100 books like Resistance

By Sue Goyette (editor),

Here are 100 books that Resistance fans have personally recommended if you like Resistance. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Worth More Standing: Poets and Activists Pay Homage to Trees

Penn Kemp Author Of Poems in Response to Peril: An Anthology in Support of Ukraine

From my list on Canadian anthologies for social justice, women, and the environment.

Who am I?

I love gathering poets together to celebrate different causes. In fact, I hosted a weekly literary radio show, Gathering Voices, for seven years and published a book/cd collection, Gathering Voice. Since 1972, I have been publishing poetry as well as editing anthologies that collect differing voices, as an activist and poet/editor: gathering voices for women, nature, and social justice is my passion. Given the immensity of suffering in the war on Ukraine, I was galvanized to gather together poems in solidarity with Ukrainians. The anthology, co-edited with Richard-Yves Sitoski, was launched 3 months after the invasion began: a huge endeavor that included 48 activist poets.

Penn's book list on Canadian anthologies for social justice, women, and the environment

Penn Kemp Why did Penn love this book?

I love this anthology for its activism, all too necessary now! Poets, both settler and Indigenous, pay tribute to trees through reflections on the past, connections to the present, and calls for the protection of our future. In Worth More Standing: Poets and Activists Pay Homage to Trees, celebrated poets and activists pay homage to the ghosts of lost forests and issue a rallying cry to protect remaining ancient giants and restore uncolonized spaces. Themes of connection, ecology, grief, and protection are explored through poems about trees and forests written by an impressive number of influential poets.

By Christine Lowther (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Worth More Standing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Poets, both settler and Indigenous, pay tribute to trees through reflections on the past, connections to the present, and calls for the protection of our future.

In Worth More Standing: Poets and Activists Pay Homage to Trees, celebrated poets and activists pay homage to the ghosts of lost forests and issue a rallying cry to protect remaining ancient giants and restore uncolonized spaces.

Themes of connection, ecology, grief, and protection are explored through poems about trees and forests written by an impressive number of influential poets, several of whom have attended the recent Fairy Creek blockades and still others who…


Book cover of Heartwood: Poems for the Love of Trees

Penn Kemp Author Of Poems in Response to Peril: An Anthology in Support of Ukraine

From my list on Canadian anthologies for social justice, women, and the environment.

Who am I?

I love gathering poets together to celebrate different causes. In fact, I hosted a weekly literary radio show, Gathering Voices, for seven years and published a book/cd collection, Gathering Voice. Since 1972, I have been publishing poetry as well as editing anthologies that collect differing voices, as an activist and poet/editor: gathering voices for women, nature, and social justice is my passion. Given the immensity of suffering in the war on Ukraine, I was galvanized to gather together poems in solidarity with Ukrainians. The anthology, co-edited with Richard-Yves Sitoski, was launched 3 months after the invasion began: a huge endeavor that included 48 activist poets.

Penn's book list on Canadian anthologies for social justice, women, and the environment

Penn Kemp Why did Penn love this book?

Trees are being cleared at a faster rate than any time in history! How can we possibly reverse this? How can poetry raise awareness of the value of our forests, worth more standing? This anthology, in its breadth and scope, offers readers hope, and prompts us to action on behalf of our trees. The anthology features an important introduction by Diana Beresford-Kroeger, author of The Global Forest and renowned expert on trees.

This anthology continues my theme of activism through poetry to raise awareness about our threatened environment. With over 100 poems and contributions from poets all over the country, Heartwood is a tribute to and celebration of the timeless impact of nature on Canadian poetry. “We must turn to the poets to expand dreams. This is because trees are the parents to the child deep within us. Forests bear silent witness to the tides of time upon which we…

By Lesley Strutt (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Heartwood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Voicing Suicide

Penn Kemp Author Of Poems in Response to Peril: An Anthology in Support of Ukraine

From my list on Canadian anthologies for social justice, women, and the environment.

Who am I?

I love gathering poets together to celebrate different causes. In fact, I hosted a weekly literary radio show, Gathering Voices, for seven years and published a book/cd collection, Gathering Voice. Since 1972, I have been publishing poetry as well as editing anthologies that collect differing voices, as an activist and poet/editor: gathering voices for women, nature, and social justice is my passion. Given the immensity of suffering in the war on Ukraine, I was galvanized to gather together poems in solidarity with Ukrainians. The anthology, co-edited with Richard-Yves Sitoski, was launched 3 months after the invasion began: a huge endeavor that included 48 activist poets.

