New Poetry Titles (3/12/24)

We here at Philly Poetry Chapbook Review love poetry, whether it’s in chapbooks or full-length collections. We have a hunch that our readers do, too. Every Tuesday, we publish an update about what poetry titles we know are releasing in the following week.

Information, including product descriptions, are provided by the publisher. If we cover the book on this site, links will be included.


Chapbooks

Book of Altars, Clara Bush Vadala

Publisher: Belle Point Press
Publication Date: March 12, 2024
Format: Paperback

Book of Altars evokes a rugged reverence for the world’s primal elements: blood, dirt, and everything that flows beneath the surface. Throughout these poems, Clara Bush Vadala performs an alchemy of animal science, girlhood spells, and Texas landscapes. At every turn, this chapbook invites fresh interpretations of what might still be considered sacred when so much has been stripped bare.

Clara Bush Vadala is a poet and veterinarian from Van Alstyne, Texas. She has work in various publications including Iron Horse Literary ReviewNew South Review, and Moss Puppyamong others. She serves as associate poetry editor of Thimble Literary Magazine and works full time as a veterinarian. Clara lives with ten pets, 19 chickens, and her husband and daughter who graciously accept her love of animals to the fullest extent. Clara’s full-length collection of poems Resembling a Wild Animal is forthcoming from ELJ editions later this year (2024).


Maladaptive Daydreams, Coe Colette

Publisher: Bottlecap Press
Publication Date: March 12, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

Maladaptive Daydreams, the debut poetry chapbook from non-binary, queer writer, musician, and artist Coe Colette, delivers a visceral punch to the gut as it confronts societal taboos and dismantles facades with unyielding honesty. Through gritty imagery and piercing prose, this collection fearlessly explores themes of loneliness, love, longing, and loss, defiantly shouting “FUCK YOU” to their demons in defiance of societal norms and expectations.

Renowned musician, artist, and author Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu hails Maladaptive Daydreams as “an extraordinarily deep and frank exploration of the complications, burdens, and incisions of abuse, food, social politics, home, and sexuality. This work is profoundly worth exploring and pinning to your own heart.”

Meet Coe Colette (they/them), a queer, non-binary artist, writer, musician, and mixed-media creator who has lived a thousand lives in their 30-ish years. Exploring the weirdest corners of the human psyche, their works have been featured in prestigious publications such as Poet’s ChoiceQuerencia PressThe Century Foundation, and the upcoming anthology Sparks by Chimera Projects. Their art has also been displayed in exhibitions at Las Laguna Art Gallery. Looking to the future, Coe has several exciting projects in the works, including poetry releases, art chapbooks, and an EP set to release in 2024.


WET MOUTH, kelly mckay

Publisher: Bottlecap Press
Publication Date: March 12, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

WET MOUTH is the debut chapbook by kelly mckay. It is a personal and existential exploration of the relationships and heartbreak that doctor us. The book is a sonnet series that reads like a narrative long-poem– exploring the surreal and dreamy as well as the abject and pitiful. It asks questions like, what satiates a person? What shapes them? What should they worship?

As the speaker traverses the topography of their heritage and a codependent and frightened inner world, they make some discoveries while muddying others. WET MOUTH is romantic, sad, and immodest without being solipsistic. It is about what matters, and about nothing.

kelly mckay is a poet and painter living in Philadelphia. They are a Temple University graduate who went to high school with your cousin. You can read their works in Voicemail Poems MagazineHyphen Literary Magazine, and others.


everything i ever wanted was inside my personality, yvette nepper

Publisher: Bottlecap Press
Publication Date: March 12, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

everything i ever wanted is the product of an accumulating queer sexuality that’s been finding its voice since the mid to late 1950s. the poems work to crack a code deeper than the meme while seducing you with pop cultural references.

the author set out to write a book about what happens when humans abandon social media for magic, but this is more than a book about magic. maybe it’s about interdimensional conversations with deceased celebrities and unassuming archetypes. and maybe it’s just another story told from the author’s perspective.

yvette nepper lives and writes in the city she loves, Cincinnati, Ohio. in between the structured altitude of daily living, she is a mother, a partner, a daughter, a sister, and a therapist, who enjoys talking to people about their anxieties and their dreams.


I Love Juice, I Hate Almost Dying, Peter Soucy

Publisher: Bottlecap Press
Publication Date: March 12, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

I Love Juice, I Hate Almost Dying is a debut chapbook by Peter Soucy. Within its pages, Soucy intertwines emotions, objects, and places, crafting a loose narrative that examines the tumultuous terrain of mourning, shedding light on the profound impact of a mother’s absence, the catharsis of tears, and the solemn rituals of funerals. Through these contemplative explorations of loss and familial discord, Soucy explores the profound resonance of everyday artifacts, from bikes and carpets to kombucha and soppressata, imbuing them with unforeseen depth. 

Interwoven with the explorations of loss and mourning are poems in the form of rhythmic lists that invite readers to meditate on the complexity of phrases, products, and ideas that define contemporary American life. In such moments, I Love Juice, I Hate Almost Dying, finds moments for light and resilience. In another instance of levity, Soucy paints a tender portrait of a mother watching her child’s little league baseball game, capturing the quiet scenes of joy and pride that punctuate a journey through grief. The chapbook culminates with the long poem, “Endless Moment,” that juxtaposes the freedom of biking in Prospect Park against the harsh realities of traffic accidents. In this final poem, Soucy confronts the fragility of life head-on, suggesting that poetry may not be able to change the past, but it can help us heal for the future.

Peter Soucy currently works, writes, and resides in Central Massachusetts. He received his MFA in Poetry from Brooklyn College in 2021. His writing has been published in Big City LitSolar, and Works & Days. In his free time, he enjoys walking around reservoirs and looking at birds.


Stringfoot, Victoria Provost

Publisher: Bottlecap Press
Publication Date: March 12, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

Stringfoot is a collection of memories, griefs, and moments written about the before, the while, and the after. The writing is the author’s attempt to untangle harmful memories, like a string from the foot of a pigeon, into benign threads of understanding and rest.

The poems in Stringfoot were written in bookstores, on park benches, on trains and in graveyards. They were written as snow fell, as a virus pervaded the air, in the sleepy space just after a dream. They are New York poems, until they aren’t.

Victoria Provost is a New York-based writer, performer, and producer. Her plays Starry FriendshipI’m Still Here and The Frightening Door have been produced in NYC and elsewhere. By day, she works in the artistic department at Playwrights Horizons. On weekends she sells books. Stringfoot is her first poetry chapbook.


Full-length

The Moon That Turns You Back, Hala Ayan

Publisher: Ecco
Publication Date: March 12, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

A diaspora of memories runs through this poetry collection—a multiplicity of voices, bodies, and houses hold archival material for one another, tracing paths between Brooklyn, Beirut, and Jerusalem. Boundaries and borders blur between space and time and poetic form—small banal moments of daily life live within geopolitical brutalities and, vice versa, the desire for stability lives in familiarity with displacement.

These poems take stock of who and what can displace you from home and from your own body—and, conversely, the kind of resilience, tenacity, and love that can bring you back into yourself and into the context of past and future generations. Hala Alyan asks, What stops you from transforming into someone or something else? When you have lived a life in flux, how do you find rest?

Hala Alyan is the author of the novel Salt Houses, winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award, and a finalist for the Chautauqua Prize. Her latest novel, The Arsonists’ City, was a finalist for the Aspen Words Literary Prize. She is also the author of five highly acclaimed collections of poetry, including The Twenty-Ninth Year. Her work has been published by The New Yorker, The Academy of American Poets, Literary Hub, The New York Times Book Review, and Guernica. She lives in Brooklyn with her family, where she works as a clinical psychologist and professor at New York University.


