Book Fetish

Perfectly Poetic Gifts for National Poetry Month

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Chris M. Arnone

Senior Contributor

The son of a librarian, Chris M. Arnone's love of books was as inevitable as gravity. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Missouri - Kansas City. His novel, The Hermes Protocol, was published by Castle Bridge Media in 2023 and the next book in that series is due out in winter 2024. His work can also be found in Adelaide Literary Magazine and FEED Lit Mag. You can find him writing more books, poetry, and acting in Kansas City. You can also follow him on social media (Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, Twitter, website).

We’re well into National Poetry Month at this point, and I know I’ve been reading TONS of poems already. I’m reading them on Instagram, in my library of poetry books, and on poetry websites. Vivid imagery and luscious nouns are filling my dreams. Langston Hughes and Leila Chatti and Billy Collins are keeping me company. Verbs and line breaks are feeding me more than any meal.

Oh, and I’m reading poetry on my coffee mug. And some of my T-shirts. Maybe I’ve been playing board games themed around poetry, too. Pretty much anywhere I look, there’s poetry. And I mean that literally. What? You don’t have these verbose varietals of verse? None of your poetic friends have shared their, ghazal-glam, erasure-ecstatic, or sonnet-themed swag with you?

You might need better friends. Or maybe you need to start the National Poetry Month gift-giving season. Good thing I’ve gotten a head start on your shopping lists. Every poet needs a mug for their tea or coffee or whiskey. They need shirts, too, because laws. And if you’re going to host a National Poetry Month gift exchange, you’d better provide some entertaining games.

Here are 11 perfectly punctuated gifts for National Poetry Month.

Mugs for National Poetry Month

Emily Dickinson Mug

Emily Dickinson “Hope is a thing with feathers” mug. There are a few color options all for $23. Simple with words and a picture of birds on wires, this mug will encourage you to read the rest of the poem.

image of blackout poetry coffee mug, poem reads "do not stop press on"

Blackout Poetry Coffee Mug. Technically, this is called an erasure poem, in which you erase parts of a text to reveal or create a poem. Either way, it’s great on a mug for $20.

Got Poems Mug

Can’t decide on a single poem or poet for your warm beverage needs? Just go with this simple and concise mug for all poetry lovers. Yes, I do got poems. $18 for 11oz and $22 for 15oz.

image of Mary Oliver poem mug

Mary Oliver is one of my absolute favorite poets. There’s a lushness to her language that’s captured so well even in these scant lines of her poetry on this mug. Starting at $16, you can luxuriate in that language daily.

Shirts for National Poetry Month

image of poetry heart tshirt

This shirt is a great way to show your love for poetry, surrounding the word in a heart-shaped cloud of poetic forms and terms. Your non-poetic friends will like it, your poetic friends will go bananas and want to buy their own starting at $19.

woman posing wearing Poet shirt

How do you define a poet? In the case of this shirt, the dictionary definition followed by one word: Me. It’s available in multiple sizes and styles starting at $26.

woman wearing Lift Every Voice and Sing shirt

This shirt is about much more than National Poetry Month. On it is the title of the Black National Anthem, James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” $30.70.

woman wearing The Hill We Climb shirt

Brilliant words from a Black poet sold by a Black-owned Etsy shop? Yes, please. Snag this sweatshirt or hoodie with lines from Amanda Gorman‘s “The Hill We Climb” starting at $38

Decor for National Poetry Month

You Are A Poet print next to a stack of books

Sometimes you just need a little extra inspiration to put lines to page, juice up your imagery, and play with assonance and dissonance. This inspirational print is just that for any poet for $21.

Rumi Poetry Print

Rumi was a 13th-century poet and mystic who created some of the most beautiful verses the world has ever known. This print with gold lettering and stars is a great way to display some of those verses starting at just $34.

road sign that reads Poet Drive

Possibly my favorite of this bunch is simple and fun, a faux road sign that reads Poet Drive. Pretentious? Maybe. Tells everyone where the poet lives? Yep. Grab one for as little as $14.

Of course, we all know the ideal gift for National Poetry Month is, well, poems! Check out these lists of the best poetry for 2023 and upcoming Black poetry books.