs of war as the unbearable loss of human lives and also the insidious abuses against our everyday speech. In this virtuosic array of poems, lists, shards, and sequences, Sharif assembles her family’s and her own fragmented narratives in the aftermath of warfare. Those repercussions echo into the present day, in the grief for those killed in America’s invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and in the discrimination endured at the checkpoints of daily encounter.

At the same time, these poems point to the ways violence is conducted against our language. Throughout this collection are words and phrases lifted from the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms; in their seamless inclusion, Sharif exposes the devastating euphemisms deployed to sterilize the language, control its effects, and sway our collective resolve. But Sharif refuses to accept this terminology as given, and instead turns it back on its perpetrators. “”Let it matter what we call a thing,”” she writes. “”Let me look at you.”””

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1 .) Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

Lists It Appears On:

  • Brian Fanelli
  • Bustle
  • Buzzfeed Books
  • Entropy
  • Five Books
  • Good Books Guide
  • Goodreads
  • Library Journal
  • NPR
  • San Francisco Chronicle 2
  • The New Yorker
  • The Undefeated
  • Via Negativa

Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times writes: “The poems in Mr. Vuong’s new collection, Night Sky With Exit Wounds…possess a tensile precision reminiscent of Emily Dickinson’s work, combined with a Gerard Manley Hopkins-like appreciation for the sound and rhythms of words. Mr. Vuong can create startling images (a black piano in a field, a wedding-cake couple preserved under glass, a shepherd stepping out of a Caravaggio painting) and make the silences and elisions in his verse speak as potently as his words…There is a powerful emotional undertow to these poems that springs from Mr. Vuong’s sincerity and candor, and from his ability to capture specific moments in time with both photographic clarity and a sense of the evanescence of all earthly things.”

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#17-273 Best Poetry Books of 2016


