Have you ever read something that makes you feel like you've been sucker-punched, but in a really wonderful way? That's how poetry is for me and my love for it blossomed when I took a poetry workshop at school a year ago. We were reading poetry and writing poetry, and I was actually studying poetry in one of my literature classes that semester as well. Since then I've been reading everything I can get my hands on and these eight books are what I recommend everyone who asks me what they should read.
They are all contemporary poets, so don't worry about having to struggle through Shakespeare or anything. I own all but two of these, and have been delighted, moved to tears, and felt like I've grown as a person because of the words contained in the pages. There are many, many more poets and books I could recommend, but these are my top eight. And believe me, choosing only these was NOT an easy decision.
If you read any or all of these, I'd love to know what you thought! Talking about poetry is one of my favorite things, and I hope this list will help some of you fall in love with it as well.