Something curious has been happening in the world of books as of late: more and more people are reading poetry. There are a host of explanations as to why this might be happening, but among them is a kind of clarity. At a point in time when complex sociopolitical issues are omnipresent, the right poem might help the right reader come to a greater understanding of an issue, or discover an increased amount of empathy within themselves.

This isn’t the only time in history that this has happened – and these are far from the only books of poetry dealing with these issues right now – but the present moment has abounded with stunningly good poetry that address subjects from feminism to institutional racism, to gender and the devastation of the environment. Here’s a look at 11 collections of poetry that make impressive use of the form and offer readers an increased perspective on the contemporary world.

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