by Phil James


Pickles vs. the ZombiesPre-Order Now

As the majority of the music industry turns to Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming apps to drum up popularity, you might be surprised to learn that these platforms also contain a vast collection of poetry. While nothing will replace a pocket book of poetry on a long walk, Spotify’s library provides you with a viable alternative.

Listening to poetry is an essential part of understanding how to write it. Pay attention to the rhythm and tone of some of these classic and contemporary figures to inform your own your own work. And listen to the silences, too.

1. Billy Collins – The Best Cigarettelisten here

Billy Collins

Collins’ poetry book captures the former Poet Laureate’s humorous, playful tone. Never grandstanding and over-serious, the audiobook is great for long walks or road trips.

Buy the Audiobook here >>>

2. T.S. Eliot – 1955 London Caedmon Readingslisten here 

TS Eliot Caedmon Readings

T.S. Eliot’s reading style is almost alien compared to the more expressive style popular today. Nevertheless, his flat style scarcely dampens the magnitude of his words.

Buy the Audiobook Here >>>

3. Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes & Peter Porter Read Their Poetry – listen here 

Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Peter Porter Read their poetry

Plath and Hughes were pioneers of the confessional genre, a type of poetry that remains remarkably potent in the 21st century. A great vintage feel to the audio.

Get the Audiobook Here >>>

4. Gertrude, H.D., Louise Bogan, Edna St.Vincent Millay, Muriel Rukeyser Read their Poetry  – listen here 

Five American Women

Overshadowed by the Eliot’s and Pound’s of the era, the women of modernist and imagist poetry chose clarity over the cryptic, linguistic beauty over erudition.

Buy The Audiobook Here >>>

5. Shane Koyczan and The Short Story Long – Remembrance year – listen here 

Shane Koyczan

There’s a good reason why Shane Koyczan is a rising star in the Canadian poetry; he speaks to those who struggle in both their youth and old age, but does it with accessible clarity. One of my personal favorites.

Get Remembrance Year Right Now >>>

6. Charles Bukowski – Master Collectionlisten here 


Poetry for a long walk home in a big city. Bukowski is funny, sarcastic, yet equally knowledgeable of the pains of the human condition.

Buy a Bukowski Audiobook Right Now >>>

7. Carl Sandburg – Songs of America – listen here 

Carl Sandburg - Songs of America

A poet who speaks volumes in both his words and his silences. Sandburg will teach you how to command a room, and how to command a tone of greatness with little effort.

Buy Songs of America Right Now >>>

8. Andrea Gibson – Flower Boylisten here

Flower Boy - Andrea Gibson
As one of the best slam poets in the world, Gibson captivates her audiences with a tone as forceful as a freight train. A perfect warmup if you’re reading your poetry to a large audience.

Buy Flower Boy right now >>>

9. Elizabeth Bishop – Reads her poetrylisten here

Elizabeth Bishop - Reads her works

Bishop is at the very least an underrated master of the genre. Take a dive into her lengthy meditations on the natural and urban world.

Buy her anthology here >>>

10. Jean Vilar – The Anthology of French Poetry [French] – listen here


French film and stage actor Jean Vilar does his best Charles Baudelaire and Guillaume Apollinaire (among others) in this mesmerizing collection. You don’t even need to speak French to appreciate his command of the 19th and 20th century French masters.

Buy Now >>>


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s