Circle Back, Adam Clay

Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Publication Date: March 12, 2024
Format: Paperback

How does one make sense of loss—personal and collective? When language and memory are at capacity, where do we turn? Confronted with “a year meant to end all / those to come,” acclaimed poet Adam Clay questions whether anything is “wide enough to contain what’s left / of hope.” In the absence of a clear way forward, the poems of Circle Back wander grief’s strange and winding path. Along the way, the line between reality and dreams blurs: cows stare with otherworldly eyes, 78s play under cactus needles, a father becomes his own child, and the dead become something more complicated—a “sketch turned to painting / left in a room dusty from / lack of passing through.”

But amidst these liminal landscapes, a “thread of promise” persists in poetry. As flawed as language is, we still turn to it for longevity, for love, like “Keats, / sketching himself back into place.” Vulnerable and nuanced, Clay details the difficult work of healing—and in doing so, captures those needful moments of reprieve in grief’s “strange circle.” Two friends dashing through a sprinkler. A garden of startled birds. Out for a run some gray morning: a sudden patch of wildflowers. Circle Back is a bared heart, one readers will find as thoughtful as it is tender.

Adam Clay is the author of five collections of poems: Circle BackTo Make Room for the SeaStrangerA Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World, and The Wash. His work has appeared in Boston ReviewPloughsharesCincinnati ReviewjubilatGeorgia Review, and elsewhere. A recipient of a Literary Arts Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission, he teaches at the University of Southern Mississippi and edits Mississippi Review.


The Wandering Life, Yves Bonnefoy, Hoyt Rogers

Publisher: Seagull Books
Publication Date: March 12, 2024
Format: Hardcover

The Wandering Life is a poetic culmination of Yves Bonnefoy’s wanderings and characterizes the final twenty-five years of his work. Bonnefoy was an ardent traveler throughout his life, and his journeys in foreign countries left a profound imprint on his work. The time he spent in Italy, translating Shakespeare’s work in England, in universities in the United States, in India with Octavio Paz, and more, affected his poetry in discernible ways and inspired The Wandering Life. Interweaving verse and prose—vignettes that range from a few lines in length to several pages—this volume is a fitting capstone to Bonnefoy’s oeuvre and appears in English translation for the first time to mark the centenary of Yves Bonnefoy’s birth.

Yves Bonnefoy (1923-2016) is recognized as the greatest French poet of the last fifty years. By the time of his death, he had published eleven major collections of poetry in verse and prose, several books of tales, and numerous studies of literature and art.

Hoyt Rogers is the author of a poetry collection,Witnesses, and a volume of criticism, The Poetics of Inconstancy. He translates from the French, German, and Spanish.


In a Cabin, in the Woods, Michael Krüger, Karen Leeder

Publisher: Seagull Books
Publication Date: March 12, 2024
Format: Hardcover

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Michael Krüger was suffering from severe shingles and just beginning treatment for leukemia. Because his immune system was so compromised that even a cough would have knocked him flat, he had to stay away from people. He retired to a wooden house near Lake Starnberg in Germany, and from there he dispatched his poetic messages. Krüger’s meditations from quarantine were printed for many months in the magazine of the Süddeutsche Zeitung and met with an enthusiastic response. In a Cabin, in the Woods collects fifty tableaux of nature, images of the immediate surroundings of a restricted life that also look beyond the horizon. At the same time, these poems look inward to explore transience, illness, and death. Humorous and melancholy, these are studies of the world made with the tiniest compass—meditations on nature and the nature of self that touch us all.

Michael Krüger is a German writer, publisher, and translator. Krüger worked as an editor at the publishing house Carl Hanser Verlag and was its editor-in-chief from 1986 to 2014. He is the author of God Behind the Window and Seasonal Time Change, both published by Seagull Books. 

Karen Leeder is a writer, translator, and academic, and teaches German at New College, Oxford, where she works on modern poetry. For Seagull Books, she has translated works by Durs Grünbein, Ulrike Almut Sandig, and Michael Krüger.


The Last Saturday in American, Ray McManus

Publisher: Hub City Press
Publication Date: March 12, 2024
Format: Paperback

The Last Saturday in America is set in a nation on the precipice of great change. Through examinations of suburban neighbors, bullies, gun violence, and vasectomy appointments, Ray McManus draws a portrait of American masculinity in the face of political division, pandemic, and cultural warfare. McManus’s speaker is caught between the way he was raised and the future he wants to see for who he is raising. He can no longer rely on what he thought he knew, nor does he know what to do about it. The man rendered in these pages is a father, a son, a Southerner. And he is willing to burn it all down and start something new, only to see that the new start he is looking for has been with him the whole time.

Ray McManus is the author of four books of poetry: Punch. (winner of the 2015 Independent Publishers Book Award for Best Book of Poetry in North America), Red Dirt Jesus (selected by Alicia Ostriker for the Marick Press Poetry Prize 2011), and Driving through the country before you are born (winner of the South Carolina Book Prize in 2006), and a chapbook called Left Behind. He is the co-editor for the anthology Found Anew with notable contributors with South Carolina ties. His poems have been published in numerous journals such as Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, and POETRY magazine. He lives in South Carolina where he teaches for USC Sumter and serves as the Writer in Residence for the Columbia Museum of Art.

David Joy is the author of When These Mountains Burn (winner of the 2020 Dashiell Hammett Award), The Line That Held Us (winner of the 2018 Southern Book Prize), The Weight of This World, and Where All Light Tends to Go (Edgar finalist for Best First Novel). His stories and creative nonfiction have appeared in a number of publications, and he is the author of the memoir Growing Gills: A Fly Fisherman’s Journey and a coeditor of Gather at the River: Twenty-Five Authors on Fishing. Joy lives in Tuckasegee, North Carolina.


American Inmate: the album, Justin Rovillos Monson

Publisher: Haymarket Books
Publication Date: 3/1/2024
Format: Hardcover / Paperback

Justin Rovillos Monson’s poetic voice is sharp and irreverent—improvisational yet thoughtful, musical, and tender, achieving a range of lyrical registers woven seamlessly throughout the book from the first to last poem.

Monson’s work challenges his readers with uncomfortable but essential, urgent, and necessary questions: What does it mean to be in the world and yet live apart from it? What happens to the minds and bodies of those locked away? What happens to the minds and bodies of their loved ones? How can America get free? Braiding personal narrative with contemporary rap lyrics and institutional language, Monson deepens the nuances and dimensions of and within Asian American poetics, prison poetics, and hip-hop poetics with his deft and experimental writing style. 

American Inmate speaks through cages, bars, walls, and borders, collapsing widespread misconceptions and stereotypes regarding incarceration, and shrinking the distance between readers on the outside and the complex interiority of an incarcerated human being. Sometimes slipping, sometimes soaring, sometimes laughing, sometimes dying, Monson’s fiery debut is a fresh, moving, elucidative work that will challenge readers to think more critically about the systems that govern our lives, to imagine with compassion and inclusivity, and to settle for nothing less than a truly free future that is liberatory for all.

Justin Rovillos Monson, a first generation Filipino-American artist, was the winner of the inaugural 2017 Kundiman/Asian American Literary Review/Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Mentorship in poetry. A love poet, he seeks in his writing to catalog the body incarcerated, to misbehave, and, most of all, to conjure a poetics of reaching. He was born and raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, in Oakland County, and is currently serving a sentence in the Michigan Department of Corrections, from which he hopes to be released in 2027.


