Jessica Drake-Thomas's Five Poets To Watch

Jessica Drake-Thomas reviews poetry books on her blog  'This Week I Read'. As such, we thought she was the perfect person to ask about up-and-coming poets to watch!

Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash


Alison Jones—Alison deals a lot with liminal spaces in a way that is fresh and lovely. Her
pamphlet, Heartwood, is absolutely stunning.

Mela Blust—Mela’s voice is so strong, and her poems are gorgeous. Her debut collection,
Skeleton Parade, is one of my favorite things that I’ve read this year.

Bola Opaleke—His collection, Skeleton of a Ruined Song, is a tour-de-force. When I finished
reading it the first time, I picked it right back up again and re-read it. Bola’s writing is so
elegantly nuanced, and so evocative.

Catherine Garbinsky—I’m a huge fan of Even Curses End. Catherine’s work, which is from the
perspective of witches and dark queens is haunting and lovely. I look forward to reading what
she does next, and you should, too.

V.C. McCabeGive the Bard a Tetanus Shot is one of the most original collections that I’ve
ever read. It’s a commentary on the current state of the world, with climate issues and
smartphones and decay and moral corruption. I really love V.C.’s voice—in my review, I
compared her to Vonnegut, which I wholeheartedly stand by.

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