# Book Author Lists
(Books Appear On 2 Lists Each)
17 A Gambler’s Anatomy Jonathan Lethem NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
18 A Woman of Property Robyn Schiff Chicago Tribune
The New Yorker
19 All That Man Is David Szalay NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
20 Another Brooklyn Jacqueline Woodson NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
21 Behold the Dreamers Imbolo Mbue NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
22 Cannibal Safiya Sinclair Buzzfeed Books
The Undefeated
23 Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude Ross Gay The Undefeated
Via Negativa
24 Certain Magical Acts Alice Notley Entropy
Good Books Guide
25 Children Of The New World: Stories Alexander Weinstein NY Times
26 Commonwealth Ann Patchett NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
27 Even this Page is White Vivek Shraya Goodreads
28 Four Reincarnations Max Ritvo Entropy
Via Negativa
29 Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives And Dreams Brought To Life Ashley Bryan NPR
The Horn Book
30 Gap Gardening Rosmarie Waldrop Entropy
The New Yorker
31 Garden Time W.S. Merwin Washington Post
Buzzfeed Books
32 Here Comes the Sun Nicole Dennis-Benn NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
33 Here I Am Jonathan Safran Foer NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
34 Homegoing Yaa Gyasi NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
35 Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph Roxane Orgill NPR
The Horn Book
36 LaRose Louise Erdrich NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
37 Let Them Eat Chaos Kate Tempest The Guardian
38 Measures of Expatriation Vahni Capildeo Good Books Guide
39 Mister Monkey Francine Prose NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
40 Moonglow Michael Chabon NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
41 My Name Is Lucy Barton Elizabeth Strout NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
42 Night Etel Adnan Entropy
Boston Globe
43 Ninety-Nine Stories of God Joy Williams NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
44 Nutshell Ian McEwan NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
45 Popular Music Kelly Schirmann Entropy
Chicago Review of Books
46 Reputations Juan Gabriel Vásquez; translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean. NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
47 Say Something Back Denise Riley The Guardian
Good Books Guide
48 So Much Synth Brenda Shaughnessy Publishers Weekly
Buzzfeed Books
49 Still Dirty David Lau Chicago Tribune
50 Swing Time Zadie Smith NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
51 Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth Warsan Shire Verso
Via Negativa
52 The After Party Jana Prikryl Good Books Guide
The New Yorker
53 The Fortunes Peter Ho Davies NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
54 The Little Red Chairs Edna O’Brien NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
55 The Vegetarian Han Kang NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
56 Unbearable Splendor Sun Yung Shin Entropy
Chicago Review of Books
57 Violet Energy Ingots Hoa Nguyen Entropy
58 Zero K Don DeLillo NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
(Books Appear On 1 List Each)
59 1989: The Number Kevin Coval and Nate Marshall Chicago Review of Books
60 A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon: New (Soma)tics CA Conrad Via Negativa
61 A Collapse Of Horses: A Collection Of Stories Brian Evenson NPR
62 A Gentleman in Moscow Amor Towles San Francisco Chronicle 2
63 A Slice from the Cake Made of Air Lillian-Yvonne Bertram Entropy
64 Alice & Oliver Charles Bock San Francisco Chronicle 2
65 Alien Weaving Will Alexander Entropy
66 American Anger: An Evidentiary H.L. Hix Bustle
67 American Flowers Tyler Flynn Dorholt Entropy
68 American Housewife Helen Ellis NPR
69 Antígona González Sara Uribe Entropy
70 Archeophonics The Rumpus
71 Banana Palace Dana Levin MPR News
72 BARKSKINS Annie Proulx NY Times
73 Beautiful and Damned Robert M. Drake Goodreads
74 BEFORE THE FALL Noah Hawley NY Times
75 bindweed & crow poison: small poems of stray girls, fierce womenby Robin Turner Via Negativa
76 Bitter Sweet Love Michael Faudet Goodreads
77 Black Lavender Milk Angel Dominguez Entropy
78 BLACK WATER Louise Doughty NY Times
79 Blue Hallelujahs Cynthia Manick The Undefeated
80 Bodymap Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha Via Negativa
81 Book of Interludes Grace Shuyi Liew Entropy
82 Booked Kwame Alexander Goodreads
83 Box Kite Baziju (Roo Borson and Kim Maltman) CBA
84 Bright Dead Things Ada Limón Via Negativa
85 Brother Matthew Dickman and Michael Dickman Financial Times
86 Buck Studies Douglas Kearney Entropy
87 Burning in this Midnight Dream Louise Bernice Halfe CBA
88 Careful Mountain Sara June Woods Entropy
89 Carousel Court Joe McGinniss Jr. San Francisco Chronicle 2