Pentimento, Joshua Garcia

Publisher: Black Lawrence Press
Publication Date: March 15, 2024
Format: Hardcover

From an Italian word meaning “to repent,” a pentimento is an instance in painting when traces of an artist’s earlier decisions or mistakes are visible through the final layer(s) of paint. Using modes of confession, ekphrasis, and biblical persona, Pentimento excavates a queerness entangled in one’s faith tradition. Whether seeking to understand his relationship to god, friends, or family, Garcia interrogates questions that arise on the path to self-acceptance. In “Self-Portrait as a Virgin,” a biblical persona asks, “How else are we to take words whole / in our mouths, except as they are given?” Concerned with naming, desire, love, and belonging, Pentimento is a response to a kind of annunciation, the almost supernatural calling of the artist to find words through which the self is free to move.

Joshua Garcia’s poetry has appeared in Ecotone, The Georgia ReviewPassages NorthPloughshares, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from the College of Charleston and has received a Stadler Fellowship from Bucknell University and an Emerge—Surface—Be Fellowship from The Poetry Project. He lives and writes in Brooklyn, New York.


The Sorrow Apartments, Andrea Cohen

Publisher: Four Way Books
Publication Date: March 15, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

The Sorrow Apartments is home to spare and uncanny lyricism––as well as leaping narratives of mystery and loss and wonder. These poems race at once into the past and the possible. And yet, instead of holding things up to the light for a better view, Cohen lifts them to the dark and light, as in “Acapulco,” where an unlikely companion points out, “as men tend to, / the stars comprising Orion’s belt — / as if it were the lustrous sparks and not / the leveling dark that connects us.” For a poet who has been called unfashionable from the get-go, unfashionable never looked so good.

Andrea Cohen’s poems have appeared in The New YorkerThe Atlantic MonthlyPoetry, The Threepenny ReviewThe New York Review of Books, and elsewhere. Her earlier poetry collections include EverythingNightshadeUnfathomingFurs Not MineKentucky DerbyLong Division, and The Cartographer’s Vacation. Awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and several residencies at MacDowell. She directs the Blacksmith House Poetry Series in Cambridge, MA.


Pinion, Monica Rico

Publisher: Four Way Books
Publication Date: March 15, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

“I / step into the kitchen because I can / no longer smell the lilac / bush my father cut down,” Monica Rico writes in the opening poem of her astonishing debut collection. Deeply invested in unearthing women’s identity from a patriarchal family structure, these pages catalog life beside loss, the truth of cruelty accompanied by a defiant vitality. Here, where the declaration “I can” is modified to “I can / no longer,” Rico untangles the paradox of love, how a persistent absence keeps the missing object present, asserting itself through grief and memory; the scent of lilac lingers precisely because we cannot smell it anymore. The dual meaning of “pinion” scaffolds this collection, which considers Rico’s family and their experiences in the context of her grandparents’ immigration to the USA from México, American racial capitalism, and the mass migration catalyzed and necessitated by Western colonialism. “Pinion” in noun form refers to a bird’s outer flight feathers; in verb form, it means to bind or sever this part of the wing to hinder flight. Bound up in this word, then, is a thing and its destruction — a possibility and a thwarted hope side by side. Rico creates her own motifs to write a representative genealogy, approaching her family as an ornithologist: across poems, her grandfather (who worked at General Motors) appears as an owl, her grandmother figures as a robin, and the American project shows up in the eagle’s warped beak and surveilling eye. A field work of restoration, these poems compose a personal history and a deconstruction of global capitalism as articulated through an encyclopedia of birds. From the chaos of our flawed world, Rico salvages an enduring hope, reminding us that “a broken / song like an ugly duckling isn’t ugly / but unique, and stands out like the flightless / dodo who trusts because it is too awful not to.”

Monica Rico is Mexican American and the author of Pinion, winner of the Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry selected by Kaveh Akbar. She holds an MFA from the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program and is the Program Manager for the Bear River Writers’ Conference. She has published poems in The Atlantic, The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-DayThe SlowdownEcotoneThe NationGastronomica, and The Missouri Review. Follow her at www.monicaricopoet.com.


The Animal is Chemical, Hadara Bar-Nad

Publisher: Four Way Books
Publication Date: March 15, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

“I / step into the kitchen because I can / no longer smell the lilac / bush my father cut down,” Monica Rico writes in the opening poem of her astonishing debut collection. Deeply invested in unearthing women’s identity from a patriarchal family structure, these pages catalog life beside loss, the truth of cruelty accompanied by a defiant vitality. Here, where the declaration “I can” is modified to “I can / no longer,” Rico untangles the paradox of love, how a persistent absence keeps the missing object present, asserting itself through grief and memory; the scent of lilac lingers precisely because we cannot smell it anymore. The dual meaning of “pinion” scaffolds this collection, which considers Rico’s family and their experiences in the context of her grandparents’ immigration to the USA from México, American racial capitalism, and the mass migration catalyzed and necessitated by Western colonialism. “Pinion” in noun form refers to a bird’s outer flight feathers; in verb form, it means to bind or sever this part of the wing to hinder flight. Bound up in this word, then, is a thing and its destruction — a possibility and a thwarted hope side by side. Rico creates her own motifs to write a representative genealogy, approaching her family as an ornithologist: across poems, her grandfather (who worked at General Motors) appears as an owl, her grandmother figures as a robin, and the American project shows up in the eagle’s warped beak and surveilling eye. A field work of restoration, these poems compose a personal history and a deconstruction of global capitalism as articulated through an encyclopedia of birds. From the chaos of our flawed world, Rico salvages an enduring hope, reminding us that “a broken / song like an ugly duckling isn’t ugly / but unique, and stands out like the flightless / dodo who trusts because it is too awful not to.”

Monica Rico is Mexican American and the author of Pinion, winner of the Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry selected by Kaveh Akbar. She holds an MFA from the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program and is the Program Manager for the Bear River Writers’ Conference. She has published poems in The Atlantic, The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-DayThe SlowdownEcotoneThe NationGastronomica, and The Missouri Review. Follow her at www.monicaricopoet.com.


Truth Be Told, Linda Susan Jackson

Publisher: Four Way Books
Publication Date: March 15, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

A stunning sophomore release, Linda Susan Jackson’s newest poetry collection, Truth be Told, looks at the myriad treasures and complexities of Black womanhood by channeling an eclectic cast whose rich interactions testify to the timeless neglect of girlhood, the bond of long-term friendship and the responsibilities of authorship.  Here Pecola Breedlove, the protagonist from The Bluest Eye, addresses herself directly to Toni Morrison and connects, over time and space, with Persephone, a girl herself, cycling always toward the seasons, caught between an overbearing mother, an incomprehensible father and a grooming god; Lot’s wife sets the record straight about turning back; and our speaker writes to and through her lineage, memorializing her great-grandmother’s distilled wisdom and others who have impacted her, such as when she writes to the great blues singer, Etta James.  In a meticulous inventory of our world and its historical inheritance, Jackson makes an undaunted cartographer, mapping “here: rag-wicked IED” to “there: t-shaped IUD,” from “here: the mother I longed for” to “ there: the mother I had.”  If Jackson recognizes the distance between our ideals and our reality as a kind of tragedy, she also resists despair, enjoining us to close the gap with hope for the future and to: “Step here: light the fire/ Step there: fire the cannon.” Every poem is a spark struck, a cannonade hailing the resilient and enigmatic joy of language.  “After decades with no history,” Jackson sagely celebrates, “That I sing at all is a mystery.” A mystery, yes, but moreover — a blessing for those of us enthralled by her song of love.

