Top Reads 2022 | Poetry | Granta

Top Reads 2022 | Poetry

To mark the end of 2022, here are ten of our most popular poems from the last twelve months.


Beautiful Short Loser | Ocean Vuong

I’m on the cliff of myself & these aren’t wings, they’re futures.
For as long as I can remember my body was a small town nightmare.

A poem by Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.


Two Poems| Emily Berry

‘if I had a dog she would be a kind of faith,
I would lift her onto my shoulder, the points
of her ears very elfin and her face, serious,’

Poems by Emily Berry, from her collection Unexhausted Time.


Three Poems | Victoria Adukwei Bulley

‘had a heartbeat, lost it. had a mind, almost, then changed it. at six weeks, a heart begins to beat, like a coin starting to roll, a new idea, a lightbulb, a streetlamp turning on at dusk just as you pass it walking home.’

Three poems by Victoria Adukwei Bulley, from her collection Quiet.


what if mary auntie called me on my birthday | Akwaeke Emezi

‘all the love letters sound the
same, all the men think they’re special, i buy my own selling
spiels, i mean them all, i am so bored’

A poem by Akwaeke Emezi.


On Silk | Sally Wen Mao

‘In the desert,
everything grew wild. I expected
an expanse of death, but everything
sprouted before me, more alive
than I could ever hope to be.’

A poem by Sally Wen Mao.


Letter by Letter | Claire Schwartz

To live among the dead, the Archivist thinks.
His eyebrows do a little jig. With fingers strange
to his wife, the Archivist traces the name of the street
in the village that burned.

A poem by Claire Schwartz, included in our winter issue Granta 158: In the Family.


Prom Notes | Rachel Long

‘I’ll remember your full name
and where it came in the register
for the rest of my life.’

A poem by Rachel Long, which can be read alongside ‘Leavers’, a photoessay by Lewis Khan.


An Excerpt from Distance Sickness | Jenny Xie

‘The city infected quickly, rash of glass and steel
Workers cropping up by the factory towns, waiting to be plucked
Hairs of every head in the family stirred by the tendons of the wind.’

Poetry by Jenny Xie, from her collection The Rupture Tense.


Two Poems | Alycia Pirmohamed

‘In the footnote, she attends to a body shaped
like her body, a body that pours its river into her river.’

Poems by Alycia Pirmohamed.


The Starlings of Dunmore Died on the Eleventh of July | Dawn Watson

‘I heard them hit the ground like pound coins falling
out of trouser pockets. They must have followed me
home from Alexandra Park.’

A poem by Dawn Watson.


Feature image © Lewis Khan