This fall’s poetry list follows a pattern set in the spring: much-anticipated posthumous collections abound (John Wieners, Larry Levis, Frank Lima) alongside a good number of selected works from some of American poetry’s biggest names (Donald Hall, Eileen Myles, Lucia Perillo).
Poetry Top 10
Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems
Joy Harjo. Norton, Sept. 28
In this long-anticipated new volume from one of the most celebrated and essential Native American voices, the joys and struggles of the everyday are played against the grinding politics of being human.
The Darkening Trapeze: Last Poems
Larry Levis, edited by David St. John. Graywolf, Jan. 5
Published 20 years after the poet’s death, this collection contains major unpublished works, including final elegies, brief lyrics, and a coda believed to be the last poem Levis wrote.
Dome of the Hidden Pavilion: New Poems
James Tate. Ecco, Aug. 4
The poems in Tate’s 17th book of verse reveal the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner at his provocative, amusing, understated, and riotous best.
The Emperor of Water Clocks: Poems
Yusef Komunyakaa. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Oct. 6
Pulitzer Prize winner Komunyakaa dons a number of guises throughout this densely lyrical book but retains his jazz-inflected rhythms, surreal images, and celebration of natural beauty and love.
Kay Ryan. Grove, Oct. 6
In her first new collection since winning the Pulitzer Prize, Ryan returns with her signature swift, lucid, lyrical style. Witty and melancholy, playful and heartfelt, she examines enormous subjects in compact poems.
I Must Be Living Twice: New and Selected Poems 1975–2014
Eileen Myles. Ecco, Sept. 29
Myles’s blend of reality and fiction, the sublime and the ephemeral, opens readers to astonishing new considerations of familiar places and invites them into lush—and sometimes horrid—dream worlds.
The Selected Poems of Donald Hall
Donald Hall. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Dec. 1
Former poet laureate Hall, now in his 80s and no longer writing new poems, has hand-picked poems for this definitive collection.
Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners
John Wieners, edited by C.A. Conrad, Robert Dewhurst, and Joshua Beckman. Wave, Oct. 13
This selection of out-of-print and previously unpublished work by the Black Mountain and Beat generation legend includes poems, plus facsimiles, notes, and collages.
Time Will Clean the Carcass Bones: Selected and New Poems
Lucia Perillo. Copper Canyon, Nov. 10
MacArthur Fellow Perillo is a fearless poet whose generous collection draws upon five previous volumes.
The Xenotext, Book I
Christian Bök. Coach House, Oct. 13
The Xenotext, the first living poem, by internationally bestselling poet Bök, provides a scientific framework for the project with a series of poems, texts, and illustrations.
Nine Coins/Nueve monedas by Carlos Pintado (Dec. 1, paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-61775-407-4). Cuban-American Pintado, recipient of the Paz Prize for Poetry, meditates on myths, legends, labyrinths, and the relationships between love, fears, and dreams in this bilingual collection.
Providential by Colin Channer (Sept. 1, paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-61775-405-0). The debut poetry collection considers themes of family, Jamaican culture, Rasta, reggae, policing, loss, and violence, tackling the rare literary subject of the Jamaican policeman in light of Channer’s relationship with his Jamaican policeman father.
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Drought-Adapted Vine by Donald Revell (Sept., paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-938584-13-8) pushes boundaries between words and music, transcending our current notions of beauty and innocence. Personal memory, the visionary, the eccentric, and the divine intertwine between networks of stories that connect past and present.
Thief in the Interior by Phillip B. Williams (Jan., paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-938584-17-6) investigates the convoluted dangers of desire, balancing narratives of addiction, murders, and hate crimes with passionate, uncompromising depth and accuracy.
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Antidote for Night by Marsha de la O (Sept. 15, paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-938160-81-3). Set in present-day Southern California, this Isabella Gardner Award–winning collection is a heartbreak lyric, a corrido, a love song to California’s city lights and far-flung outskirts that deals with the press of mortality and the violent losses of young men of color.