Penn's book list on Canadian anthologies for social justice, women, and the environment

Penn Kemp Why did Penn love this book?

Voicing Suicide is a collection of poems about suicide and its impact on lives. When my stepdaughter killed herself, I desperately needed an anthology like this. Decades later, the poems here still resonate and console me. The book arises out of a conviction that poetry offers an opportunity to understand some of the difficult aspects of suicide by allowing us to give it voice; through memory, and elegy, through an honest declaration of the draw of death. In poetry, we can enter the spaces suicide shapes around loss and sorrow and give it voice. Poems can speak to the loss of a loved one, to considering suicide, to struggling to make sense of suicide and poems can offer the words of those who have suicided. Although intense and sometimes painful, the book is honest, in moments delicate and tender. It offers an important exploration of suicide by writers who have…

By Daniel G. Scott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Voicing Suicide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Voicing Suicide is a collection of poems about suicide and its impact on lives. The book arises out of a conviction that poetry offers an opportunity to understand some of the difficult aspects of suicide by allowing us to give it voice; through memory, and elegy, through an honest declaration of the draw of death. In poetry, we can enter the spaces suicide shapes around loss and sorrow and give it voice. Poems can speak to the loss of a loved one, to considering suicide, to struggling to make sense of suicide and poems can offer the words of those…


Book cover of On the Storm/In the Struggle: Poets on Survival

Penn Kemp Author Of Poems in Response to Peril: An Anthology in Support of Ukraine

From my list on Canadian anthologies for social justice, women, and the environment.

Who am I?

I love gathering poets together to celebrate different causes. In fact, I hosted a weekly literary radio show, Gathering Voices, for seven years and published a book/cd collection, Gathering Voice. Since 1972, I have been publishing poetry as well as editing anthologies that collect differing voices, as an activist and poet/editor: gathering voices for women, nature, and social justice is my passion. Given the immensity of suffering in the war on Ukraine, I was galvanized to gather together poems in solidarity with Ukrainians. The anthology, co-edited with Richard-Yves Sitoski, was launched 3 months after the invasion began: a huge endeavor that included 48 activist poets.

Penn's book list on Canadian anthologies for social justice, women, and the environment

Penn Kemp Why did Penn love this book?

This anthology attempts to answer ongoing questions about struggle in poems that engaged, challenged, and comforted me. What might survival sound or look like to us in our daily lives? Is it loud, refusing silence, demanding action? Or quiet, interior? What does surviving feel like in the body, this long into the pandemic? What techniques have helped us exist, continue to bear witness, learn to live with illness, grief, and pain? Is survival the continual interrogation of inequity and oppressive structures? What happens when we get tired of fighting?

Survival may very well be a composite of things; both a tending to one’s inner life and to the processing of life events, as well as the will to act, retrieve momentum. It is also a plurality/multiplicity of practices that serve to keep us well—as persons and with respect to our communities, the ongoing project of social justice/civil rights, which involves…

Book cover of The Blue Clerk: Ars Poetica in 59 Versos

Laura Raicovich Author Of At the Lightning Field

From my list on reimagining the present.

Who am I?

How might we live and write otherwise? I am preoccupied by this question, and am fairly certain that at minimum we have to start by imagining it. As a culture worker and writer I hope my projects and experiments do just this. There is so much to reinvent, and so much that interconnects us. I am inspired by the ways the authors of these books take on their times and passions, and tell stories in ways I find unexpected. Their abilities to integrate divergent avenues of thought, deep research, and truly weird characters and circumstances has lit my imagination and I hope it does yours as well!

Laura's book list on reimagining the present

Laura Raicovich Why did Laura love this book?

I love this book. Dionne Brand conveys what it means to write through a crystalline web of ideas, poetry, and philosophy. Her profound, evocative, and real tale of imagined conversations between a poet and the clerk charged with dealing with their output is simultaneously familiar and fantastical. I got lost in the beauty of language only to be jolted into the realities of the world as it exists in all its beauty and awfulness. 

