LIST NOVELS IN VERSE FOR ADULTS

A selection of verse novels for grown-ups.

Shout- Laurie Halse Anderson 2019
MEMOIR - Although shelved in YA nonfiction, readers of all ages will find inspiration in Anderson's journey from rape survivor to award-winning author and speaker.

Aednan: An EpicLinnea Axelsson, translated bySaskia Vogel 2024
SWEDISH/HISTORICAL - Two Sámi families struggle to stay together across a century of migration, violence, and colonial trauma. Red Riding Hood's Real Life- Lana Hechtman Ayers 2017
A Little Red Riding Hood retelling.

The Marlow Papers - Ros Barber 2013
HISTORICAL - On May 30, 1593, a celebrated young playwright was killed in a tavern brawl.

Sharp Teeth - Toby Barlow 2008
A horror-thriller-werewolves-in-LA epic poem.

John Brown's Body - Stephen Vincent Benet 1928
HISTORICAL - John Brown, an abolitionist, led an unsuccessful raid of the federal armory in Harpers Ferry, Virginia.

The Home Child- Liz Berry 2023
HISTORICAL -
In 1908, Eliza Showell is one of thousands of British children sent to Canada to work as labourers and servants.
Losing It- Ranjit Bolt 2002
UK - Lucy itches to lose her virginity in a bizzare, magical world.

Mama Phife Represents - Cheryl Boyce-Taylor 2021
A mother loses her son to Type 1 diabetes at the height of his musical career.

Aurora Leigh - Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1856
A dramatic tale of the life of a poet, her cousin, and his romantic interests.

Autobiography of Red - Ann Carson 1999
An updated retelling of the myth of Geryon--a monster--and Herakles.

Watercolor Women, Opaque Men - Ana Castillo 2005
An independent woman raises her son on her own while remembering her migrant-worker parents and the free-spirited aunt who brought her to Chicago.

Blindness and Rage: a Phatasmogoria - Brian Castro 2017
Suffering from a fatal disease, Lucien travels to Paris to complete the epic poem he is writing and live out his last days. There he joins a secret writers' society, Le club des fugitifs, that guarantees to publish the work of its members anonymously, thus relieving them of the burdens of life, and more importantly, the disappointments of authorship. In Paris, Gracq finds himself crossing paths with a parade of phantasms, illustrious writers from the previous century -- masters of identity, connoisseurs of eroticism, theorists of game and rule, émigrés and Oulipeans. He flees from the deathly allure of the Fugitives, and towards the arms of his beloved -- but it may be too late.

The Wise & the Wasted - Chandi Chopra 2021
INDIE - The cast includes: a mother shielding her child from society, an estranged father disappearing without a warning, a lover struggling to embrace his identity, an artist facing his insecurities, and a daughter finding her own trajectory.

The House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros 1991
Esperanza comes of age in Chicago.

Whylah Falls - George Elliott Clarke 2000
CANADIAN - In the heart of Black Nova Scotia, this is a tale of unrequited love, earthy wisdom, devouring corruption and racial injustice.

I & I - George Elliott Clarke, illustrated by Lateef Martin 2009
HISTORICAL/CANADIAN - Betty and her lover, Malcom, travel from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Corpus Christi, Texas—meeting tragedy and bloodshed along the way.

All the Small Things - Fred Peretz Cohn 2021
Martin’s mother loves reading. He has an eye for little things that’ll shape his life.

And She Was - Sarah Corbett 2015
UK - An exploration of how memory deals - or fails to deal - with love and loss.

Here is the Beehive - Sarah Crossan 2020
Ana befriends Rebecca, her lover's widow.

Between His Teeth, Clenched - Neil Czeszejko 2021
INDIE - An artist leaves the city in favor of the seaside village of his past.

Bill of Rights - Fred D'Aguiar 1998
HISTORICAL - A young man is caught up in the mass suicide that took place in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978.

Bloodlines- Fred D'Aguiar 2000
HISTORICAL - Faith, a slave, falls in love with the son of a plantation owner.

Belfry's Mage - O. R. Dorian 2018
INDIE/HISTORICAL - Mercy, a marriageable English princess, chooses between love and duty.

Ruby Moonlight - Ali Cobby Eckermann 2015
AUSTRALIAN -In the nineteenth century, an Aboriginal woman survives the massacre of her entire family. Wandering alone through Ngadjuri land, she encounters a luckless trapper.

Lara - Bernardine Evaristo 1997
UK - The novel travels back over 150 years, seven generations and three continents to trace Lara's Nigerian and British ancestry. (Consider reading the 2014 expanded edition.)

The Emperor's Babe - Bernardine Evaristo 2000
HISTORICAL/UK - In third-century London, Zuleika, a restless bride of a rich businessman, has an affair with Emperor Septimus Severus.

Girl, Woman, Other - Bernardine Evaristo 2019
UK - The twelve characters lead different lives, including Amma, a playwright whose work explores her Black lesbian identity; her friend Shirley is a teacher; Carole, one of Shirley’s former students, is an investment banker; Carole’s mother Bummi works as a cleaner and worries about her daughter.

