The Best Poetry Books of 2016
Best 2016, Best Books, Best Year-End, Fiction & Literature, Poetry

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

“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from all nine of Kevin Young’s previously published books of poetry and including a number of uncollected, often unpublished, poems.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


(Books Appear On 2 Lists Each)
17A Gambler’s AnatomyJonathan LethemNY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
18A Woman of PropertyRobyn SchiffChicago Tribune
The New Yorker
19All That Man IsDavid SzalayNY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
20Another BrooklynJacqueline WoodsonNY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
21Behold the DreamersImbolo MbueNY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
22CannibalSafiya SinclairBuzzfeed Books
The Undefeated
23Catalog of Unabashed GratitudeRoss GayThe Undefeated
Via Negativa
24Certain Magical ActsAlice NotleyEntropy
Good Books Guide
25Children Of The New World: StoriesAlexander WeinsteinNY Times
26CommonwealthAnn PatchettNY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
27Even this Page is WhiteVivek ShrayaGoodreads
28Four ReincarnationsMax RitvoEntropy
Via Negativa
29Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives And Dreams Brought To LifeAshley BryanNPR
The Horn Book
30Gap GardeningRosmarie WaldropEntropy
The New Yorker
31Garden TimeW.S. MerwinWashington Post
Buzzfeed Books
32Here Comes the SunNicole Dennis-BennNY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
33Here I AmJonathan Safran FoerNY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
34HomegoingYaa GyasiNY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
35Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous PhotographRoxane OrgillNPR
The Horn Book
36LaRoseLouise ErdrichNY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
37Let Them Eat ChaosKate TempestThe Guardian
38Measures of ExpatriationVahni CapildeoGood Books Guide
39Mister MonkeyFrancine ProseNY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
40MoonglowMichael ChabonNY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
41My Name Is Lucy BartonElizabeth StroutNY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
42NightEtel AdnanEntropy
Boston Globe
43Ninety-Nine Stories of GodJoy WilliamsNY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
44NutshellIan McEwanNY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
45Popular MusicKelly SchirmannEntropy
Chicago Review of Books
46ReputationsJuan Gabriel Vásquez; translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean.NY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
47Say Something BackDenise RileyThe Guardian
Good Books Guide
48So Much SynthBrenda ShaughnessyPublishers Weekly
Buzzfeed Books
49Still DirtyDavid LauChicago Tribune
50Swing TimeZadie SmithNY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
51Teaching My Mother How To Give BirthWarsan ShireVerso
Via Negativa
52The After PartyJana PrikrylGood Books Guide
The New Yorker
53The FortunesPeter Ho DaviesNY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
54The Little Red ChairsEdna O’BrienNY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
55The VegetarianHan KangNY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
56Unbearable SplendorSun Yung ShinEntropy
Chicago Review of Books
57Violet Energy IngotsHoa NguyenEntropy
58Zero KDon DeLilloNY Times
San Francisco Chronicle 2
(Books Appear On 1 List Each)
