Poetry Going Mainstream?

Apparently, it is. When I think about books of poetry, I don’t think of them as selling well. A few copies here, a few copies there, and maybe, just maybe, a hundred or so copies will be sold or given away (and those are generally well known poets like Billy Collins, Maya Angelou, or Robert Frost).

Because I volunteer at the local library, I spend more time there than most people, and I noticed that for more than a month two poetry books (The Sun and Her Flowers and Milk and Honey) have been on the New York Times bestseller list.

Frankly, most of the time the list is made up of thrillers, mysteries, and mainstream fiction written by authors who are familiar to all.  Names like John Grisham, David Baldacci, Nora Roberts, and James Patterson populate the fiction list so to see Rupi Kaur (or any poet for that matter) still on the list is just plain cool because it means that someone is purchasing a lot of poetry books, and it gives hope to those who write poetry.

As of this week, The Sun and Her Flowers‘ rank on the list was # 7, up from # 10, and Milk and Honey‘s rank was # 12, down from the previous week’s # 11 spot. Still, to have not one, but two books of poetry on the list is a real feat especially since the latter was originally published in 2014.

In fact, I was in the local bookstore the other day, and I leafed through The Sun and her Flowers, reading one or two of her poems. The poems had great range of emotion, and I suspect I may be reading more of her work. For what it is worth…


About pedometergeek

A pharmacist by profession, a haiku poet by nature, I read and write. I have a book of haiku, Ohayo Haiku, and another somewhat alternative haiku book, Three Breaths, but write other genres. I also read...lots of novels! My favorite is, and remains, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged but I am also a big Harry Potter fan. I truly am a pedometer geek strapping on my pedometer as soon as I awaken.
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8 Responses to Poetry Going Mainstream?

  1. I love reading poetry but I do have a slight qualm about being influenced by style. Perhaps I am too concerned and now that I have an established voice of my own, I should pick up more poetry books to enjoy. Thanks for the recommendations.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to admit that I read some poetry, but I don’t read much for the same reason. My style is my style and I don’t want to unduly influenced by others. ~nan


  3. Hurray for poetry on the NYTimes Bestseller List!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Exciting, huh? And they are still on the list. ~nan


  5. Brienna Parsons says:

    I hope so! That’d be a great relief to a lot of artists that I know. Myself included!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, Brienna. The PBS NewsHour ran a feature on this poet the other night. I thought that was pretty cool as it just emphasized the fact that poetry is going mainstream! Thanks for stopping by and reading. ~nan

      Liked by 1 person

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