5 Birmingham bookstores share their recommendations for National Poetry Day, Oct. 3

boy in white t-shirt reading book
Warm coffee, a cozy nook and a good book—the recipe for happiness. Photo via Unsplash

Nothing beats cuddling up on a chilly autumn day with a good book. If you’re searching for a new read, check out these 5 local bookstores and their poetry recommendations for National Poetry Day.

1. Thank You Books

Thank You Books is a newer addition to the list of Birmingham bookstores. Located in Crestwood Village, they have reopened, allowing six customers at a time in the shop—with masks on, of course. You can also order for curbside pickup during store hours, or get a new read shipped to your home.

  • Poetry Recs: Magic City Gospel by local poet Ashley Jones, The Uses of the Body by Deborah Landau, The Cipher by Molly Brodak, Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong, Every Riven Thing by Christian Wiman, & Dune by Mary Ruefle
  • Address: 5502B Crestwood Blvd Birmingham, AL 35212 
  • Hours: Tues-Fri, 11AM-5PM | Sat 10AM-3PM
  • Call | Website | Instagram | Facebook

2. Little Professor

Little Professor in Homewood is Birmingham’s oldest independent bookstore. The shop recently came under new ownership, but its charm remains the same. They’re currently offering curbside pickup, free local delivery and nationwide shipping.

  • Poetry Rec: Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver
  • Address: 2844 18th St S. Homewood, AL 35209
  • Hours: Mon-Fri, 9AM-5PM | Sat-Sun, 8AM-5PM
  • Call | Website | Instagram | Facebook

3. Burdock Book Collective

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"Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color" edited by Christopher Soto⁠ .⁠ Publisher's Weekly writes about this collective from @nightboatbooks: "According to Soto, three elements were considered in choosing the more than 100 poems included here: a poem’s emotionality, the risks a poet is taking, and whether the poet has been “absolutely pivotal to development of other queer of color poets.” Soto also recognizes the limitations of such an anthology, particularly in regards to the nebulous nature of defining terms of identity and ways included poets self-identify, as well as the various ways the work may be seen by other members of related communities in the U.S. and internationally. Despite these caveats, Soto succeeds in assembling an expansive, sonorous, and literarily significant volume that reveals the broad range of engagements queer poets of color have undertaken over the years."⁠ .⁠ The first collection of its kind, we highly recommend you pick up this anthology which is available for purchase in our online bookstore.⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ [image description: "Queer Poets of Color" cover features a blurred human for with soft grey background and black border. The book is held in front of a peach wall made of squares with dark border and light inside]⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #Neplanta #QueerPoetsOfColor #QueerBookstore #FeministBookstore #BirminghamBooks #BirminghamBookstores #Feminism #NewYear #Feminism #IndieBookstore #SupportQueerBusiness #SupportRadicalSpaces #BurdockBookCollective #Feminist #Bookstore #LocalBookstore #QueerBooks #Poetry #QuarantineReading

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Burdock Book Collective is an intersectional feminist bookstore
and community space in Avondale. Their collection is full of diverse + inspiring reads. You can shop their entire selection online here.

  • Poetry Rec: Nepantla: An Anthology for Queer Poets of Color edited by Christopher Soto
  • Address: 4413 5th Avenue South Birmingham, Alabama
  • Hours: Offering curbside pick up on Sunday’s from 4-6PM
  • Website | Instagram | Facebook

4. Alabama Booksmith

Alabama Booksmith is one of Birmingham’s most unique bookstores—Every book on their shelves is signed by the author! Due to the virus, their showroom is closed. But you can shop their entire selection of signed books online.

  • Poetry Rec: Make Me Rain by Nikki Giovanni—and signed copies will be available at Alabama Booksmith later this month!
  • Address: 2626 19th Place South Birmingham, AL 35209
  • Website | Instagram | Facebook

5. Church Street Coffee + Books

A cup of coffee and a good read—name a better duo. We’ll wait. At Church Street Coffee + Books, that’s exactly what you’ll get. (Plus, one of their iconic Break-Up Cookies if you’re craving a sweet treat.)

  • Poetry Rec: This Day by Wendell Berry
  • Address: 81 Church St, Mountain Brook, AL 35213
  • Hours: Daily, 6AM-6PM
  • Call | Website | Instagram | Facebook

Looking for more ways to celebrate National Poetry Day? Check out this story highlighting 7 local poets you need to be following.

  • Most likely Instagrammin’ the Birmingham skyline, behind the camera shooting photos or writing stories (with too many puns) for Bham Now.