591989: The NumberKevin Coval and Nate MarshallChicago Review of Books
60A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon: New (Soma)ticsCA ConradVia Negativa
61A Collapse Of Horses: A Collection Of StoriesBrian EvensonNPR
62A Gentleman in MoscowAmor TowlesSan Francisco Chronicle 2
63A Slice from the Cake Made of AirLillian-Yvonne BertramEntropy
64Alice & OliverCharles BockSan Francisco Chronicle 2
65Alien WeavingWill AlexanderEntropy
66American Anger: An EvidentiaryH.L. HixBustle
67American FlowersTyler Flynn DorholtEntropy
68American HousewifeHelen EllisNPR
69Antígona GonzálezSara UribeEntropy
70ArcheophonicsThe Rumpus
71Banana PalaceDana LevinMPR News
72BARKSKINSAnnie ProulxNY Times
73Beautiful and DamnedRobert M. DrakeGoodreads
74BEFORE THE FALLNoah HawleyNY Times
75bindweed & crow poison: small poems of stray girls, fierce womenby Robin TurnerVia Negativa
76Bitter Sweet LoveMichael FaudetGoodreads
77Black Lavender MilkAngel DominguezEntropy
78BLACK WATERLouise DoughtyNY Times
79Blue HallelujahsCynthia ManickThe Undefeated
80BodymapLeah Lakshmi Piepzna-SamarasinhaVia Negativa
81Book of InterludesGrace Shuyi LiewEntropy
82BookedKwame AlexanderGoodreads
83Box KiteBaziju (Roo Borson and Kim Maltman)CBA
84Bright Dead ThingsAda LimónVia Negativa
85BrotherMatthew Dickman and Michael DickmanFinancial Times
86Buck StudiesDouglas KearneyEntropy
87Burning in this Midnight DreamLouise Bernice HalfeCBA
88Careful MountainSara June WoodsEntropy
89Carousel CourtJoe McGinniss Jr.San Francisco Chronicle 2
90Cattle of the LordRosa Alice BrancoChicago Review of Books
91Cheer Up Femme FataleKim YideumEntropy
92ChelateJay BesemerEntropy
93child in a winter house brighteningAbigail ZimmerChicago Review of Books
94Close Listening: Poetry and the Performed WordThe Rumpus
95Collected Poems of Alistair Te Ariki CampbellAlistair Te Ariki CampbellThe Spinoff
96Collected Poems: 1974–2004Rita DoveBuzzfeed Books
97ConjugationPhil HallCBA
98Counting DescentClint SmithThe Undefeated
99DaredevilsShawn VestalSan Francisco Chronicle 2
100De WillekeurJan LauwereynsVia Negativa
101Death TractatesVia Negativa
102DO NOT SAY WE HAVE NOTHINGMadeleine ThienNY Times
103DON’T LET MY BABY DO RODEOBoris FishmanNY Times
104Double ZeroChris HoseaEntropy
105END OF WATCHStephen KingNY Times
106ENDINGS: Poetry and ProseHuffington Post
107Envelope PoemsEmily DickinsonThe New Yorker
108Every Love Story Is an Apocalypse StoryDonna VorreyerVia Negativa
109EVERYBODY’S FOOLRichard RussoNY Times
110Exit TheaterMike LalaEntropy
111Extracting The Stones Of Madness: Poems 1962-1972Alejandra PizarnikEntropy
112Fale Aitu Spirit HouseTusiata AviaThe Spinoff
113Fearful BelovedKhadijah QueenEntropy
114Field Guide to the End of the WorldJeannine Hall GaileyGoodreads
115Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine, FineDiane WilliamsSan Francisco Chronicle 2
116For a Little While: New and Selected StoriesRick BassSan Francisco Chronicle 2
117FuchsiaMahtem ShiferrawThe Undefeated
118Gesell DomeGuillermo Saccomanno; translated from the Spanish by Andrea G. Labinger.San Francisco Chronicle 2
119Getting it Right: Poems 1968-2015Alan RoddickThe Spinoff
120Ghost CountyJohn McCarthyChicago Review of Books
121Gold From the StoneLemn SissayFinancial Times
122GraffitiSavannah BrownGoodreads
124Hardly WarDon Mee ChoiEntropy
125Hera Lindsay BirdHera Lindsay BirdThe Spinoff
126High DiveJonathan LeeSan Francisco Chronicle 2
127Highway SkyJames BrushVia Negativa
128HOT MILKDeborah LevyNY Times
129How Festive the AmbulanceKim FuCBA
130HystopiaDavid MeansSan Francisco Chronicle 2