90 Cattle of the Lord Rosa Alice Branco Chicago Review of Books
91 Cheer Up Femme Fatale Kim Yideum Entropy
92 Chelate Jay Besemer Entropy
93 child in a winter house brightening Abigail Zimmer Chicago Review of Books
94 Close Listening: Poetry and the Performed Word The Rumpus
95 Collected Poems of Alistair Te Ariki Campbell Alistair Te Ariki Campbell The Spinoff
96 Collected Poems: 1974–2004 Rita Dove Buzzfeed Books
97 Conjugation Phil Hall CBA
98 Counting Descent Clint Smith The Undefeated
99 Daredevils Shawn Vestal San Francisco Chronicle 2
100 De Willekeur Jan Lauwereyns Via Negativa
101 Death Tractates Via Negativa
102 DO NOT SAY WE HAVE NOTHING Madeleine Thien NY Times
103 DON’T LET MY BABY DO RODEO Boris Fishman NY Times
104 Double Zero Chris Hosea Entropy
105 END OF WATCH Stephen King NY Times
106 ENDINGS: Poetry and Prose Huffington Post
107 Envelope Poems Emily Dickinson The New Yorker
108 Every Love Story Is an Apocalypse Story Donna Vorreyer Via Negativa
109 EVERYBODY’S FOOL Richard Russo NY Times
110 Exit Theater Mike Lala Entropy
111 Extracting The Stones Of Madness: Poems 1962-1972 Alejandra Pizarnik Entropy
112 Fale Aitu Spirit House Tusiata Avia The Spinoff
113 Fearful Beloved Khadijah Queen Entropy
114 Field Guide to the End of the World Jeannine Hall Gailey Goodreads
115 Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine Diane Williams San Francisco Chronicle 2
116 For a Little While: New and Selected Stories Rick Bass San Francisco Chronicle 2
117 Fuchsia Mahtem Shiferraw The Undefeated
118 Gesell Dome Guillermo Saccomanno; translated from the Spanish by Andrea G. Labinger. San Francisco Chronicle 2
119 Getting it Right: Poems 1968-2015 Alan Roddick The Spinoff
120 Ghost County John McCarthy Chicago Review of Books
121 Gold From the Stone Lemn Sissay Financial Times
122 Graffiti Savannah Brown Goodreads
124 Hardly War Don Mee Choi Entropy
125 Hera Lindsay Bird Hera Lindsay Bird The Spinoff
126 High Dive Jonathan Lee San Francisco Chronicle 2
127 Highway Sky James Brush Via Negativa
128 HOT MILK Deborah Levy NY Times
129 How Festive the Ambulance Kim Fu CBA
130 Hystopia David Means San Francisco Chronicle 2
131 I Am A Season That Does Not Exist In The World Kyung Ju Kim Entropy
132 i be, but i ain’t Aziza Barnes MPR News
133 I MUST BE LIVING TWICE: New and Selected Poems, 1975-2014 Eileen Myles NY Times
134 If I Go Missing Via Negativa
135 Illocality Joseph Massey Entropy
136 In The Not Quite Dark: Stories Dana Johnson NPR
137 Incidents of Travel in Poetry: New and Selected Poems Frank Lima Library Journal
138 Innocents and Others Dana Spiotta San Francisco Chronicle 2
139 IRL Tommy Pico Entropy
140 IZA’S BALLAD Magda Szabo NY Times
141 Knockout: Stories John Jodzio NPR
142 La Douleur Exquise J.R. Rogue Goodreads
143 Lacunae: 100 Imagined Ancient Love Poems Daniel Nadler NPR
144 Last Sext Melissa Broder Entropy
145 Local Extinctions Mary Quade MPR News
146 Losing It Emma Rathbone San Francisco Chronicle 2
147 Luminous Spaces: Selected Poems & Journals Via Negativa
148 Marys of the Sea Joanna C Valente Entropy
149 Meditations of a Beast Kristine Ong Muslim Chicago Review of Books
150 MISCHLING Affinity Konar NY Times
151 Model Disciple Michael Prior CBA
152 Monterey Bay Lindsay Hatton San Francisco Chronicle 2
153 Mortal Trash Kim Addonizio San Francisco Chronicle 2
154 My Struggle: Book Five Karl Ove Knausgaard San Francisco Chronicle 2
155 Night-Sky Checkerboard Oh Sae-young Chicago Review of Books
156 Nonconformist Women Writers, 1720-1840 edited Timothy Whelan and Julia Griffin Verso
157 Nothing to Declare Henri Cole Good Books Guide
158 Of This World: New and Selected Poems Via Negativa
159 Overpour Jane Wong Entropy
160 Paradise Lost John Milton Via Negativa
161 Pitch of Poetry The Rumpus
162 Poems: New and Selected Ron Rash Chicago Review of Books
163 Pond Claire-Louise Bennett San Francisco Chronicle 2
164 Quarter Life Poetry: Poems for the Young, Broke and Hangry Samantha Jayne Goodreads
165 Rabbit Rabbit Kerrin P. Sharpe Via Negativa
166 Rapture Sjohnna McCray Bustle
167 Reasons (not) to Dance José Angel Araguz Via Negativa
168 Registration Caspar J. Gordon Faylor Entropy
169 Remembering Animals Brenda Iijima Entropy
170 Restless Continent Aja Couchois Duncan Entropy
171 Safe Space Jos Charles Entropy
172 Saint Aldhelm’s Riddles Via Negativa
173 Salt River Songs Sam Hunt The Spinoff
174 Save Twilight: Selected Poems Julio Cortázar The Rumpus
175 Seam Tarfia Faizullah Via Negativa
176 Selected Poems, 1968-2014 Paul Muldoon NPR
177 Serious Sweet A.L. Kennedy San Francisco Chronicle 2
178 Shelter in Place Alexander Maksik San Francisco Chronicle 2
179 Skies The Guardian
180 Songs from a Mountain Amanda Nadelberg Entropy
181 Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty Ramona Ausubel San Francisco Chronicle 2
182 Standing Water: Poems Eleanor Chai NPR
183 STILL HERE Lara Vapnyar NY Times
