The Feminist Know-It-All: You know her. You can’t stand her. Good thing she’s not here! Instead, this column by gender and women’s studies librarian Karla Strand will amplify stories of the creation, access, use and preservation of knowledge by women and girls around the world; share innovative projects and initiatives that focus on information, literacies, libraries and more; and, of course, talk about all of the books.
April is National Poetry Month!
Since my dormant love of poetry was reignited, I’ve found it so refreshing and inspiring to read beautiful collections each year and share my thoughts with you.
Below are some of the most exciting and necessary collections published late last year and forthcoming in 2022.
Last year I tried something a bit different with the poetry list: Instead of the usual blurb, I focused my thoughts about each collection into three words (okay, or phrases—this is hard!). Readers responded so well to it that I am doing it again this year! Sometimes the words are nouns, sometimes verbs, sometimes adjectives, and I may have just made up some words too. Since I find it challenging to be succinct, this is a valuable exercise in imagination, reflection and, well, restraint.
Speaking of restraint … I have to seriously think about which titles to include on this list. Many fantastic collections are being released, but unfortunately, I couldn’t include them all. I’ve included the 66 below for a variety of reasons: because they meet my criteria (above), because they are especially unique, because I wanted to shine a light on them, they are from debut authors, indie publishers, or because they stood out to me for any other reason. The ones that are currently available are presented first in alphabetical order; forthcoming titles are then listed by on-sale date.
So I hope you enjoy and find some collections below that will have you reflecting on how poetry moves you, challenges you and represents you.
Choral, righteous, regenerative.
Deliberate, immediate, ash.
Colonized, treated, unchained.
Form, echo, affect.
Confession, heirloom, bloom.
Evocative, kaleidoscopic, transcendent.
Discovery, understanding, power.
By Jessica Helen Lopez. University of New Mexico Press. 112 pages. Out now.
Fresh, sharp, guttural.
Voice, self, birthwrite.
Integral, functional, game face.
Love, audacity, bravery.
Collective, unrest, choice.
Witness, testament, space.
Fragility, embodiment, light.
Spirit, source, sanctuary.
Possibilities, waiting, shimmering.
Timebending, landguage, sovereignty.
Aunties, interludes, thorns.
Bravery, loss, love.
Moody, fugitive, still.
Innovative, unapologetic, electric.
Lyrical, spirited, enduring.
Wild, evocative, seen.
Legacy, survival, joy.
By Jane Yolen. Holy Cow! Press. 88 pages. Out now.
Faith, insight, urgency.
Flight, sense, yes yes.
Mythology, ancestry, triumph.
Vulnerability, restoration, imagination.
Angst, road trip, magic.
My Grief, the Sun
Risk, reach, live.
By Angela Trudell Vasquez. Finishing Line Press. 40 pages. Out now.
Bridges, home(lands), heritage.
Fresh, bedeviled, sanctified.
Expansion, collectivity, ascension.
Legacy, longing, connection.
(Dis)quiet, intimacy, longing.
Enveloped, exhausted, enough.
Born, lost, found.
By Gayl Jones. Beacon Press. 200 pages. Out now.
Epic, magic, revelatory.
Pain, precarity, invocation.
Two Lines Press. 192 pages. Out now.
Memories, dreams, changes.
Stubborn, ancient, named.
By Jhani Randhawa. Gaudy Boy. 144 pages. Out now.
Fluid, cascading, transcendent.
By Ana Portnoy Brimmer. YesYes Books. 126 pages. Out now.
Decolonialism, resistance, futurity.
Language, layers, invention.
Candor, courage, no joke.
Unbridled, essential, queer AF.
Aging, archiving, beauty.
By Ama Asantewa Diaka. Ecco. 96 pages. Out now.
Heartbreaking, fist-clenching, redemption.
“Black/Mother/Diaspora” – Matthew Shenoda, author of Tahrir Suite
Sharp, celestial, free.
Scars, separation, spells.
Waka, ache, release.
Ageing, searching, never alone.
White space, omission, (de)limitation.
Impermanence, warning, divinity.
Expansion, revision, realization.
Brittle, solitude, flight.
Wide, witty, defiant.
Interrogation, intersection, provocation.
By Kamden Ishmael Hilliard. Nightboat Books. 98 pages. Out May 31.
Singular, multiple, full.
Streetcars, sovereignty, sisters.
Origins, threshold, descent.
Justice, rage, peace.
Vagabond, revolutionary, unbreakable.
Rebellion, liberation, multitudes.
By Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta. Nightboat Books. 106 pages. Out July 12.
Struggle, submission, survival.
And coming in fall:
- Always a Relic Never a Reliquary by Kim Sousa, Black Lawrence Press, out in August.
- Ask the Brindled by Noʻu Revilla, Milkweed Editions, our August 9.
- Song of My Softening by Omotara James, Alice James Books, out August 16.
- Urbanshee by Siaara Freeman, Button Poetry, out August 22.
- Golden Ax by Rio Cortez, Penguin, out August 30.
- The Rupture Tense: Poems by Jenny Xie, Graywolf Press, out September 6.
- Togetherness by Wo Chan, Nightboat Books, out September 6.
- Bluest Nude: Poems by Ama Codjoe, Milkweed Editions, out September 13.
- summonings by Raena Shirali, Black Lawrence Press, out in October.
- Relinquenda by Alexandra Regalado, Beacon Press, out October 11.
- The Symmetry of Fish by Su Cho, Penguin, out October 11.
- Bittering the Wound by Jacqui Germain, Autumn House Press, out October 15.
- The Threshold: Poems, written by Iman Mersal and translated by Robyn Creswell, FSG, out October 18.
- Concentrate: Poems by Courtney Faye Taylor, Graywolf Press, out November 1.