131I Am A Season That Does Not Exist In The WorldKyung Ju KimEntropy
132i be, but i ain’tAziza BarnesMPR News
133I MUST BE LIVING TWICE: New and Selected Poems, 1975-2014Eileen MylesNY Times
134If I Go MissingVia Negativa
135IllocalityJoseph MasseyEntropy
136In The Not Quite Dark: StoriesDana JohnsonNPR
137Incidents of Travel in Poetry: New and Selected PoemsFrank LimaLibrary Journal
138Innocents and OthersDana SpiottaSan Francisco Chronicle 2
139IRLTommy PicoEntropy
140IZA’S BALLADMagda SzaboNY Times
141Knockout: StoriesJohn JodzioNPR
142La Douleur ExquiseJ.R. RogueGoodreads
143Lacunae: 100 Imagined Ancient Love PoemsDaniel NadlerNPR
144Last SextMelissa BroderEntropy
145Local ExtinctionsMary QuadeMPR News
146Losing ItEmma RathboneSan Francisco Chronicle 2
147Luminous Spaces: Selected Poems & JournalsVia Negativa
148Marys of the SeaJoanna C ValenteEntropy
149Meditations of a BeastKristine Ong MuslimChicago Review of Books
150MISCHLINGAffinity KonarNY Times
151Model DiscipleMichael PriorCBA
152Monterey BayLindsay HattonSan Francisco Chronicle 2
153Mortal TrashKim AddonizioSan Francisco Chronicle 2
154My Struggle: Book FiveKarl Ove KnausgaardSan Francisco Chronicle 2
155Night-Sky CheckerboardOh Sae-youngChicago Review of Books
156Nonconformist Women Writers, 1720-1840 editedTimothy Whelan and Julia GriffinVerso
157Nothing to DeclareHenri ColeGood Books Guide
158Of This World: New and Selected PoemsVia Negativa
159OverpourJane WongEntropy
160Paradise LostJohn MiltonVia Negativa
161Pitch of PoetryThe Rumpus
162Poems: New and SelectedRon RashChicago Review of Books
163PondClaire-Louise BennettSan Francisco Chronicle 2
164Quarter Life Poetry: Poems for the Young, Broke and HangrySamantha JayneGoodreads
165Rabbit RabbitKerrin P. SharpeVia Negativa
166RaptureSjohnna McCrayBustle
167Reasons (not) to DanceJosé Angel AraguzVia Negativa
168Registration CasparJ. Gordon FaylorEntropy
169Remembering AnimalsBrenda IijimaEntropy
170Restless ContinentAja Couchois DuncanEntropy
171Safe SpaceJos CharlesEntropy
172Saint Aldhelm’s RiddlesVia Negativa
173Salt River SongsSam HuntThe Spinoff
174Save Twilight: Selected PoemsJulio CortázarThe Rumpus
175SeamTarfia FaizullahVia Negativa
176Selected Poems, 1968-2014Paul MuldoonNPR
177Serious SweetA.L. KennedySan Francisco Chronicle 2
178Shelter in PlaceAlexander MaksikSan Francisco Chronicle 2
179SkiesThe Guardian
180Songs from a MountainAmanda NadelbergEntropy
181Sons and Daughters of Ease and PlentyRamona AusubelSan Francisco Chronicle 2
182Standing Water: PoemsEleanor ChaiNPR
183STILL HERELara VapnyarNY Times
184Stuff I’ve Been Feeling LatelyAlicia CookGoodreads
185StyleDolores DorantesEntropy
186Sudden DeathÁlvaro Enrigue; translated from the Spanish by Natasha WimmerSan Francisco Chronicle 2
187Sweet Lamb of HeavenLydia MilletSan Francisco Chronicle 2
188SweetbitterStephanie DanlerSan Francisco Chronicle 2
189Sympathetic Little MonsterCameron Awkward-RichEntropy
190Take This StallionAnaïs DuplanEntropy
191Tales of a Receding HairlineK.W. PeeryGoodreads
193The Bees Make Money in the LionLo Kwa Mei-inThe Undefeated
194The Black Flower and Other Zapotec PoemsNatalia ToledoVia Negativa
195The Book of Questions, Volume I,Edmond JabèsVia Negativa
196The Collected Poems of Jane KenyonVia Negativa
197The Consequences of My BodyMaged ZaherEntropy
198The Corpse PoseErik CampbellEntropy
199The Country GamblerErica McAlpineVia Negativa
200The Darkening Trapeze: Last PoemsLarry LevisGoodreads
201The GirlsEmma ClineSan Francisco Chronicle 2
202THE GLOAMINGMelanie FinnNY Times