Beautiful Wall by Ray Gonzalez (Oct. 13, paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-938160-83-7) takes readers on a profound journey through the Southwest desert. Inextricably linked to his Mexican ancestry and American upbringing, Gonzalez’s new collection mounts the wall between the current realities of border violence and politics, and a beautiful, familial past.
And His Orchestra by Benjamin Paloff (Oct. 6, paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-0-88748-599-2). In his second collection, Paloff examines how we relate to others by relating to ourselves, and vice versa: how the speech that runs through our heads as we run errands, wash the dishes, and brush our teeth is always and inescapably in conversation with those to whom we owe an unpayable debt.
Incidents of Travel in Poetry: New and Selected Poems by Frank Lima, edited by Garrett Caples and Julien Poirier (Jan. 12, paper, $18.95, ISBN 978-0-87286-667-6). Lima (1939–2013) was the only Latino member of the New York School during its heyday. This landmark re-introduction to his work represents the full range of his poetry for the first time and includes a biographical introduction
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The Xenotext: Book I by Christian Bök (Oct. 13, paper, $18.95, ISBN 978-1-55245-321-6). Enciphered in a bacterium, The Xenotext is the world’s first living poem. Its Book I, from the internationally bestselling poet Bök, constitutes a kind of “demonic grimoire,” providing a scientific framework for the project with a series of poems, texts, and illustrations.
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The Falling Down Dance by Chris Martin (Nov. 10, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-56689-422-7). In these quiet poems, a couple learns how to be together, how to anticipate a child, then how to raise him. Martin’s lines are as brief as breath, and cloister us at home, in winter, where the tiny ministrations of love and parenthood are magnified and abundant with meaning.
Sentences and Rain by Elaine Equi (Oct. 13, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-56689-421-0). Equi’s poems are asides from your cleverest friend, taking on the world with wit, confidence, and the ease of a writer in command of her powers. She writes, “We are the excess of the story—that which it cannot contain,” and in memorable lines that excess pops into relief.
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Dead Man’s Float by Jim Harrison (Oct. 13, hardcover, $23, ISBN 978-1-55659-445-8). Inspired by a technique used by swimmers to conserve energy when exhausted, Harrison’s 14th volume of poetry presents keen awareness of physical pains, delights in the natural world, and reflects on humanity’s tentative place in a universe filled with 90 billion galaxies.
Divinity School by Alicia Jo Rabins, intro. and notes by C.D. Wright (Sept. 15, hardcover, $23, ISBN 978-0-9860938-8-3). Winner of the prestigious Honickman First Book Award from the American Poetry Review, this debut collection is a wide-ranging exploration of spirituality, sex, travel, food, holy texts, and coming of age.
During by James Richardson (Jan. 12, paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-55659-433-5). In this seriously playful new collection, Richardson enters into underused and forgotten places in our emotional spectrum to revive lost feelings. His breathtaking skill with aphorisms opens portals of new perspective to refresh with their humor and reinvigorate the familiar with the blessedly strange.
Incorrect Merciful Impulses by Camille Rankine (Sept. 15, paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-55659-490-8). Rankine’s debut collection introduces a powerful new voice through a series of provocations and explorations. Her short, sharp, agonized, and exquisite lyric poems explore themes of race, doubt, and identity; she was named “a poet to watch” by O Magazine.
Shock by Shock by Dean Young (Sept. 15, hardcover, $23, ISBN 978-1-55659-431-1). Post-transplant, Young escorts his new heart into invigorating poetic territory that combines the joy of being alive with his signature mixture of surrealism, humor, and fast-cut imagery.
Time Will Clean the Carcass Bones: Selected and New Poems by Lucia Perillo (Nov. 10, hardcover, $23, ISBN 978-1-55659-473-1). MacArthur Fellow Perillo is a fearless poet, who, with characteristic humor and incisive irony, confronts the failings and wonder of nature, particularly the frail and resilient human body. This generous collection draws upon five previous volumes.
Dome of the Hidden Pavilion: New Poems by James Tate (Aug. 4, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-06-239920-5). Capturing his inimitable voice—provocative, amusing, understated, and riotous all at once—the poems in Tate’s 17th book of verse reveal the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner at his finest and confirm his place among the most celebrated modern American poets.