Linda Susan Jackson is the author of What Yellow Sounds Like (Tia Chucha Press), a finalist for the National Poetry Series and the Paterson Prize and two chapbooks, Vitelline Blues and A History of Beauty, both published by Black-eyed Susan Publishing. She has received fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Calabash International Literary Festival, Soul Mountain Writers Retreat and The Frost Place. Her work has appeared in Brilliant Corners: A Journal of Jazz and Literature, Center for Book Arts Broadside Publications, Crab Orchard ReviewHarvard ReviewHeliotropeLos Angeles ReviewMission at Tenth Inter-arts JournalObsidian: Literature of the African DiasporaPloughshares, and Rivendell, among others, and has been featured on The Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day Series, and From the Fishouse. She’s a retired associate professor of English from Medgar Evers College/CUNY.


Is There Room for Another Horse on Your Horse Ranch, Cy Cassells

Publisher: Four Way Books
Publication Date: March 15, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

Cyrus Cassells has perfected a poetics of merciful vitality and tenderness, celebrating eros — in his daring and prolific representation of lust, yes, but more broadly in his understanding of the erotic as an affirmation and preservation of life — through time and space. Beginning his latest collection with the piece “You Be the Dancer,” he bids us return to sacred sites of nostalgia, insisting on it “whether we’re feeling frisky, /  Empty-handed, / Or still beguiled by inchoate dreams—.” Is There Room for Another Horse on Your Horse Ranch? is the apotheosis of Cassells’s work to elevate the mundane and the bodily to the exalted, his vigorous lyrics a routine ecstasy. Though our senses lay us bare to suffering, they also create the possibilities for pleasure and connection, the basis of — and rewards for — humanity. “My Only Bible,” Cassells pledges, “is this blood-red joy / Of breathing beside you,” “The gospel of bougainvillea / At your boyhood gate” which perfumes “the soul’s endless, luxuriant / Coming and becoming…” Gorgeous and wry in its portrayal of transformational romance and queer selfhood, Cassells’s ninth book of poetry reads as an anthology of love letters to people and places across the world. Cassells revises an old premise: is it better to have loved than lost, or is that love, once bestowed, is never lost? A champion of the flight real intimacy requires of us, Cassells addresses a beloved, “You’ve just died in my arms / But suddenly it seems we’re eternal,” the joie de vivre and bravery of his perseverance made immortal through the poem’s titular declaration — “I Believe Icarus Was not Failing as He Fell.” If in these pages you see the crash, the poet seems to say, remember the flying, too, “the giddy Argonauts we were.” 

Cyrus Cassells was the 2021 Poet Laureate of Texas. Among his honors: a 2023 Civitella-Ranieri Foundation fellowship; a 2022 Academy of American Poets Laureate fellowship to administer his statewide Juneteenth poetry project; a 2019 Guggenheim fellowship; the National Poetry Series; a Lambda Literary Award; two NEA grants; a Pushcart Prize; and the William Carlos Williams Award. His 2018 volume, The Gospel according to Wild Indigo, was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award, the Helen C. Smith Memorial Award, and the Balcones Poetry Prize. Still Life with Children: Selected Poems of Francesc Parcerisas, translated from the Catalan, was awarded the Texas Institute of Letters’ Soeurette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translated Book of 2018 and 2019. To The Cypress Again and Again: Tribute to Salvador Espriu, combining translations, poetry, and memoir in homage to Catalan Spain’s most revered 20th century writer, was published in 2023. Cassells was nominated for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism for his film and television reviews in The Washington Spectator. He teaches in the MFA program at Texas State University, where he received a 2021 Presidential Award for Scholarly/Creative Activities and was named a 2023 University Distinguished Professor.


unalone, Jessica Jacobs

Publisher: Four Way Books
Publication Date: March 15, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

Make a fence, said the rabbis, around the Torah,” reads the first line of Jessica Jacobs’ unalone. By the end of this opening poem, however, Jacobs has defined her engagement with religious texts as an act of devotion to living fully in the world’s complexity: “Here, love, is fruit with the sun still inside it. Let me // thumb the juice from your chin. Let us honor what we love / by taking it in.” Structured around the twelve parshiyot (portions) of Genesis, the trajectory of unaloneparallels immersion in Jewish teachings with the contemporary world. Whether conversing with the sacred texts she reads or writing from her subjects’ perspectives, Jacobs navigates an abundance of experiences: growing up queer, embracing one’s sexuality, reversing roles as the adult child of aging parents, wrestling with religious history and the imposed roles of womanhood, exploring how the past foreshadows our current climate crisis, and revisiting the blush of new love while cataloging the profound, though more familiar, joys of a long relationship.

Deeply personal and yet universal in its truths, unalone draws on the Book of Genesis as a living document whose stories, wisdom, and ethical knots can engage us more fully with our own lives — whatever your religious tradition or spiritual beliefs. In this stunning and ambitious book, Jacobs reminds us that all poetry serves as a kind of prayer – a recognition of beauty, a spoken bid for connection, a yearning toward an understanding that might better guide us through our days. When you “dive / from the twin heights of your eyes,” “that tiny pool below” isn’t God. “Well, not exactly,” Jacobs comforts us. “It’s you. One breath deeper than you’ve / ever been, one breath closer to the heeded, heedful world.”

Jessica Jacobs is the author of Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going (Four Way Books, 2019), one of Library Journal’s Best Poetry Books of the Year, winner of the Devil’s Kitchen and Goldie Awards, and a finalist for the Brockman-Campbell, American Fiction, and Julie Suk Book Awards; and Pelvis with Distance (White Pine Press, 2015), a biography-in-poems of Georgia O’Keeffe, winner of the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award; and is the co-author of Write It! 100 Poetry Prompts to Inspire (Spruce Books/Penguin RandomHouse, 2020). She is the founder and executive director of Yetzirah: A Hearth for Jewish Poetry.


My Life in Brutalist Architecture, John Gallaher

Publisher: Four Way Books
Publication Date: March 15, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

As John Gallaher prefaces this book, “It should have been an easy story to sort out, but it took fifty years.” My Life in Brutalist Architecture confronts the truth of the author’s adoption after a lifetime of concealment and deceptions with lucid candor, startling humor, and implacable grief. Approaching identity and family history as a deliberate architecture, Gallaher’s poems illuminate how a simple exterior can obscure the structural bricolage and emotional complexity of its inner rooms. This collection explores — and mourns — the kaleidoscopic iterations of potential selves as prismed through our understanding of the past, a shifting light parsed by facts, memories, and a family’s own mythology. The agonizing beauty of My Life in Brutalist Architecture is its full embrace of doubt, a jack that makes space for repair even as it wrenches one apart. After his daughter’s birth, the author considers the only picture of himself before the adoption, captioned “Marty, nine mos.” In legal documentation, in the photographic archive, this child no longer exists. “I appear next as John, three-and- a-half,” Gallaher writes, “and Marty disappears, a ghost name.” “And so, then, what does the self consist of?” he asks. The answer is, necessarily, no answer. “The theme is time. The theme is unspooling,” Gallaher summarizes, testifying to a story’s inability to recover the past or isolate its meaning. Equal parts reckoning and apologia, Gallaher’s latest work disrupts the notion that what you don’t know can’t hurt you, attesting to the irrevocable harm of silence, while offering mercy in its recognition of our guardians as deeply flawed conduits of care. Referencing Vitruvius’s foundational elements of architecture (firmitas, utilitas, and venustas, or solidity, usefulness, and beauty), Gallaher fuses an elegy and an ode to family when he writes “that in the third principle of architecture, / they bathe you and feed you. You won’t remember. // And they know this.” Gallaher’s lyricism encapsulates this, humanity’s consummate tragedy and profoundest grace — that love, even when forgotten, persists.