203The HaloVia Negativa
204The HermitLucy IvesEntropy
205The Jungle Around UsAnne RaeffSan Francisco Chronicle 2
206The Kenning Anthology of Poets TheatreThe Rumpus
207The Kindness of EnemiesLeila AboulelaSan Francisco Chronicle 2
208The Last Painting of Sara de VosDominic SmithSan Francisco Chronicle 2
209The Last Shift: PoemsPhilip LevineSan Francisco Chronicle 2
210THE LIFE-WRITERDavid ConstantineNY Times
211The Met Office Advises CautionRebecca WattsFinancial Times
212THE MIRROR THIEFMartin SeayNY Times
213The Missing MuseumAmy KingEntropy
215The NamesTim LilburnCBA
216The Nerve of ItLynn EmanuelMPR News
217The NestCynthia D’Aprix SweeneySan Francisco Chronicle 2
218THE NIXNathan HillNY Times
219The Noise of TimeJulian BarnesSan Francisco Chronicle 2
221The Old PhilosopherVi Khi NaoEntropy
222The Paper MenagerieKen LiuNPR
223The Poet, the Lion, Talking Pictures, El Farolito, a Wedding in StC.D. WrightEntropy
224The Portable VeblenElizabeth McKenzieSan Francisco Chronicle 2
225The Princess Saves Herself in this OneAmanda LovelaceGoodreads
226The Princeton Handbook of Poetic TermsThe Rumpus
227The Queen of the NightAlexander CheeSan Francisco Chronicle 2
228The Rain in Portugal: New PoemsBilly CollinsGoodreads
229The Red CarMarcy DermanskySan Francisco Chronicle 2
230The Revolutionaries Try AgainMauro Javier CardenasSan Francisco Chronicle 2
231The RiverJane ClarkeVia Negativa
232The Romance of SiamJai Arun RavineEntropy
233The Secret BirdsTony FitzpatrickChicago Review of Books
235The TerranautsT.C. BoyleSan Francisco Chronicle 2
236The TypeSarah KayGoodreads
238The Universe of UsLang LeavGoodreads
239The Veins of the OceanPatricia EngelSan Francisco Chronicle 2
240The Voyager RecordAnthony Michael MorenaEntropy
241The Waking Comes LateSteven HeightonCBA
242The WatermarkAlice AndersonEntropy
243The White StonesJ.H. PrynneChicago Tribune
244The Whole Field Still Moving Inside ItVia Negativa
245The Wine-Dark SeaMathias SvalinaEntropy
246Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda PoemsPablo NerudaGoodreads
247There Should Be Flowers PaperbackJoshua Jennifer EspinozaEntropy
248They and We Will Get Into Trouble For ThisAnna MoschovakisEntropy
249Thief in the InteriorPhillip B. WilliamsChicago Review of Books
250Time Will Clean the Carcass BonesLucia PerilloMPR News
251To Fold the Evening StarFive Books
252To the House of the SunVia Negativa
253Today Means AmenSierra DeMulderGoodreads
255Tree Talks: Southern ArizonaWendy BurkEntropy
257Version ControlDexter PalmerSan Francisco Chronicle 2
258Void StudiesRachael BoastFinancial Times
259Wannabe HoochieMama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code: New and Selected PoemsThylias MossThe Undefeated
260WAR AND TURPENTINEStefan HertmansNY Times
261WarpThe Rumpus
262WEATHERINGLucy WoodNY Times
263What Belongs to YouGarth GreenwellSan Francisco Chronicle 2
264What Blooms in WinterMaria Mazziotti GillanBrian Fanelli
265What Is Not Yours Is Not YoursHelen OyeyemiNPR
266What Lies Between UsNayomi MunaweeraSan Francisco Chronicle 2
267What WeaponryElizabeth J. ColenEntropy
268Whiskey Words & a Shovel IIR.H. SinGoodreads
269White BlightAthena Farrokhzad. Translated from the Swedish by Jennifer HayashidaBoston Globe
270Witness, I AmGregory ScofieldCBA
271Works & DaysBernadette MayerChicago Tribune
272You Ask Me To Talk About the InteriorCarolina EbeidEntropy
273You Should Pity Us InsteadAmy GustineSan Francisco Chronicle 2

The 28 Best Poetry Book Lists Used

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