184 Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately Alicia Cook Goodreads
185 Style Dolores Dorantes Entropy
186 Sudden Death Álvaro Enrigue; translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer San Francisco Chronicle 2
187 Sweet Lamb of Heaven Lydia Millet San Francisco Chronicle 2
188 Sweetbitter Stephanie Danler San Francisco Chronicle 2
189 Sympathetic Little Monster Cameron Awkward-Rich Entropy
190 Take This Stallion Anaïs Duplan Entropy
191 Tales of a Receding Hairline K.W. Peery Goodreads
193 The Bees Make Money in the Lion Lo Kwa Mei-in The Undefeated
194 The Black Flower and Other Zapotec Poems Natalia Toledo Via Negativa
195 The Book of Questions, Volume I, Edmond Jabès Via Negativa
196 The Collected Poems of Jane Kenyon Via Negativa
197 The Consequences of My Body Maged Zaher Entropy
198 The Corpse Pose Erik Campbell Entropy
199 The Country Gambler Erica McAlpine Via Negativa
200 The Darkening Trapeze: Last Poems Larry Levis Goodreads
201 The Girls Emma Cline San Francisco Chronicle 2
202 THE GLOAMING Melanie Finn NY Times
203 The Halo Via Negativa
204 The Hermit Lucy Ives Entropy
205 The Jungle Around Us Anne Raeff San Francisco Chronicle 2
206 The Kenning Anthology of Poets Theatre The Rumpus
207 The Kindness of Enemies Leila Aboulela San Francisco Chronicle 2
208 The Last Painting of Sara de Vos Dominic Smith San Francisco Chronicle 2
209 The Last Shift: Poems Philip Levine San Francisco Chronicle 2
210 THE LIFE-WRITER David Constantine NY Times
211 The Met Office Advises Caution Rebecca Watts Financial Times
212 THE MIRROR THIEF Martin Seay NY Times
213 The Missing Museum Amy King Entropy
214 THE MORTIFICATIONS Derek Palacio NY Times
215 The Names Tim Lilburn CBA
216 The Nerve of It Lynn Emanuel MPR News
217 The Nest Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney San Francisco Chronicle 2
218 THE NIX Nathan Hill NY Times
219 The Noise of Time Julian Barnes San Francisco Chronicle 2
220 THE NORTH WATER Ian McGuire NY Times
221 The Old Philosopher Vi Khi Nao Entropy
222 The Paper Menagerie Ken Liu NPR
223 The Poet, the Lion, Talking Pictures, El Farolito, a Wedding in St C.D. Wright Entropy
224 The Portable Veblen Elizabeth McKenzie San Francisco Chronicle 2
225 The Princess Saves Herself in this One Amanda Lovelace Goodreads
226 The Princeton Handbook of Poetic Terms The Rumpus
227 The Queen of the Night Alexander Chee San Francisco Chronicle 2
228 The Rain in Portugal: New Poems Billy Collins Goodreads
229 The Red Car Marcy Dermansky San Francisco Chronicle 2
230 The Revolutionaries Try Again Mauro Javier Cardenas San Francisco Chronicle 2
231 The River Jane Clarke Via Negativa
232 The Romance of Siam Jai Arun Ravine Entropy
233 The Secret Birds Tony Fitzpatrick Chicago Review of Books
235 The Terranauts T.C. Boyle San Francisco Chronicle 2
236 The Type Sarah Kay Goodreads
237 THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD Colson Whitehead NY Times
238 The Universe of Us Lang Leav Goodreads
239 The Veins of the Ocean Patricia Engel San Francisco Chronicle 2
240 The Voyager Record Anthony Michael Morena Entropy
241 The Waking Comes Late Steven Heighton CBA
242 The Watermark Alice Anderson Entropy
243 The White Stones J.H. Prynne Chicago Tribune
244 The Whole Field Still Moving Inside It Via Negativa
245 The Wine-Dark Sea Mathias Svalina Entropy
246 Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda Poems Pablo Neruda Goodreads
247 There Should Be Flowers Paperback Joshua Jennifer Espinoza Entropy
248 They and We Will Get Into Trouble For This Anna Moschovakis Entropy
249 Thief in the Interior Phillip B. Williams Chicago Review of Books
250 Time Will Clean the Carcass Bones Lucia Perillo MPR News
251 To Fold the Evening Star Five Books
252 To the House of the Sun Via Negativa
253 Today Means Amen Sierra DeMulder Goodreads
255 Tree Talks: Southern Arizona Wendy Burk Entropy
256 VALIANT GENTLEMEN Sabina Murray NY Times
257 Version Control Dexter Palmer San Francisco Chronicle 2
258 Void Studies Rachael Boast Financial Times
259 Wannabe HoochieMama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code: New and Selected Poems Thylias Moss The Undefeated
260 WAR AND TURPENTINE Stefan Hertmans NY Times
261 Warp The Rumpus
262 WEATHERING Lucy Wood NY Times
263 What Belongs to You Garth Greenwell San Francisco Chronicle 2
264 What Blooms in Winter Maria Mazziotti Gillan Brian Fanelli
265 What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours Helen Oyeyemi NPR
266 What Lies Between Us Nayomi Munaweera San Francisco Chronicle 2
267 What Weaponry Elizabeth J. Colen Entropy
268 Whiskey Words & a Shovel II R.H. Sin Goodreads
269 White Blight Athena Farrokhzad. Translated from the Swedish by Jennifer Hayashida Boston Globe
270 Witness, I Am Gregory Scofield CBA
271 Works & Days Bernadette Mayer Chicago Tribune
272 You Ask Me To Talk About the Interior Carolina Ebeid Entropy
273 You Should Pity Us Instead Amy Gustine San Francisco Chronicle 2

