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Most borrowed books of 2019

It's been a busy year in the library with over 16,000 books loaned and renewed and almost 3,000 new items added to our shelves since December 2018. But can you guess which books are the most borrowed of 2019?

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The winner and most borrowed book from the National Poetry Library in 2019 (at the time of writing) is American Sonnets for my Past and Future Assassin by Terrance Hayes which has been loaned 15 times. In seventy poems bearing the same title, Terrance Hayes explores the meanings of American, of assassin, and of love in the sonnet form.

Written during the first two hundred days of the Trump presidency, these poems are haunted by the country’s past and future eras and errors, its dreams and nightmares. Inventive, compassionate, hilarious, melancholy, and bewildered – the wonders of this collection are irreducible. The book was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award for Poetry and was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize for 2018.

In second place, we have The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus, loaned 13 times. Antrobus's debut has cleaned up on the awards circuit this year, winning the £30,000 Rathbones Folio Prize just a few months after he was announced as the winner of the Ted Hughes Award. 

In a tie for third place, there is Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky and Three Poems by Hannah Sullivan, both of which were borrowed 12 times.

Another tie next, with Don't Call Us Dead by Danez Smith, Say Something Back by Denise Riley and Wade in the Water by Tracy K. Smith all being borrowed 11 times.

Feel Free by Nick Laird has been borrowed 10 times. We close our list with a tie of 9 loans each for Falling Awake by Alice Oswald, Selected Poems by Don Paterson, Soho by Richard Scott, Stranger, baby by Emily Berry, The Black Unicorn by Audre Lorde, and Us by Zaffar Kunial.

Another wonderful year in poetry with so many fantastic collections to discover. We're looking forward to what new works 2020 will bring.