Charlotte: A Novel- David Foenkinos, translated by Sam Taylor
Obsessed with art, Charlotte attended school in Germany until it was too dangerous to remain. A pregnant Charlotte was killed in Auschwitz at the age of 26, but not before she entrusted her life's work to a friend.

The Broken Word: An Epic Poem of the British Empire in Kenya, and the Mau Mau Uprising Against It- Adam Foulds 2008
UK - Tom, a young man who has returned to his family's farm, is caught up in the violent conflict.

Apple (Skin To The Core) - Eric Gansworth 2020
MEMOIR - Eric's story of his Onondaga family, from government boarding schools to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young man fighting to be an artist. Shelved as a YA title, but doesn't read like one.

Jungle Nama Amitav Ghosh, Illustrated by Salman Toor 2021
INDIA - A retelling of an episode from the legend of Bon Bibi, a tale popular in the villages of the Sundarban. It is the story of the avaricious rich merchant Dhona, the poor lad Dukhey, and his mother; it is also the story of Dokkhin Rai, a mighty spirit who appears to humans as a tiger, of Bon Bibi, the benign goddess of the forest, and her warrior brother Shah Jongoli. Told in a poyar-like meter of twenty-four syllable couplets.

Orlam - PJ Harvey 2022
UK- Nine-year-old Ira-Abel lives on Hook Farm, Underwhelm. The nearby Gore Woods is overseen by Orlam, the lamb’s eyeball, guardian, and protector. Written in the Dorset dialect with facing-page English translation.

Dead Reckoning - Brooks Haxton 1989
Eddy, a Vietnam veteran, attempts to come to terms with his dying father by sneaking him out of the hospital.

All the Way Home - Kristen Henry 2012
AUSTRALIAN- Set in the 1960s, Jessie, an American, and Flannery, with strong ties to Ireland, find themselves in Australia.

Blood and Old Belief- Paul Hetherington 2013
AUSTRALIAN- A farming family struggles with the drought and personal crises.

Forgotten Work - Jason Guriel 2021
In 2063, a man and his ex’s daughter search for a rock music hero.

Triangles - Ellen Hopkins 2011
Three women, Holly, Andrea, and Marissa, wander off course, straying from their families—sometimes into the arms of another.

Collateral - Ellen Hopkins 2012
Ashley, a young woman studying for her MFA, falls in love with Cole, a soldier who asks her to marry him.

The Age of Phillis - Honorée Fanonne Jeffers 2021
HISTORICAL - In 1773, a young, African American woman named Phillis Wheatley published a book of poetry. From her childhood in the Gambia, West Africa, her life with her white American owners, her friendship with Obour Tanner, and her marriage to the enigmatic John Peters.

Gap - Rebecca Jessen 2014
AUSTRALIAN -A man is found dead in the suburbs, a police officer walks the line between duty and loyalty, and a woman is on the run.

Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile - Alice Jolly 2018
As the nineteenth century draws towards a close, Mary Ann Sate, an elderly maidservant, sets out to write her truth in this fictional found memoir.

The Sylphid and the Sage - Daniel R. Jones 2021
INDIE - When one of the city’s Sages dies unexpectedly, it’s time to elect a new leader.

Dark Star - Oliver Langmead 2015
UK - A girl from an upper-class family is found dead, her blood exchanged for a luminous drug. Virgil Yorke is on the case.

Darlington's Fall- Brad Leithauser 2012
Forty years of Russel Darlington's life takes you from Indiana at the turn on the 20th century, over the Rockies and to an island in the Pacific.

The Night Library of Sternendach: A Vampire Opera - Jessica Lévai 2021
Kunigunde is destined to become the next in a long line of vampire hunters.

Evangeline, a Tale of Arcadie - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1847
A beautiful epic poem about Evangeline and her betrothed, Gabriel, as they are deported from Nova Scotia.

Dreaming of You – Melissa Lozada-Oliva 2021
A lonely millennial poet hosts a séance to bring pop star Selena Quintanilla back to life.

Ludlow - David Mason 2010
Coal miners in southern Colorado were kicked out of their company-owned homes and move into a tent community. They hold out until the Ludlow Massacre of April 1914.

I had a Brother Once - Adam Mansbach 2021
MEMOIR - Adam is forced to re-remember a brother he thought he knew.

The Sugar Mile - Gyln Maxwell 2006
Former Londoner, Joey, unfolds a tale of 1942 air raids while sitting in a New York City bar in September 2001.

The Lehman Trilogy - Stefano Massini, translated by Richard Dixon, 2020
The epic rise and fall of three generations and the story of modern capitalism in America.

Out from the Pleiades: a picaresque novella in verse - Leslie McGrath 2014
A retelling of the myths surrounding the Seven Sisters.

Poguemahone - Patrick McCabe 2022
UK - Una, suffering from dementia in a nursing home, would be all alone without her brother Dan who recounts their family's history.

The Changing Light in Sandover- James Merrill 1982
A tale of otherworldly, occult travels revealed by Ouija board sessions.

You - A. T. Micalizzi 2019
INDIE/MEMOIR - A childhood love moves away. Until they meet up ten years later.

