detail from cover of The Poetry of Derek Walcott Courtesy of Farrar, Straus, and Giroux hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Amiri Baraka, shown here in 1972, was a renowned poet whose politics strongly shaped his work. Julian C. Wilson/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Julian C. Wilson/AP

Matthea Harvey's upcoming collection mixes poetry with visual art — like this image. Faces drawn by Monika Zarzecna. Matthea Harvey/Graywolf Press hide caption

itoggle caption Matthea Harvey/Graywolf Press

Medgar Evers was the first NAACP field secretary in Mississippi. The civil rights leader was killed in 1963. AP hide caption

itoggle caption AP

On Dec. 8, three days after Nelson Mandela's death, a girl in Johannesburg lights a candle in his memory. Poet Mbali Vilakazi has written an elegy for Mandela that asks the next generation of South Africans to continue his legacy. Pedro Ugarte/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Pedro Ugarte/AFP/Getty Images

Cover of New and Selected Poems by David Lehman. Courtesy of Scribner hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Scribner