If you find prison abolition undesirable or impractical, I urge you to examine why a prisonless world is so difficult to imagine and whether prisons actually protect communities, pevent crime, or reduce recidivism. As DAvis and most anyone with first-hand experience of the carceral system will tell you, prison exacerbates the root causes of most crime (poverty and mental illness) and, like all aspects of our judicial system disproportionately targets communities of color. This book helped shape my understanding of prison abolition from a nice, if unrealistic ideal to an absolute imperative.
Whether this is your first or millionth encounter with this collection of poetry I cannot recommend it enough. Sylvia Plath is one of the first poets I read that made me love the medium, and the one I revisit most often.
Some critics have called Anne Carson the greatest English language writer alive today and I have yet to find an alternative. This book seamlessly blends prose, poetry, and mythology in a beautiful reimagining of the Heracles (or Hercules) myth.
One of my all-time faves. Chaotic, surreal... This book has been called everything from post-modern to pornographic and there are excellent arguments for both. A disturbing, inspired collage of confessional poetry, gender theory, and dirty pictures.
This snappy collection of poems can be read in a single sitting and I recommend you do so over lunch. O'Hara paints lovely little portraits of domestic and city life with the tenderness of a close friend describing their day. My favorites in this collection are "Song," "Ave Maria," and "Steps."
Fast, punchy magical realism. Recommend for fans of Amy Hempel, Aimee Bender, and beautiful absurdity.
Most well-known as one of the only novels to come out in the 1950s featuring a queer relationship wherein the lovers don't die or suddenly realize they're straight; I also recommend this because Patricia Highsmith is one of the most underrated writers of the 20th Century.
This wonderfully eerie poetry collection dissects transphobia, ableism, and more generally what the body can and cannot accept. Reading this feels like getting engulfed by a loving shadow, cold but not unkind. My favs in this collections are, "On Using the Wo|men's Bathroom," "The Queer Trans Girl Writes her Estranged Mother a Letter About the Word Faggot and It is the First Word to Burn," and "When My Brother Makes a Joke About Trans Panic."