I Must Be Living Twice: New and Selected Poems 1975–2014 by Eileen Myles (Sept. 29, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-238908-4). Known for its blend of reality and fiction, the sublime and the ephemeral, Myles’s work opens readers to astonishing new considerations of familiar places and invites them into lush—and sometimes horrid—dream worlds.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The Emperor of Water Clocks: Poems by Yusef Komunyakaa (Oct. 6, hardcover, $23, ISBN 978-0-374-14783-9). Pulitzer Prize winner Komunyakaa dons a number of guises over the course of this densely lyrical book. Through mutations and migrations, permutations and peregrinations, there are constants: Komunyakaa’s jazz-inflected rhythms; his effortlessly surreal images; his celebration of natural beauty and of love.
Reconnaissance: Poems by Carl Phillips (Sept. 1, hardcover, $23, ISBN 978-0-374-24828-4). In the face of the landscape of reconnaissance, Phillips reconsiders and unravels what we think we know, mapping out the contours of a world in revision, where truth lies captured at one moment and at the next goes free, transformed.
Selected Later Poems by C.K. Williams (Sept. 22, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-374-26114-6). This generous selection of the last two decades of Williams’s poetry, capped by a gathering of new work, demonstrates his enduring vibrancy and remarkable ability to shape-shift that goes hand in hand with an essential, enduring honesty.
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Bastards of the Reagan Era by Reginald Dwayne Betts (Oct. 6, paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-935536-65-9) confronts the realities that frame an America often made invisible. Readers will see the city as distant lover, hear “the sound that comes from all/ the hurt & want that leads a man to turn his back to the world,” and find the reasons why we return to what pains us.
Longevity by Laurel Blossom (Oct. 6, paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-935536-62-8) is a book-length narrative told in reverse, a fictional prose poem in fragments about the protagonist’s relationships with the women in her life and the deaths of those women: her mother, her best friend, her sister.
The Darkening Trapeze: Last Poems by Larry Levis, edited by David St. John (Jan. 5, paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-55597-727-6). Published 20 years after Levis’s death, this collection contains major unpublished works, including final elegies, brief lyrics, and a coda believed to be the last poem Levis wrote—a heart-wrenching poem about his son.
Four-Legged Girl: Poems by Diane Seuss (Oct. 6, paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-55597-722-1). In her third collection, written out of her own life, Seuss uses audacious, hothouse language that swerves into pain and rapture as she recounts a life lived at the edges of containment.
Erratic Facts by Kay Ryan (Oct. 6, hardcover, $24, ISBN 978-0-8021-2405-0). In her first new collection since winning the Pulitzer Prize, Ryan returns with her signature swift, lucid, lyrical style. Witty and melancholy, playful and heartfelt, Ryan examines enormous subjects—existence, consciousness, love, loss—in compact poems that have immensely powerful resonance.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The Selected Poems of Donald Hall by Donald Hall (Dec. 1, hardcover, $22, ISBN 978-0-544-55560-0). Former poet laureate Hall selects essential work from a moving and brilliant life in poetry. Now in his 80s and no longer writing new poems, he has chosen poems for this final, concise, definitive collection.
Voyage of the Sable Venus: And Other Poems by Robin Coste Lewis (Sept. 29, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-101-87543-8). A meditation on the black female figure through time and a triptych that begins and ends with lyric poems on the roles desire and race play in the construction of the self, Lewis’s debut introduces readers to a brave and penetrating voice.
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Bright Dead Things: Poems by Ada Limón (Sept. 15, paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-57131-471-0). These are poems of bravado, introspection, and 21st-century feminist swagger, tracing in intimate detail how the speaker’s sense of self both shifts and perseveres as she moves from New York to rural Kentucky, loses a dear parent, ages past the capriciousness of youth, and falls in love.
