Every month, we shine the light on a book from our collection – one which is new to the library, which has been particularly enjoyed by a borrower, recommended by a volunteer, or which seems salient to the month’s events or happenings. To see the archive of past books of the month from this year, click here.

The current book of the month is…

January: Ten Poems for Winter



January again already, so here at OPL we prescribe curling up with lots of consoling and thoughtful poetry to get you through this bleakest of midwinters. This little collection, ‘Ten Poems for Winter’ is an excellent place to start.

At this time of year, we all brace ourselves to enter a new world of cold and snow and darkness. These ten poems offer snapshots of this world in all its beauty and difficulty.

The poems don’t shy away from the ragged, murky, cold greyness of winter – but there are also moments of whimsy or joy: Ruby Robinson keeping a turtle in the fridge to hibernate, making snow pudding, “small perfections” of nature to be found. There is a poignant Skype call between January and July, a poem which feels especially salient given current circumstances. There are moments of wintery wonder, but where the poems face the struggle of this time of year, there is also solace. There is still a kind of comfort, as found in Robert Hayden’s powerful reflection on “love’s austere and lonely offices” manifested through his father waking up in the freezing dawn to light the fires. Poems can be a powerful source of solidarity, and this small wintery collection offers just that.

Courage, dear OPL members. We’re all pushing through the cold months together – and thankfully, we’ve got enough poetry on our shelves to keep your winter warm.