John Gallaher teaches at Northwest Missouri State University and co-edits the Laurel Review. A previous winner of the Levis Award and The Boston Review Prize, his poems have appeared in The Best American PoetryPoetryThe American Poetry Review, and others. The author of five previous collections of poetry, Gallaher has also co-written books with G.C. Waldrep and Kristina Marie Darling, and co-edited collections with Mary Biddinger and Laura Boss.


We Are All Sleeping with Our Sneakers On, Matthew Lippman

Publisher: Four Way Books
Publication Date: March 15, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

We Are All Sleeping with Our Sneakers On showcases Matthew Lippman’s characteristic humor, strangeness, and honesty at the peak of his lyrical powers. These poems embrace mess as an inevitability of authentic living and human interconnection.  Lippman gathers us into a bouquet. Picked from the garden and stems trimmed with the kitchen shears, maybe, but flowers all the same. In “The Big White American Segregation Machine,” Lippman narrates the moment when the partitions that maintain white cognitive dissonance collapse. He says to a friend, “Private education sucks,” but reflexive commiseration turns his gaze inward. “Then I realized I was a teacher. / Not that I was a teacher. / That I was a teacher in a private school.” He confronts, even as he does not solve, the way the collective delusion of the American Dream alienates us from sustainable living. “At some point in my life I wanted to be a firefighter,” Lippman reminisces. “So did the person next door and the stock broker / and the kid who punched the other kid on the playground. / I am sure of it.” Why such insistence? “It has to be true / because wanting to be a firefighter / is the only thing that keeps the world / from not being torn asunder / by flame, and ash, and an impossible, raging / heat.” In delineating the psychology of nostalgia, Lippman brilliantly reveals the fear of destruction and myopic sense of self-preservation that prevent us from leveraging goodness, from allowing combustion to clear the way for something better. “How does one change the culture, the mind culture, the heart culture?” he asks. “How does that happen? / More flowers? / More iced tea? / More ballet and modern dance? / Maybe more oboe and piano.” In the end, the strength of Lippman’s poems comes from the sincerity of their questioning and his willingness to muster an answer despite the world’s surplus of doubt and despair. “Hello kindness,” this poet tries again. “I am here and I want to hold your velvet hand / through the dark movie theater with the sticky, crunchy floors.” If that is all there is, it is mercifully enough.

We Are All Sleeping with Our Sneakers On is Matthew Lippman’s 7th poetry collection. He has won numerous awards for his poetry. He lives and works in New England.


Another Land of My Body, Rodney Terich Leonard

Publisher: Four Way Books
Publication Date: March 15, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

Ephemeral yet tangible, bridging the delicate border between understanding and awe, Rodney Terich Leonard’s poems live in the world even as they leave it, clinging like “a ribbon in the sand / Captivated by your ankle,” that “Bojangles next to your chair.” Leonard’s sophomore collection, Another Land of My Body, collects singular poems, each a distinct marvel, even as together they witness aging, champion the resilience of desire, articulate Black Southern identity, memorialize the unequal burdens of the pandemic across racial and socioeconomic strata, and preserve the time capsule of one’s particular memories that will depart with them when they go. When “COVID pumped up on” Ms. Clematine and Ms. Bessie Will, who “paid taxes in an American town with six ICU beds,” “the heirloom chitlins / & pound cake recipes / & summer-white buckets of Budweiser / To B.B. King went hush.” Leonard’s impeccable ear subverts legacy, using the musicality of lyric and the sonic patterning of form to remember neighbors alongside martyrs of the police state: “Heels cold cold-heeled history heels claimed cold: / Ahmaud Arbery—George Floyd—Rayshard Brooks.” In these pages, every figure is totemic, reiterating the invaluable outside the ceaseless binds of global capitalism. Leonard writes, “She wears her own hair & Fashion Fair. / Stutter ignores her penchant / For fried whiting & hushpuppies. / No one I know calls her baby.” “Here is a woman as monument,” he says. “My mother’s allure wasn’t from a magazine; / Jet came later.” In his own style, Leonard, too, is truly original, always encountering new terrain as he brings the past along. His poems are oft dispatches from “an abrupt ravine,” where “[he] learned another land of [his] body.” They are also lifelines, brief housecalls, promises of reunion amid temporary goodbyes. “I’m at my retrospective,” he answers the phone. “Let me call you back.”

Rodney Terich Leonard is the author of Sweetgum & Lightning (Four Way Books), winner of the NCPA Gold Award and the Human Relations Indie Book Award, finalist for the National Indie Excellence Award and semi-finalist for The Poetry Society of Virginia Poetry Book Award. He holds degrees from The New School, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and Teachers College Columbia University. An Air Force veteran, he received an MFA from Columbia University. He currently lives in Manhattan.


How to Abandon Ship, Sasha West

Publisher: Four Way Books
Publication Date: March 15, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

In How to Abandon Ship, Sasha West harnesses poetry as a vessel to ferry the inconceivable, to wreck upon the shores of what we’ve known thus far. Assessing the accelerating emergencies of climate change amid the West’s self-cannibalizing capitalism, the speaker of these poems wrestles with the state of the world and its compounding catastrophes as a new parent. That fierce love becomes her grappling hook into the glut of information and epochal view of time and space we must scale to leave our children a habitable, equitable planet. To approach a perspective too vast for the individual mind, West cycles through personae which collectively metabolize the strands of the past, and the foundational myths of Western civilization, that constructed this looming future. West speaks as a contemporary mother and an ancient proxy, the unheeded Greek oracle Cassandra; gives voice to fossil fuels; and imagines grown children, real and mythological, surviving beyond a world our generation preemptively mourns. “I have taken / my voice past the threshold, past / the lintel,” Cassandra addresses readers and, more broadly, a paralyzed and apathetic public. “I am speaking to you now from / inside the wildfire while it burns the hair / from my body: I don’t expect you will listen.” But while making space for climate grief, holding our faces up to the ever-expanding sinkhole of earthly loss, West liberates us unto joy, enjoining us to remake the narratives that drive our culture, our consumption, and our relationship to the non-human world. Cassandra’s daughter rides the ship as it sinks, declaring, “I am being shaped / into something new, waiting, / listening to birds give out song / before / the songs give out.” And Cassandra’s granddaughter endures to remind us that, when the sails buckle, we need not drown if we choose to swim. “When you were still alive and apt to get weepy over what you saw as rubbled landscapes, I was impatient. Only a tourist fetishizes the ground where tragedy occurred…. What needs to be done, we do. We act in tiny increments.” These splinters compose the timeless story of humanity: we love each other because we cannot help it; we fail, and fail repeatedly; we go on.

Sasha West’s first book, Failure and I Bury the Body, won the National Poetry Series, a Texas Institute of Letters award, and a Fellowship from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Recent poems have appeared in American Poetry ReviewEcotoneGeorgia Review, and The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood. Her collaborative multi-media exhibitions with artist Hollis Hammonds have been shown at Texas A & M’s Wright Gallery and the Columbus College of Art Design Beeler Gallery, among others. She lives in Austin, TX, where she is an associate professor of creative writing at St. Edward’s University.


