With a keen eye on the paradoxes of human experience, these titles find new ways to celebrate resilience and the innumerable joys of the everyday.
Frank Bidart. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Sept. 14 ($25, ISBN 978-0-374-60351-9)
Pulitzer Prize– and National Book Award–winner Bidart explores history, life cycles, and his own psychic landscape in poems that interrogate feeling, the past, and language.
Genghis Chan on Drums
John Yau. Omnidawn, Oct. 1 ($17.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63243-100-4)
Yau considers history, poets of the past, aging, personal and political identity, mass shootings, and stereotypes of Chinese citizens in poems that address various crises of the times.
Make Me Rain: Poems & Prose
Nikki Giovanni. Morrow, Sept. 28 ($15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-06-299529-2)
Giovanni reckons with societal injustices, personal experiences, and her Black heritage in light of racism and white nationalism. Her poems speak against Donald Trump and segregation, as well as to her relatives.
Phillip B. Williams. Penguin Books, Sept. 7 ($20 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-14-313693-4)
Ruminating on resistance and reinvention, as well as exploitation and selfhood, Williams turns against classical mythology and canonical figures of Western culture to celebrate Afro-diasporan folk and spirituality, and the hope and power of transformation.
My Darling from the Lions
Rachel Long. Tin House, Sept. 21 ($16.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-951142-71-1)
Sexual politics, cultural inheritance, Black identity, and the polarities of contemporary life are investigated in Long’s poems, which are full of stories of family, faith, sexuality, and growing up.
The Nick of Time
Rosmarie Waldrop. New Directions, Sept. 7 ($16.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-8112-3053-7)
Through poems that engage with time’s passage, mortality, the Earth, and memory, Waldrop questions the most abstract and difficult experiences and complexities of human life.
Devon Walker-Figueroa. Milkweed, Sept. 14 ($16 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-57131-522-9)
Winner of the 2020 National Poetry Series, this debut from Walker-Figueroa ponders beauty, nature, and the landscape of Philomath, Ore.
Kevin Young. Knopf, Sept. 21 ($27, ISBN 978-1-5247-3256-1)
In poems that engage with family and the American South among other subjects, Young weaves a portrait of past and present to offer a testament to the lasting powers of poetry.
Such Color: New and Selected Poems
Tracy K. Smith. Graywolf, Oct. 5 ($26, ISBN 978-1-64445-067-3)
The first career-spanning volume from Smith collects the best poems across her four award-winning collections, highlighting her interest in exploring the known and the unknown. The book concludes with 30 pages of new poems.
Winter Recipes from the Collective: Poems
Louise Glück. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Oct. 20 ($25, ISBN 978-0-374-60410-3)
The 13th book by Nobel-winner Glück contemplates old age, loss, and the details and scenes that make up everyday life in poems that use a choruslike style to illuminate their subjects.
Ima and Coli Are the Tree That Was Never a Seed/Ima y coli son el arbol que nunca fue semilla by Alejandro Pérez-Cortés (Dec. 7, $16.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-61775-981-9). Winner of the National Poetry Series Paz Prize for Poetry, Pérez-Cortés’s collection pays homage to his hometown of Colima, Mexico, and celebrate nature and place.
Love Is Enough by Andrea Zanatelli (Dec. 28, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5248-6308-1) combines Zanatelli’s detailed digital collages with a selection of classical love poems by Anne Brontë, William Blake, Christina Rossetti, Elizabeth Dickinson, Percy Shelley, and others.
New Names for Lost Things by Noor Unnahar (Oct. 19, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5248-6759-1). In this illustrated poetry collection, poet and visual artist Unnahar explores individuality, grief, and loneliness.
The Animal Indoors by Carly Inghram (Sept. 26, $16.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-938769-87-0). Inghram’s poems address the day-to-day experiences of a Black queer woman facing bigotry and hardship, while interrogating and recognizing what safe spaces exist for Black women.
Speculation, N. by Shayla Lawz (Oct. 26, $16.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63768-005-6). In poems that consider the past, sexuality, love, and loss, Lawz confronts the idea of witness and public spectatorship as related to Black bodies.