Double Jinx: Poems by Nancy Reddy (Sept. 15, paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-57131-477-2). This debut collection, included in the National Poetry Series, explores everything from religious belief to the darker side of the legendary girl sleuth Nancy Drew as Reddy follows the multiple transformations that accompany adolescence and adulthood, particularly for young women.
New York Review Books
The Voronezh Notebooks by Osip Mandelstam, trans. by Andrew Davis (Nov. 17, paper, $12.95, ISBN 978-1-59017-910-9) These newly translated poems from Mandelstam were all written during the poet’s exile, just before he was sent to his death in a labor camp. This is indispensible reading for Mandelstam fans and for readers, students, and scholars of 20th-century Russian poetry.
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Landscapes from a Train by Cole Swensen (Oct. 6, paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-937658-41-0). Influenced by landscape painting, Swensen offers an experiment in seriality, in the different approach and scope that language must take to record the way that fluctuations of minutiae transform a whole. These poems contemplates what it is simply to look at the world, without judgment, intervention, appropriation.
Pink Trance Notebooks by Wayne Koestenbaum (Oct. 6, paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-937658-40-3) is the product of the year Koestenbaum stopped keeping the traditional journal he had maintained for three decades and began a series of “trance notebooks” as a way to reflect an intensified, unmoored consciousness. The resulting sequence of 34 assemblages reflects Koestenbaum’s unfettered musings, findings, and obsessions.
Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems by Joy Harjo (Sept. 28, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-393-24850-0). In this long-anticipated volume from one of our most celebrated and essential Native American voices, the joys and struggles of the everyday are played against the grinding politics of being human. Harjo the musician emerges, riffing improv around the tightly structured poems.
Roll Deep: Poems by Major Jackson (Aug. 3, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-393-24689-6) appropriates the vernacular notion of “rolling deep” to explore human intimacy and war. These whimsical, urbane, and introspective poems seek a rhythm that expresses the realities of the 21st century and builds community across borders of language and style.
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Blood Oboe by Douglas Piccinnini (Oct. 6, paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-63243-009-0). Possessed by tonal torque, these poems writhe in frustration, in loss of faith, in the shadow of “progress,” in abject desire. Piccinnini’s poetry recodes the vanishing pastoral and codes the new currency of the digital age—of the person forever indebted and on trial.
Each Thing Unblurred Is Broken by Andrea Baker (Oct. 6, paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-63243-008-3). This is a book about deciding not to die—about the obstinacy of being. And it’s a book of craft, in which steadiness of presence generates the illumination that flickers through states darkened by steady crisis. The world is blurred, not broken, and a lyric I comes to rest.
A Timeshare by Margaret Ross (Oct. 6, paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-63243-012-0). Winner of the Omnidawn 1st/2nd Poetry Book Prize, Ross’s lush and visceral debut unearths the corporeal in the most desolate reaches of corporate speech: futures exchange, human resources, personal life.
Manifestation Wolverine: The Collected Poetry of Ray Young Bear by Ray Young Bear (Oct. 27, paper, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-5040-1415-1). Containing three previously published collections and a series of new poems, this is the definitive collection of a groundbreaking Native American poet whose work traces the fault lines between past and present, real and surreal, comedy and tragedy to unveil a transcendent new vision of the world.
It Shouldn’t Have Been Beautiful by Lia Purpura (Sept. 29, paper, $18, ISBN 978-0-14-312690-4). In her fourth work of poetry, Purpura breaks personal new ground with a collection of short poems, arranged by the four seasons, that deal with themes of time and memory, metamorphosis and indeterminacy, as reflected in both the natural and the human worlds.
Viability by Sarah Vap (Sept. 29, paper, $22, ISBN 978-0-14-312828-1). Winner of the 2014 National Poetry Series selected by Mary Jo Bang, Vap’s sixth work of poetry is an ambitious and imaginative collection of short prose poems that braid various strands of language in an effort to understand and to ask questions about the bodies owned by capitalism.
Felicity: Poems by Mary Oliver (Oct. 13, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-59420-676-4). Pulitzer Prize–winner Oliver turns her eye from the grace of the natural world to the even more mysterious landscape of the human heart, pondering love and nature, and describing with joy the strangeness and wonder of human connection.