Nowhere Was a Lake, Maragaret Draft

Publisher: Four Way Books
Publication Date: March 15, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

Captivated by the simultaneously routine and disruptive nature of violence and desire, Nowhere Was a Lake marks a luminous debut from poet Margaret Draft. “What do you do when a horse dies? / You hollow out the land, // you try to make enough space, / and when you think you have enough, // keep digging.” In these poems, our own tenderness endangers us, and yet — when faced with the enormity of our hunger, an appetite that proclaims both the bounty of nourishment and our capacity for loss — Draft keeps digging. “He said this because // he himself had to enter the hole / with the horse and shovel, // shift the legs, reposition the head.” The speaker here has an unflinching pragmatism, a characteristic that paradoxically makes her emotions all the more tangible. This is how you prospect a grave, she seems to say, but you’ll be in it, too. You with your body among the other bodies. Draft rejects simple binaries, insisting that oblivion can be a place, that fidelity and betrayal can coexist in our most intimate relationships, that to live as a human animal means embodying both hunter and prey. Deft in its exploration of female sexuality, the emotional complexity of polyamory, and the distinction between freedom and abandonment, Nowhere Was a Lake mesmerizes with its erotic pastorals and frank prose poems. “Edge” interrogates “the dialectic of trust” structuring romantic relationships and negotiated through sexual physics: “It is not a question of whether you will / harm me, but whether you will / stick around long enough / to hold me when I am harmed.” The risk and reward of such exploration is uncertainty: anything could happen, but anything could happen. “In no place, going someplace, I know. / There are so few things I can say I know definitively. // But this must be the definition of plenty. / The sun slowly setting over the valley.”  And, yes, love may wend through the field as we thresh it. And, yes, we are in the light as it goes down.

Margaret Draft is a poet based in Bennington, Vermont. She holds an AB in English Language & Literature from Smith College, where she was awarded The Ethel Olin Corbin Prize, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She has worked at The Emily Dickinson Museum as a House Manager and The Frost Place as a Work Fellow for their Conference on Poetry. Her poems have appeared in Radar PoetrySouthern Humanities Review, and on Poetry Daily. This is her debut collection of poetry.


Laura’s Desires, Laura Henriksen

Publisher: Nightboat Books
Publication Date: March 12, 2024
Format: Paperback

Referencing pop culture artifacts, from hit ’90s singles like Selena’s “Dreaming of You” to heroines of cult classic TV and films (Laura Palmer and Variety’s Christine), this dynamic collection looks to these iconic touchstones as sites for feminist analysis and intervention. Traveling through dreamscapes, fantasy, and the quotidian, Laura’s Desires forges a path away from fear and shame, guiding us towards liberation.

Laura Henriksen is the author of Laura’s Desires, as well as the chapbooks AgataCanadian Girlfriends, and October Poems. Her work can be found in LitHubThe Brooklyn Rail, and other places. She lives in Sunset Park, Lenapehoking, works at The Poetry Project, and teaches at Pratt.


Count Me In, Darlene Young

Publisher: Signature Books
Publication Date: March 18, 2024
Format: Paperback

Count Me In is a collection of poems that, taken together, describe a world in its gritty and beautiful details as observed by a soul looking for God and finding him, tease and trickster that he is. An exploration of life from the perspective of a committed member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, these poems do not sugarcoat even as they demonstrate affection for the quirkiness of church culture. Within these pages are themes of longing, a mustering of faith in the face of doubt, regret, and nostalgia. Flies, whales, toothpicks—even Venmo—are all subjects of attentive observation. Overall we see a sense of yearning to be of use in the world. This is a book about singing in the dark, singing both despite and because of the dark. This is a book about hope.

Darlene Young, in addition to publishing in numerous literary magazines, has published two previous collections: Here (BCC Press, 2023), and Homespun and Angel Feathers (BCC Press, 2019), which won the Association for Mormon Letters Award for poetry. She is the recipient of the Smith-Pettit Foundation Award for Outstanding Contribution to Mormon Letters and teaches writing at Brigham Young University. She has served as poetry editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought and Segullah. Her work has been noted in Best American Essays and nominated for Pushcart Prizes. She lives in South Jordan, Utah.


Hatch, Jenny Irish

Publisher: Curbstone Books
Publication Date: March 15, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

The prose poems in Jenny Irish’s newest collection, Hatch, trace the consciousness of an artificial womb that must confront the role she has played in the continuation of the dying of the human species. This apocalyptic vision engages with the most pressing concerns of this contemporary sociopolitical moment: reproductive rights, climate crises, and mass extinction; gender and racial bias in healthcare and technology; disinformation, conspiracy theories, and pseudoscience; and the possibilities and dangers of artificial intelligence. More intimately, Hatch considers questions about how motherhood and its cultural expectations shape female identity. Working with avant strategies, Irish crafts a speculative feminist narrative, excavating and reexamining the aspects of the American experience that should have served as a call to action but have not. Part elegy and part prophecy, Hatch warns of a possible future while speaking to the present moment.

Jenny Irish is from Maine and lives in Arizona, where she teaches at Arizona State University. She is the author of the hybrid collections Common Ancestorand Tooth Box, the short-story collection I Am Faithful, and the chapbook Lupine. She facilitates free community workshops every summer.


Apocryphal Genesis, Travis Mossotti

Publisher: Saturnalia Books
Publication Date: March 15, 2024
Format: Paperback

Apocryphal Genesis comes as a reminder of how deeply personal an impersonal world can often feel. The failed promises of the previous centuries are mere preamble to the predicaments of the current one. Humanity’ s contentment to entertain the illusion of control over the world around us is also the source of our collective discontent. In Mossotti’ s poems, dark humor underpins every turn. His wit cuts through the bang and blab of what passes for polite discourse, and his visions are jarring and delightful in equal measure. His poems cinematically zoom from the exceedingly distant vantages of “ telescopes scraping deeper into the womb / of the universe” to the microscopic “ space between the whirl of electrons.” While the ghost of Apollinaire guides the reader through these haunting poems, it’ s the poet himself who’ s on display more often than not (like a moth pinned inside a glass case), naked and unadorned. Apocryphal Genesis is a book that’ s mature enough to be unimpressed with the trappings of maturity. It’ s the first glance the poet’ s after, subtle movement of stirrings under the leaf litter, and page after page, Mossotti transforms the cosmically divine into something indelible.

Travis Mossotti’s previous collections are About the Dead, Field Study, Narcissus Americana, and Racecar Jesus. He’ s been the recipient of the Miller Williams Poetry Prize, the May Swenson Book Award, the Christopher Smart – Joan Alice Poetry Prize, the Alma Book Award, and others. Mossotti currently serves as a Biodiversity Fellow in the Living Earth Collaborative at Washington University. He lives and works in St. Louis.


So Tough, Jared Stanley

Publisher: Saturnalia Books
Publication Date: March 15, 2024
Format: Paperback

So Tough cuts a loose and spaced-out path through the interpenetrated dreams of public, doomsday time and private, organic time. Written in a season of wildfire smoke punctuated by gunfire, grieving, and a child’ s questioning spirit, the book moves to the countervailing rhythms of household, eros, pleasure and charm, casting a wayward grin at the catastrophic comedy of our days. Though he’ s not really  that  tough, Jared Stanley rides elemental tones through “ the desert roses, semi-wilted, wonderful, yellowed, well, you know / suffering to cover the suffering.”

Jared Stanley is a poet and writer who often collaborates with visual artists. He is the author of four collections of poetry, So Tough, EARSThe Weeds, and Book Made of Forest, as well as many chapbooks and pamphlets, most recently The Blurry Hole (with Sameer Farooq, Artspeak, 2022), and  SHALL, (Black Rock Press, 2019). His writing has appeared in  The New York Times, Bennington Review, Harvard Review, VOLT, Folder Magazine,  and many others. He teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Nevada, Reno and lives in Reno, Nevada with an historian and their daughter.