By Dionne Brand,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Blue Clerk as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On a lonely wharf a clerk in an ink-blue coat inspects bales and bales of paper that hold a poet’s accumulated left-hand pages—the unwritten, the withheld, the unexpressed, the withdrawn, the restrained, the word-shard. In The Blue Clerk renowned poet Dionne Brand stages a conversation and an argument between the poet and the Blue Clerk, who is the keeper of the poet’s pages. In their dialogues—which take shape as a series of haunting prose poems—the poet and the clerk invoke a host of writers, philosophers, and artists, from Jacob Lawrence, Lola Kiepja, and Walter Benjamin to John Coltrane, Josephine Turalba,…


Book cover of Mahabharata: A Modern Retelling

Sohini Sarah Pillai Author Of Many Mahābhāratas

From my list on Mahabharata poems, plays, and novels.

Who am I?

I’m Assistant Professor of Religion at Kalamazoo College and my research focuses on the Mahabharata, an epic narrative tradition from South Asia. As an Indian-American kid growing up in suburban Boston, my first introduction to the Mahabharata tradition was from the stories my grandmother told me when she would visit from Chennai and from the Mahabharata comics that she would bring me. Many years later, my friend and colleague Nell Shapiro Hawley (Preceptor of Sanskrit at Harvard University) and I began to work on a project that would eventually become our edited volume, Many Mahābhāratas. I’m excited to share some of my own personal favorite Mahabharatas with you here.

Sohini's book list on Mahabharata poems, plays, and novels

Sohini Sarah Pillai Why did Sohini love this book?

Considered to be the longest poem in the world, the Sanskrit Mahabharata is comprised of around 1.8 million words (for comparison: the combined length of the seven Harry Potter books is barely 1.1 million words). At 928 pages, Mahabharata: A Modern Retelling is by no means a short book, but it does make the massive Sanskrit epic very accessible for general readers. While the Sanskrit Mahabharata is primarily composed in couplets called shlokas, Carole Satyamurti’s masterful retelling is in blank verse, which is the meter of my two favorite English epics: John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Jack Mitchell’s The Odyssey of Star Wars. I also especially love the way Satyamurti presents Karna, the secret elder brother of Pandavas and one of the greatest tragic heroes in world literature. 

By Carole Satyamurti,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mahabharata as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Mahabharata, originally composed some two thousand years ago is an epic masterpiece, "a hundred times more interesting" than the Iliad and the Odyssey (Wendy Doniger), it is a timeless work that evokes a world of myth, passion and warfare while exploring eternal questions of duty, love and spiritual freedom. A seminal Hindu text, it is one of the most important and influential works in the history of world civilisation.

This new English retelling, innovatively composed in blank verse, covers all the books of the Mahabharata. It masterfully captures the beauty, excitement and profundity of the original Sanskrit poem as…


Book cover of Daniel Finds a Poem

Danna Smith Author Of How Do You Haiku? A Step-by-Step Guide with Templates

From my list on hooking your kids on poetry.

Who am I?

I’ve loved words from the moment I met them. I wrote my first poem when I was eight years old and haven’t stopped yet! As a children’s book author, I love incorporating rhyme, poetry, or lyrical prose in the stories I write. I was a shy kid and often felt like my poetry wasn’t “good enough.” It is my goal to get kids excited about all forms of poetry and I want them to know that they can be poets if they want to and that writing, reading, and sharing poetry is fun and rewarding. 

Danna's book list on hooking your kids on poetry

Danna Smith Why did Danna love this book?

Like Daniel, young kids may have heard the word “poetry,” but what exactly is a poem? 

The collage illustrations will draw you in as Daniel takes a walk through the park asking creatures, “what is poetry,” the spider answers, saying, "to me poetry is when morning dew glistens.” Or maybe it’s “moonlight on the grass.” Daniel finds that poetry is different things to different animals, and he learns that to find his poem all he has to do is look around and listen. A perfect introduction to poetry!

By Micha Archer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Daniel Finds a Poem as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Stunning collage art full of rich color, glorious details, and a sense of wonder—reminiscent of the work of Ezra Jack Keats—illustrate this delightful story celebrating the poetry found in the world around us.
 
What is poetry? Is it glistening morning dew? Spider thinks so. Is it crisp leaves crunching? That’s what Squirrel says. Could it be a cool pond, sun-warmed sand, or moonlight on the grass? Maybe poetry is all of these things, as it is something special for everyone—you just have to take the time to really look and listen. The magical thing is that poetry is in everyone,…


Book cover of The Explosive Expert's Wife

Siobhan Fallon Author Of The Confusion of Languages

From my list on war (that are not actually about war).

Who am I?