Fredy Neptune - Les Murray 1998
HISTORICAL/AUSTRALIAN - Fred Boettcher, an Australian of German parentage, loses his sense of touch after witnessing the horrors of the first world war.

Here Comes the Dogs - Omar Musa 2016
AUSTRALIAN - Three young men are waiting for a chance to fit in. As the surrounding hills roar with flames, the change storms in. But it’s not what they were waiting for.

I Carry My Mother - Lesléa Newman
MEMOIR - A daughter’s journey of her mother’s illness and death.

I Wish My Father - Lesléa Newman 2021
MEMOIR - A daughter and her father share in their grief her mother dies.

In Sight of Home - Nessa O'Mahony 2009
HISTORCAL/UK - A fictional protagonist researches family history, finding journal entries, letters and poems belonging to Marget Butler, a real woman who emigrated to Australia in the 1850s and whose family left an archive of her letters in the National Library of Ireland.

That Reminds Me - Derek Owusu 2019
UK - A boy born to Ghanaian parents grows up in London.

Root Leaf Flower Fruit - Bill Nelson
NZ - A young man prepares his grandmother's farm for auction while she is bedridden from a stroke.

I Carry My Mother - Lesléa Newman
MEMOIR - A daughter’s journey of her mother’s illness and death.

Lawrie and Shirley: A Movie in Verse 2006; Coda for Shirley 2011; and Cara Carissima 2015- Geoff Page
AUSTRALIAN - A late-life love affair upsets the smug comfort of younger people, and confounds social expectations.

Inside the Whale - Joseph Peterson 2012
Jim struggles with alcoholism.

The Monkey's Mask - Dorothy Porter 1997
AUSTRALIAN - On the trail of the murderer, Jill falls hopelessly in love with a crucial piece of the puzzle and uncovers the hypocrisy of the poetry scene in Sydney.

Ten Bridges I've Burnt: A Memoir in Verse - Brontez Purnell 2024
MEMOIR - From the beloved author of 100 Boyfriends, a wrenching, sexy, and exhilaratingly energetic memoir in verse.

Eugene Onegin - Alexander Puskin 1833, translated by Stanley Mitchell,
RUSSIAN - Bored with the triviality of everyday life in 1820s St. Petersburg, Eugene takes a trip to the countryside, where he meets Tatyana.

History: The Home Movie - Craig Raine 1996
UK - The stories of two families, the Pasternaks and the Raines, who touch each other and are touched by history in different ways.

Quiver- Deryn Rees-Jones 2004
UK - Fay, a poet with writer's block, becomes a murder suspect after she stumbles over the body of her husband's former lover.

The Poet - Louisa Reid
UK - Emma is entangled in a toxic romance with her old professor.

Michael + Josephine - Jo Reyes-Boitel 2019
INDIE - A love story between St. Michael the Archangel, now a queer woman, and Josephine, a disaster relief worker.

The Long Take: A noir narrative - Robin Robertson 2018
Walker is a D-Day veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder. He turns to urban America to piece his life together at a time when the country is splitting apart.

The Others - Matthew Rohrer 2017
A publishing assistant encounters ghost stories, science fiction adventures, and robots.

In Real Life: An English-Spanish Novel in Poems - Leticia Sala 2021
A woman finds love half a world away.

Gender Artist: A mother’s poems about raising a queer child in a straight world - Lee A. Schwartz 2021
MEMOIR - A mother’s response to her child’s gender transformation.

The Wherewithal - Philip Schultz 2015
Henryk hides from the draft of Vietnam at a job in the basement of a government building with his mother's journal of the Jebwabne Massacre and notes from his deceased predecessor.

The Golden Gate - Vikram Seth 1986
The intertwined lives of four California Yuppies told in sonnets.

Nine Hours North - Tim Sinclair 2006
AUSTRALIAN - A tale of culture, identity and love… and letting it all go.

The Hunchback of Nieman Marcus, A Novel About Marriage, Motherhood, and Mayhem - Sonya Sones 2011
The opposite of a YA novel, Holly's daughter is leaving for college while her mother is hospitalized. Amid hot flashes and doubts, she must finish writing her novel and manage to stay married.

The Perfect Nine: The Epic of Gĩkũyũ and Mũmbi - Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o 2020
In a blend folklore, mythology, adventure, and allegory, the Gĩkũyũ founders set out to find partners for their ten daughters.

The Love Story of the Century - Marta Tikkanen translated by Stina Katchadourian 1978
FINNISH - A woman's husband is an alcoholic.

Omeros - Derek Walcott 1990
A West Indies version of the Iliad, with two fishermen, Achille and Hector, fighting over Helen, a housemaid.

Nothing Sacred - Linda Weste 2015
HISTORICAL/AUSTRALIAN - Siblings Clodius Pulchri and Clodia Metelli incite the wrath of late Republican Rome’s elite – and in particular, Cicero.

The Wynona Stone Poems - Caki Wilkinson 2014
Wynona is about to lose her job, doesn't love the man she's with, and everything she tries falls short.



Chinese Fish - Grace Yee 2023
AUSTRALIAN - Ping leaves Hong Kong for a new life in New Zealand.