“Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence.”

“Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence.” —Audre Lorde

In celebration of poetry’s vital necessity, we put together a list of poetry books that contain stories of resistance, sorrow, solidarity and hope in our struggles to change the world. Enjoy a free Ebook* and free shipping on orders over $25 in the US.

Krista Franklin draws on Pan African histories, Black Surrealism, Afrofuturism, pop culture, art history, and the historical and present-day micro-to-macro violence inflicted upon Black people and other people of color, working to forge imaginative spaces for radical possibilities and visions of liberation.  

Edited by poet Annie Finch, Choice Words is a landmark literary anthology twenty years in the making. This collection of poems, stories and essays foregrounds essential voices that renew our courage in the struggle to defend reproductive rights. 

Text Messages is the first multi-genre collection by Montreal-based Iraqi hip-hop artist, activist, and professor Yassin "Narcy" Alsalman. Composed entirely on a smartphone during air travel and married to artwork from comrades, Narcy 's writing speaks of the existential crises experienced by diasporic children of war before and during imperialism in the age of the Internet.

A BreakBeat Poets anthology that opposes silence and re-mixes the soundtrack of the Latinx diaspora across diverse poetic traditions. 

From award-winning poet Eve L. Ewing, reflections on race, class, violence, segregation, and the hidden histories that shape our divided urban landscapes. 

A National Book Award finalist, Build Yourself a Boat redefines the language of collective and individual trauma through lyric and memory. 

Powerhouse, world-renowned LGBTQ poet and spoken-word artist Staceyann Chin curates the first full-length collection of her poems.

Award-winning poet Kevin Coval and graphic artist Langston Allston bear witness to the effects of gentrification in a Chicago neighborhood.

Award-winning poet and playwright Idris Goodwin interrogates and remixes our cultural past in order to make sense of our present and potential futures.

Citizen Illegal is a revealing portrait of life as a first generation immigrant, a celebration of Chicano joy, a shout against erasure, and a vibrant re-imagining of Mexican American life.

A refreshing, unapologetic intervention into ongoing conversations about the line between sexual freedom and sexual exploitation.

On My Way To Liberation follows a gender nonconforming body moving through the streets of Chicago. 

Patricia Frazier’s Graphite is an ode to her grandmother and childhood home, the Ida B. Wells Projects, both which the poet lost to city- and state-sanctioned discrimination. 

A first-of-its-kind anthology of hip-hop poetica written for and by the people.

A BreakBeat Poets anthology to celebrate and canonize the words of Black women across the diaspora.

A BreakBeat Poets anthology of writings by Muslims who are women, queer, genderqueer, nonbinary, or trans.

Kevin Coval's longest single poem, inspired by Frank O'Hara's “Second Avenue," it wrestles with what is and what's been removed from one of Chicago's most storied streets.  

E’mon Lauren’s poems take artifacts, language, and ephemera from life on Chicago’s Southside and Westside to create a manifesto of survival and growth. 

Kara Jackson’s Bloodstone Cowboy is a reclamation of her lineage, an affirmation of self, and a declaration of her right to contain multitudes.

Original meditations on race, gender, identity, and the joy and pain of growing up, from award-winning poet Eve L. Ewing. 

Powerful, poetic meditations on motherhood, sisterhood, spirituality, solidarity, displacement/gentrification, racism, and sexism.

Award-winning Chicago poet Kevin Coval channels Howard Zinn to celebrate the Windy City's hidden history. 

Before the Next Bomb Drops explores the Israeli occupation of Palestine and US militarism through a poetic lens.

Reflections on the profound influence of poet, educator, and social activist Gwendolyn Brooks through examinations of her life and work. 

Faculty and instructors interested in adopting Haymarket titles for their courses can request Exam and Desk copies directly from our distributor, here

  • Too Much Midnight

    Krista Franklin’s work emerges at the intersection of poetics, popular culture, and the dynamic histories of the African Diaspora. Krista lives in Chicago, IL.

  • Choice Words

    Edited by Annie Finch

    With reproductive freedom under unprecedented attack, Choice Words, edited by poet Annie Finch, takes back the cultural conversation on abortion.

  • The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 4

    Edited by Felicia Chavez, José Olivarez, et al.

    A BreakBeat Poets anthology that opposes silence and re-mixes the soundtrack of the Latinx diaspora across diverse poetic traditions.

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