I’m an American writer, Army wife, and occasional expat who has spent nearly a decade of my life living abroad (including Japan, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates), not to mention seven Army moves stateside. I love to read (and write!) books that explore discordance and dislocation, what it is like to be an American living overseas in a time of war, and how these things impact relationships with friends, families, and strangers, and our concept of “home.” My writing is often an exploration of the mundane mixed with the catastrophic. Oh, and I have a weakness for stray cats. Lots of stray cats.

Siobhan's book list on war (that are not actually about war)

Siobhan Fallon Why did Siobhan love this book?

Shara Lessley and I met in Amman, Jordan, during the Arab Spring—both of us American writers whose husbands worked at the embassy. Poetry is not a staple of my reading diet, but Lessley’s poems are small, crystalline stories that perfectly encapsulate what it is like to be an American woman living in the Middle East during a time of potential instability. This volume is slim, but the Jordan that emerges is vast and unforgettable.

By Shara Lessley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Explosive Expert's Wife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In sparse, powerful lines, Shara Lessley recalls an expat's displacement, examines her experience as a mother, and offers intimate witness to the unfolding of the Arab Spring. Veering from the strip malls and situation rooms of Washington to the markets and mines of Amman, Lessley confronts the pressures and pleasures of other cultures, exploring our common humanity with all its aggressions, loves, biases, and contradictions.


Book cover of The Sister Arts: The Tradition of Literary Pictorialism and English Poetry from Dryden to Gray

Lawrence Lipking Author Of The Ordering of the Arts in Eighteenth-Century England

From my list on the arts as crucial elements of human life.

Who am I?

I am a chameleon scholar. Though my first love is poetry, I have written about all the arts, about 18th-century authors (especially Samuel Johnson), about theories of literature and literary vocations, about Sappho and other abandoned women, about ancients and moderns and chess and marginal glosses and the meaning of life and, most recently, the Scientific Revolution. But I am a teacher too, and The Ordering of the Arts grew out of my fascination with those writers who first taught readers what to look for in painting, music and poetrywhat works were best, what works could change their lives. That project has inspired my own life and all my writing.

Lawrence's book list on the arts as crucial elements of human life

Lawrence Lipking Why did Lawrence love this book?

In the Restoration and the eighteenth century, the mark of a true poet was to see thingsto describe the visible and invisible worlds so vividly that everyone could see them too. 

Most modern readers are blind to this. But Jean Hagstrum teaches us how to see with eighteenth-century eyes. The pictures that poets make, and the paintings that inspire those visions, come alive in thoughtful readings that focus on the workshops of art: the schools where artists learn the craft of making what is imagined into something that seems real.

By Jean H. Hagstrum,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sister Arts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Obit

Eve Joseph Author Of In the Slender Margin: The Intimate Strangeness of Death and Dying

From my list on grief to normalize mourning and confirm you're not going crazy.

Who am I?

I was eleven when my brother died in a car accident and, although I didn’t know it at the time, this experience shaped me in ways I couldn’t anticipate. Many years later, when I began working as a social worker at a local hospice, I realized that I was drawn to the work as a way to finally grieve that early loss. As I helped people navigate their own losses I found myself feeling my own grief for the first time. It wasn’t until I started writing about the hospice work that I found my brother again. I am powerfully drawn to the parallels between writing and the work of dying. 

Eve's book list on grief to normalize mourning and confirm you're not going crazy

Eve Joseph Why did Eve love this book?

Sorrow is plural but grief is singular writes American poet, Victoria Chang, in her latest book Obit.

To me, this phrase resonates all the more powerfully as we find ourselves emerging from the Covid pandemic and assessing the impact it had on us. We were united, around the world, in our sorrow but the way we grieved was unique to each one of us.

This long poem, written after the death of her mother, is an elegy to grief itself. Taken from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the epigraph at the beginning of the book reads: give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak. This is exactly what the writer has done. 

By Victoria Chang,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Obit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Los Angeles Times Book Prize PEN Voelcker Award Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2020 Time Magazine's 100 Must-Read Books of 2020 NPR's Best Books of 2020 National Book Award in Poetry, Longlist National Book Critics Circle, Finalist Griffin Poetry Prize, Shortlist Frank Sanchez Book Award
After her mother died, poet Victoria Chang refused to write elegies. Rather, she distilled her grief during a feverish two weeks by writing scores of poetic obituaries for all she lost in the world. In Obit, Chang writes of "the way memory gets up after someone has died and…


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