Long Rules: An Essay in Verse by Nathaniel Perry (Nov. 1, $15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4962-2798-0). Five Trappist monasteries in the southeastern United States serve as the setting of this book-length poem in six sections. Perry’s poems explore the overlaps of individuality, family, and landscape, and draw from religious motifs.
Years of Fire and Ash by Wamuwi Mbao (Nov. 16, $18.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-77619-144-4) compiles more than five decades of South African protest poetry. Combining old and new voices, the anthology is organized around the principle of “decolonisation,” allowing readers to see the role played by South African poetry in the world.
Cold Candies by Lee Young-Ju, trans. by Jae Kim (Oct. 1, $16, trade paper, ISBN 978-1-939568-40-3). Translated by National Endowment of Arts Fellow Kim, South Korean poet Young-Ju’s poems examine the self, trauma, and pain.
Opera Buffa by Tomaz Salamun, trans. by Matthew Moore (Sept. 1, $16 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-939568-42-7). Evoking landscapes of Central Europe and the Mediterranean, Salamun’s poems engage with personal and collective memory, climate change, and violence.
Breath Better Spent: Living Black Girlhood by DaMaris B. Hill (Jan. 25, $25, ISBN 978-1-63557-647-4) regards the experience of Black girlhood from a personal and historical perspective, examining the crisis and hardships this demographic faces in America.
Ceive by B.K. Fischer (Sept. 21, $17 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-950774-43-2). Fischer’s novella-in-verse is a poetic recasting of the story of Noah’s Ark, told from the point of view of a woman named Val, discovered in a pile of debris by a former UPS delivery employee.
Tenderness by Derrick Austin (Sept. 7, $17 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-950774-39-5). In poems that move from the Frick museum in Manhattan, to Florida, then Mexico City, Austin examines the impact of violence, particularly racism and homophobia, on intimacy and relationships.
The Absence of Zero by R. Kolewe (Nov. 9, $24 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-77166-726-5) is made up of 256 16-line quartets and 34 free-form interruptions. An elegy for the 20th century, the poem considers the interplay between the past and present.
Umbilical Cord by Hasan Namir (Sept. 14, $18 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-77166-718-0). Lambda Literary and Stonewall Book Award–winner Namir writes free-verse poems about parenting, fatherhood, and hope, joyfully chronicling his and his husband’s journey toward parenthood.
Everything Never Comes Your Way by Nicole Stellon O’Donnell (Aug. 17, $16.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-59709-924-0). The third book from O’Donnell considers memory and wilderness in poems that engage with memoir and philosophy, while challenging the poet’s role as a cataloger of the natural world.
You Better Be Lightning by Andrea Gibson (Nov. 9, $18 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-943735-99-0). The winner of the Woman of the World Poetry Slam in 2008 examines queer, political, and feminist identity in these self-reflective poems.
All Dogs Are Good: Poems and Memories by Courtney Peppernell (Nov. 9, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-77168-255-8) celebrates the relationship between dogs and humans. A percentage of sales are donated to Peppernell’s foundation, Hope for Animals. 60,000-copy announced first printing.
Revolutionary Letters: 50th Anniversary Edition: Pocket Poets Series No. 27 by Diane Di Prima (Oct. 5 $17.95, ISBN 978-0-87286-879-3). Featuring 15 new poems, the expanded 50th anniversary edition of Di Prima’s book highlights the poet’s political and ecofeminist–Zen Beat poetry.
ink earl by Susan Holbrook (Sept. 21, $17.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-55245-427-5). Holbrook’s erasure poem takes ad copy and omits words, creating a new text from a nonliterary source text, revealing works that engage with love, politics, and family.
America by Fernando Valverde, trans. by Carolyn Forche (Sept. 28, $18 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-55659-622-3). This bilingual edition features the Spanish originals and English translations of Valverde’s poems examining the inheritance of empire, and America’s politics and landscapes.
A God at the Door: Writings and Conversations by Tishani Doshi (Nov. 9, $16 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-55659-452-6). Exploring nature, humanity, and injustice, Doshi’s poems introspectively interrogate human connections and contemporary life.
Winter Phoenix: Testimonies in Verse by Sophia Terazawa (Oct. 19, $16 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64605-142-7). In her debut, Terazawa, daughter of a Vietnamese refugee, considers the colonial and linguistic legacy of the Vietnam war in a work comprising imagined testimonies in verse.