Syllabus of Errors: Poems by Troy Jollimore (Sept. 29, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-0-691-16768-8). Jollimore’s second collection is built on his reputation for poems that take a playful approach to philosophical issues. Readers will find a voice that has grown more urgent, more vulnerable, and more sensitive to both the inevitability of tragedy and the possibility of renewal.
(dist. by Consortium)
Bright Scythe: Selected Poems by Tomas Tranströmer by Tomas Transtromer, trans. by Patty Crane (Nov. 16, paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-941411-21-6). Known for sharp imagery, startling metaphors, and deceptively simple diction, the late Nobel Prize winner’s luminous poems offer mysterious glimpses of insight into the deepest facets of humanity. These new translations, in a bilingual edition, are informed by Crane’s relationship with the poet and his wife.
Keeper of Limits: The Mrs. Cavendish Poems by Stephen Dunn (Sept. 15, paper, $9.95, ISBN 978-1-941411-11-7). In his 18th collection, the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet details an unconventional, unconsummated love affair that sustains political, philosophical, and sexual interest over a lifetime.
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Steal It Back by Sandra Simonds (Oct. 15, paper, $15, ISBN 978-0-9915454-9-0). Simonds’s fourth collection journeys through America’s factories, its corporate commerce-scapes, and its homes, where desires rise and fall, where women decide what they will fight for, and what they will concede.
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Illocality by Joseph Massey (Sept. 15, paper, $18, ISBN 978-1-940696-15-7). Composed in his first year in western Massachusetts, Massey’s austere landscapes channel the quiet shock, euphoria, and introspection that come with reorientation to place. Here are poems with their eyes on seasons, plants, sunlight, and animals, all the while looking for stability and the language to describe it.
Of Entirety Say the Sentence by Ernst Meister, trans. by Graham Foust and Samuel Frederick (Oct. 13, paper, $18, ISBN 978-1-940696-17-1). This most expansive book from Georg Büchner Prize winner Meister completes an informal trilogy translated into English by poet Foust and scholar Frederick. With rich allusions to Hölderlin and Celan, these poems are staggering in their scope of mortality, time, and infinity.
One Morning— by Rebecca Wolff (Sept. 15, paper, $18, ISBN 978-1-940696-13-3). Poet, novelist, and Fence Books founder Wolff spans language, culture, art history, love, passion, grief, consumerism, environmental devastation, and the ekphrastic experience of pop and high culture in her musical and darkly funny fourth collection. She experiments with torque, energy, narrative—two steps ahead of herself with the reader on her heels.
Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners by John Wieners, edited by C.A. Conrad, Robert Dewhurst, and Joshua Beckman (Oct. 13, paper, $22, ISBN 978-1-940696-19-5), gathers out-of-print and previously unpublished work by one of the most significant poets of the Black Mountain and beat generation. It includes the full text of the 1958 edition of Wieners’s influential The Hotel Wentley Poems, plus facsimiles, notes, and collages.
To Drink Boiled Snow by Caroline Knox (Sept. 15, hardcover, $20, ISBN 978-1-940696-11-9) once again demonstrates that Knox is a master at lyrical billiards, sending all levels of diction in surprising and comedic directions. Her vast range of experiment is exciting, and the ensuing poems are games, dreams, and riddles. This collection is art for eye and ear.
Fauxhawk by Ben Doller (Sept. 15, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-8195-7586-9) works in the space where dissent becomes materialized, ironicized, and commodified. Engaging drone optics, redactions, renditions, comedy, and cinema, Doller wrenches exuberant music from the drone of the everyday and takes on the economics of writing, university bureaucracies, and complicit injustice.
She Tries Her Tongue, Her Silence Softly Breaks by M. NourbeSe Philip, foreword by Evie Shockley (Oct. 6, paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-0-8195-7567-8). Brilliant, lyrical, and passionate, this collection from the author of Zong!—originally published in 1989 and winner of the Casa de Las Americas Prize—is an extended jazz riff running along the themes of language, racism, colonialism, and exile.