BAMB Readers Award Poetry shortlist 2019.JPG

I always look forward to Bookshop Day in the UK as it makes a good excuse to visit local bookshops and pick up some titles I’ve been meaning to buy. This year it’s on October 5th and I’m already making a list to take with me to the shops. Bookshop Day is a campaign put together by Books Are My Bag which is a wonderful organization that encourages people to shop at their local bookshops.

They also work with National Book Tokens to host the BAMB Readers Awards which is now in its 4th year. I love that this book prize is curated by bookshops and chosen by book lovers. The shortlists for the Awards’ several categories have been announced today. You can see them all here and cast your vote on which book should win the Readers’ Choice Award: https://www.nationalbooktokens.com/vote

I’m taking a special look at the Poetry category for the BAMB Readers Awards because I always mean to read more poetry but tend to stick to novels. Today is also National Poetry Day in the UK! So I’m glad the award gives me a great prompt to discover new titles and this shortlist includes a fascinating range of poetry. “The Black Flamingo” by Dean Atta is about a mixed race teen who is going to university and his process of becoming a drag queen. “The Girl Aquarium” by famous booktuber Jen Campbell weaves dark fairy tales and issues to do with the possession of body and the definition of beauty into poetry. “A Year of Nature Poems” by Joseph Coelho & illustrated by Kelly Louise Judd considers changes to do with animals and emotional states over the course of a year. “The Flame” by famous singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen features his last collection of poems which he compiled in his final years. “Poems to Fall in Love With” by Chris Riddell pairs new illustrations against new and old poems by a range of writers from Sappho to Hollie McNish. “The Poetry Pharmacy Returns” by William Sieghart is a sequel which details how different poems can be applied to “treat” the human condition.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these poetry titles, what you think of the shortlists in each category and if you’re planning on visiting a particular shop on Bookshop Day!

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AuthorEric Karl Anderson
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