Stubble Archipelago, Wayne Koestenbaum

Publisher: Semiotext(e)
Publication Date: March 12, 2024
Format: Paperback

This book of thirty-six poetic bulletins by the humiliation-advice-giver Wayne Koestenbaum will teach you how to cruise, how to dream, how to decode a crowded consciousness, how to find nuggets of satisfaction in unaccustomed corners, and how to sew a language glove roomy enough to contain materials gathered while meandering. Koestenbaum wrote many of these poems while walking around New York City. He’d jot down phrases in a notebook or dictate them into his phone. At home, he’d incorporate these fragmented gleanings into overflowing quasi sonnets. Therefore each poem functions as a coded diary entry, including specific references to sidewalk events and peripatetic perceptions. Flirting, remembering, eavesdropping, gazing, squeezing, sequestering: Koestenbaum invents a novel way to cram dirty liberty into the tight yet commodious space of the sonnet, a fourteen-lined cruise ship that contains ample suites for behavior modification, libidinal experiment, aura-filled memory orgies, psychedelic Bildungsromane, lap dissolves, archival plunges, and other mental saunterings that conjure the unlikely marriage of Kenneth Anger and Marianne Moore. Carnal pudding, anyone? These engorged lyrics don’t rhyme; and though each builds on a carapace of fourteen lines, many of the lines spawn additional, indented tributaries, like hoop earrings dangling from the stanzas’ lobes. Koestenbaum’s poems are comic, ribald, compressed, symphonic. They take liberties with ordinary language, and open up new pockets for sensation in the sorrowing overcoat of the “now.” Imagine: the training wheels have been removed from poetry’s bicycle, and the wheeling flâneur is finally allowed a word pie equal to fantasy’s appetite. Stubble—a libidinal detail—matters when you’re stranded on the archipelago of your most unsanctioned yet tenaciously harbored impulses.

Wayne Koestenbaum—poet, critic, fiction writer, artist, filmmaker, performer—has published twenty-two books, including UltramarineThe Cheerful ScapegoatFigure It OutCamp MarmaladeMy 1980s & Other EssaysThe Anatomy of Harpo MarxHumiliationHotel TheoryCircusAndy WarholJackie under My Skin, and The Queen’s Throat (nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award). His first feature-length film, The Collective, premiered at UnionDocs (New York) in 2021. In 2020 he received an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. He is a distinguished professor of English, French, and comparative literature at the City University of New York Graduate Center.


impact statement, Jody Chan

Publisher: Brick Books
Publication Date: 3/15/2024
Format: Paperback

Borrowing and disrupting the forms of patient records, psychiatric assessments, and court documents, Jody Chan’s impact statement traces a history of psychiatric institutions within a settler colonial state. These poems bring the reader into the present moment of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, capitalism and “money models of madness,” and “wellness” checks. Forming a ghost chorus, they sing an impact statement on migration and intergenerational trauma, gentrification, and police neglect of racialized violence against queer communities in Toronto-and how the “wrong” kinds of desire, be it across class, race, or gender lines, or towards other worlds, are often punished or disappeared. And yet, these poems also make space for what can take root, despite-care teams, collective grief rituals, dinners around a table with too many friends to fit-imagining, and re-imagining, and re-imagining again, a queer, disabled, abolitionist revolution towards our communal flourishing.


Everyone I’ve Danced With Is Dead, Mamie Morgan

Publisher: Jackleg Press
Publication Date: March 15, 2024
Format: Paperback

In this elegiac collection fittingly titled Everyone I’ve Danced With Is Dead, Mamie Morgan’s poems are exquisitely stitched as they offer up lamentation for, and salutation to, the dead. These are dedicatory jeremiads against loss that flame with anger, anguish, feminism, and, yes, even humor. And though they are underscored in a bladed nostalgia, they are never sentimental; instead, they are “finding new ways to feel” while “flinging every street-facing window open.” Swirling in the poetic spaces of this book, are caribou, witches, and chickens as well as cameos by Amy Poehler, Mary Oliver, and Iphigenia; but, most importantly, ascending from the book’s foundation is Morgan’s incantation for the living and the dead-the clear and sustaining phrase, “I want you alive.” 
-Simone Muench

Mamie Morgan lives in the woods with her husband and their two dogs. Her poems and essays have appeared in Washington Square Review, Oxford American, Muzzle, Four Way Review, Cimarron, The Greensboro Review, Terrain, Carolina Quarterly, The Yalobusha Review, and elsewhere.


I ask about what falls away, Jason Magabo Perez

Publisher: Kaya Press
Publication Date: March 12, 2024
Format: Paperback

Jason Magabo Perez’s second full-length book of poetry is an extended elegy set in the alleyways and Pacific-bound boulevards of San Diego, California during the current global health crisis. Called “an antidote to despair” (Muriel Leung, Imagine UsThe Swarm) and poetry that “complicates notions of solidarity, community and justice, distilling the quotidian into something sacred” (Rachelle Cruz, God’s Will For Monsters), I ask about what falls away serves as an intimate grief manifesto against the daily violations of racial capitalism. Perez, the 2023-2024 San Diego Poet Laureate, employs a critical and improvisatory assemblage of lyric and litany, narrative and distillation, fragment and refrain to map city, solidarity and history. At once playful and tenacious, I ask about what falls away pays careful witness to working-class uncles, aunties, cousins and youth in rhythm with the anti-colonial wisdom of writers such as Neferti X. M. Tadiar and Aimé Césaire, remixing sorrow with a deep love and knowledge for everyday people.

The Filipino American poet Jason Magabo Perez is the 2023–24 San Diego Poet Laureate. He is the author of Phenomenology of Superhero (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2016) and This is for the mostless (WordTech Editions, 2017).


Toothache, Ozzy Welch

Publisher: Kith Books
Publication Date: March 12, 2024
Format: Paperback

l am relentless brick and mortar.
I am kicking and screaming, fawning
With desperation, to be loved back
By a mother, by my own hands

-Patron Saint of Broken Things

One imagines the poems of Toothache written by carefully concealed wick light deep in the trenches behind enemy lines. These are testaments to a love found between the scarred and still fighting, a record of those determined to find joy. In toothache, Ozzy Welch’s own experience taps into an experience of mental illness and abuse that is too often shared by those who come up trans.

Ozzy Welch is a 18 year old poet studying English and Creative Writing at Plymouth University. They write on the queer, the macabre, and the adoring. Having been published by Renard Press (2022), Backroom Poetry (2023), and a few others, their next aim is a full length collection.


Retribution Forthcoming, Katie Berta

Publisher: Ohio University Press
Publication Date: March 12, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

Influenced by Alice Notley, Eileen Myles, Rachel Zucker, and other poets of the New York school, the poems in Retribution Forthcoming blend a talky, quick, funny voice with candid examinations of gender norms, class pressures, and the existential. Their speaker explores her mortality anxiety through her experiences of gendered exploitation, reflecting on bodily autonomy and the nexus of violences that women face. Using oblique and direct strategies, these poems recount sexual coercion, the ways consumerist society reinforces and reifies gender conformity and performativity, and the psychological ramifications of these abuses of power. Retribution Forthcoming examines selfhood, consciousness, and mortality as they intertwine with our identities and the ways those identities are politicized. At its core, though, this book is an account of sexual assault and its aftermath, exploring how trauma interacts with belief and our ability to trust others and ourselves.

Katie Berta‘s poems have appeared in Ploughshares, the Cincinnati Review, the Kenyon Review, and Prairie Schooner, among other places. She is the managing editor of the Iowa Review and teaches literary editing and poetry at the University of Iowa and Arizona State University.


The Story of Your Obstinate Survival, Daniel Khalastchi

Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Publication Date: March 12, 2024
Format: Paperback

Daniel Khalastchi boldly strides across a landscape of smoldering fires, unmarked boxes, and pictures of senators in airplane bathrooms. Exhilarating and innovative, The Story of Your Obstinate Survival collapses genre and upends narrative convention with dazzling wordplay and thrilling imagery. Inhabiting a world trapped somewhere between dreams and reality, these poems fuse the political and personal, public and private, pleasing and piquant, to examine both calamities and the dogged persistence required to endure. On display throughout is Khalastchi’s exceptional capacity for detail and specificity, filling up this world to the point of breaking but never beyond, insisting on survival despite it all.