The 28 Best Poetry Book Lists Used

Source Article
Boston Globe Best books of 2016
Brian Fanelli 2016 Recap/Best Of
Bustle The 12 Best Poetry Collections Of 2016
Buzzfeed Books The 11 Best Poetry Books Of 2016
CBA Best Books of 2016
Chicago Review of Books The Best Poetry Books of 2016
Chicago Tribune Best poetry books of 2016
Financial Times Best books of 2016: Poetry
Five Books Helen Mort recommends the Best Poetry of 2016
Good Books Guide 100+ Literary Favourites of 2016
Huffington Post The Best Self-Published Books of 2016
Library Journal BEST POETRY
MPR News Best poetry collections of 2016: Poets’ picks
NPR NPR’s Book Concierge Our Guide To 2016’s Great Reads
NY Times Fiction & Poetry
Publishers Weekly Best Poetry
San Francisco Chronicle 2 Best of 2016: 100 recommended books
The Guardian Kate Kellaway’s best poetry books of 2016
The Horn Book Horn Book Fanfare
The Spinoff Best books of 2016: the five best books of poetry
Verso Staff Picks: Books of the Year 2016—Chosen by Verso
Via Negativa Favorite poetry books of 2016: a crowd-sourced compendium
Washington Post Best poetry collections of 2016


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