Maroon Choreography by Fahima Ife (Aug. 6, $21.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4780-1425-6). In three long-form poems and a lyrical essay, Ife addresses Black fugitivity from enslavement, questioning how the practice of writing may itself prove its own escape.
Requeening by Amanda Moore (Oct. 26, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-06-309628-8). Winner of the 2020 National Poetry Series, Moore’s collection draws upon the matriarchal structure of the beehive to consider the various roles played by women in domestic and public settings.
Poems of London, edited by Christopher Reid (Oct. 5, $15.95, ISBN 978-0-593-32020-4), pays tribute to London with poems by, among others, William Shakespeare and T. S. Eliot, and tributes by Arthur Rimbaud and Sylvia Plath.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Howdie-Skelp by Paul Muldoon (Nov. 16, $26, ISBN 978-0-374-60295-6). In his 14th collection, Pulitzer winner Muldoon darkly reinvents The Waste Land and writes elegies for friends and a crown of sonnets responding to the first days of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Yellow Rain by Mai Der Vang (Sept. 21, $17 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64445-065-9) brings to life the aftermath of the biological weapon known as “yellow rain” that was dropped on the Hmong people after the Vietnam War.
I Hope This Finds You Well by Kate Baer (Nov. 9, $12 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-06-313799-8). Baer fashions erasure poems made from notes she received from followers, supporters and detractors, including hate mail from online trolls.
How Not to Be Afraid of Everything by Jane Wong (Oct. 12, $17.95, trade paper, ISBN 978-1-948579-21-6) considers modern life while reckoning with intergenerational trauma and family history.
Machete by Tomás Q. Morín (Oct. 12, $27, ISBN 978-0-593-31964-2) questions identity, place, culture, and suffering, in poems that draw from private and public life.
Day of the Child: A Poem by Arra Lynn Ross (Nov. 9, $16 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-57131-537-3) uses poems about parenthood to engage with other subjects, including identity, art, and writing.
New York Review Books
Migrations: Poem, 1976–2020 by Gloria Gervitz, trans. by Mark Schafer (Sept. 21, $20 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68137-570-0). This marks the first complete translation of Mexican poet Gervitz’s magnum opus, a book-length epic poem that pays tribute to women.
Interventions for Women by Angela Hume (Oct. 1, $17.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63243-096-0) dissects experiences of womanhood, emphasizing the pressures enforced on girls, in poems that address societal norms and systemic sexism.
Habitus by Fabias Radna, trans. by David Colmer (Sept. 28, $15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64605-098-7). The debut from the Curaçao-born Dutch poet explores the Caribbean island of Curaçao and the immigrant experience of the Netherlands in poems that tackle racism, sexism, and other ills.
Earthly Delights by Troy Jollimore (Sept. 14, $17.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-691-21882-3). Jollimore’s philosophical and elegiac collection of poems on movies, music, and art opens with an invocation to the muse and closes with the departure of Odysseus from Ithaca. Its long poem, “American Beauty,” reinterprets the eponymous film.
English Lit by Bernard Clay (Aug. 20, $18.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-7352242-7-5). This newly revised and expanded edition of Clay’s autobiographical poetry explores Black male identity and urban and rural Kentucky.
Univ. of Chicago
Heard-Hoard by Atsuro Riley (Sept. 22, $20, ISBN 978-0-226-78942-2) weaves reflections on America’s landscapes and its people in poems that serve as portraits, stories, and hymns, combining personal accounts with lore.
Faces Hidden in the Dust: Selected Ghazals of Ghalib trans. by Tony Barnstone and Bilal Shaw (Nov. 2, $18 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-945680-50-2), brings the Urdu poems of Ghalib (1797–1869), called “the Shakespeare of India” and “the last great poet of the Mughal empire,” to modern audiences.
They’ll Be Good for Seed: Anthology of Contemporary Hungarian Poetry, edited by Gabor Gyukics and Michael Castro (Oct. 26, $20 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-945680-49-6). This anthology of Hungarian poetry draws from contemporary Hungarian literary publications to create a book of “living poems.”