Daniel Khalastchi is an Iraqi Jewish American, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a former fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. He is the author of three previous books of poetry—ManoleriaTradition, and American Parables—and lives in Iowa City, where he directs the University of Iowa’s Magid Center for Writing.


Host, Lisa Fay Coutley

Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Publication Date: March 12, 2024
Format: Paperback

In raw, lyrical poems, Host explores parasitic relationships—between men and women, sons and mothers, and humans and the earth—and considers their consequences. How much control do we have over our lives? To what extent are we being controlled? And how much does it matter in the end? Revealing the unvarnished pain of mistreatment—whether inflicted maliciously or accidentally—Lisa Fay Coutley examines legacies of abuse in poems that explore how trauma parasitizes bodies, infecting the text, repeating in language and image the injuries the body has been subjected to.

Lisa Fay Coutley is the author of tetherErrataIn the Carnival of Breathing, and Small Girl: Micromemoirs, and the editor of In the Tempered Dark: Contemporary Poets Transcending Elegy. She is an associate professor of poetry and creative nonfiction in the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.


Don’t see a poetry title published between 3/12 to 3/18 here? Contact us to let us know!

Front Page header (Volume 1, Issue 2: Mar-Apr 2024)

Contents

New Poetry Titles (2/27/24)

Check out new poetry books published the week of 2/27 from Alien Buddha Press, GASHER Press, Bottlecap Press, University of Arizona Press, Omnidawn, Signal Editions, Guernica Editions, The Backwaters Press, University of Nebraska Press, Caitlin Press Inc, Autumn House Press, Georgia Review Books, The University of Kentucky Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Brick Books, Changes Press, Tupelo Press, Black Lawrence Press, and MoonPath Press.

Click here to read.

March ‘24: Welcome to Issue 2

Read a note from editor Aiden Hunt about our second bimonthly issue, contributor accomplishments, and things to come.

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New Poetry Titles (3/5/24)

Check out new poetry books published the week of 3/5 from Graywolf Press, Knopf, Bottlecap Press, powerHouse Books, Milkweed Editions, Acre Books, Seagull Books, The University Press of Kentucky, Yale University Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Penguin Books, Able Muse Press, Button Poetry, Miami University Press, Eyewear Publishing, Black Ocean, Seren, MoonPath Press, and Book*Hub Press. Editor’s picks from Diane Seuss and Cindy Juyoung Ok.

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Contributor Poem of the Month: The Plan

Read the Contributor Poem of the Month for March 2024, “The Plan” by C.M. Crockford, along with a few words from the poet.

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New Poetry Titles (3/12/24)

Check out new poetry books published in the week of 3/12 from Belle Point Press, Bottlecap Press, Black Lawrence Press, Haymarket Books, Ecco, Milkweed Editions, Seagull Books, Hub City Press, Nightboat Books, Signature Books, Four Way Books, Curbstone Books, Kaya Press, Kith Books, Saturnalia Books, Ohio University Press, University of Wisconsin Press, Jackleg Press, Semiotext(e) and Brick Books.

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Chapbook Poem of the Month: Collection

Read the featured Chapbook Poem of the Month for March 2024, “Collection” from Dreamsoak by Will Russo, along with a few words from the poet.

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Meet Our Contributor: C.M. Crockford

Meet our contributor, C.M. Crockford, a writer and editor originally from New Hampshire, now living in Philadelphia with his cat, Wally.

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New Poetry Titles (3/19/24)

Check out new poetry books published the week of 3/19 from Bottlecap Press, Autumn House Press, Knopf, Guernica Editions, Tin House Books, Milkweed Editions, University of Wisconsin Press and Book*Hug Press.

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Meet Our Contributor: Mike Bagwell

Meet our contributor, Mike Bagwell, a writer, poet, and software engineer in Philly. He’s published two poetry chapbooks and has a full-length collection forthcoming in 2024.

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New Poetry Titles (3/26/24)

Check out new poetry books for the week of 3/26 from Bottlecap Press, Nightwood Editions, Harbour Publishing, McClellan & Stewart, Carcanet Press, University of Regina Press, At Bay Press, Guernica Editions, Beltway Editions, University of Georgia Press, Lost Horse Press, University of New Mexico Press, University of Massachusetts Press, Book*Hug Books, Haymarket Books, Archipelago, Autumn House Press, Hat & Beard Press, Tigerlily Press, and GASHER Press.

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Meet Our Contributor: Francesca Leader

Meet our contributor, Francesca Leader, a Montanan living elsewhere who writes poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Read about her writing life in her Contributor Q&A.

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April ‘24: Of SPD, Genocide, and Book Reviews

Editor Aiden Hunt writes about distribution woes, the ongoing genocide in Gaza, and what we have coming during April in the Editor’s Note.

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New Poetry Titles (4/2/24)

Check out new poetry books published the week of 4/2 from Bottlecap Press, Green Linden Press, Stanchion Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Small Harbor Publishing, Milkweed Editions, Graywolf Press, Wave Books, Arsenal Pulp Press, New Directions, Invisible Publishing, Brick Books, Sixteen Rivers Press, Penguin Books, City Lights Publishers, And Other Stories, BOA Editions Ltd, OR Books, Not a Cult, Copper Canyon Press, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Beacon Press, Biblioasis, Nightboat Books, Amistad, House of Anansi Press, Hub City Press, Seagull Books, Fordham University Press, Iron Pen, Persea Books, Central Avenue Publishing, CavanKerry Press, W. W. Norton & Company, University of Akron Press and Red Hen Press.

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Contributor Poem of the Month: Self Portrait

Read the Contributor Poem of the Month for April 2024, “Self Portrait” by Mike Bagwell, along with a few words from the poet.

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On Cindy Juyoung Ok’s ‘House Work’: A Review Essay

Editor Aiden Hunt’s essay reviews Cindy Juyoung Ok’s poetry chapbook, ‘House Work’, published by Ugly Duckling Presse in March 2023.

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New Poetry Titles (4/9/24)

Check out new poetry books published the week of 4/9 from Faber & Faber, Small Harbor Publishing, Bottlecap Press, University of Pittsburgh Press, Green Writers Press, Loom Press, Paraclete Press, Able Muse Press, Caitlin Press Inc., Stephen F. Austin University Press, University of North Texas Press, McGill-Queen’s University Press, University of New Mexico Press, Curbstone Books, Milkweed Editions, Red Hen Press, Wave Books, Alice James Books, Paul Dry Books, Copper Canyon Press, Coffee House Press, powerHouse Books, Dial Press, Knopf, Nightboat Books, SUNY Press, Belle Point Press, White Stag Publishing, and Anhinga Press.

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New Poetry Titles (4/16/24)

Check out new poetry books published the week of 4/16 from Bottlecap Press, Knopf, HarperOne, Small Harbor Publishing, Red Hen Press, Copper Canyon Press, Nightwood Editions, Southern Illinois University Press, Seren, Sarabande Books, Phoneme Media, BOA Editions Ltd., W. W. Norton & Company, JBE Books, White Stag Publishing, ECW Press, knife | fork | book and McGill-Queen’s University Press.

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Chapbook Poem of the Month: Study of Daylight

Read the featured Chapbook Poem of the Month for April 2024, “Study of Daylight” from Love Letters from a Burning Planet by MJ Gomez, along with a few words from the poet.

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