New Poetry Titles (5/21/24)

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.


Full-length

Hold Your Own, Nikki Wallschlaeger

Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Publication Date: May 21, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

Hold Your Own is a steadfast search for peace, self acceptance, and pleasure in a world that makes those basic rights an everyday challenge for Black women. Through her signature blend of sharp social critiques and tender lyric supplications, Nikki Wallschlaeger plumbs the depths of emotional experience with fearless agency and exciting poetic experimentation. She brings the public into the personal and vice versa, intimately revealing—like a livewire into the soul—a singular entity, a person, profoundly impacted by family, community, nation, and world.

And she does it all through staggeringly diverse approaches to writing. Whether excavating childhood injustices in probing prose sequences or crafting formally energized declarations that could be just as easily shouted as sung, Wallschalaeger proves, yet again, the multitudes of the self, how it can flourish in the face of all that tries to stymy it. The result is exhilarating resilience, love beating at the center of incredible strength.

Nikki Wallschlaeger (she/her) has authored four collections of poetry: Hold Your OwnWaterbaby, Crawlspace, and Houses. In addition to several chapbooks, she also wrote the graphic book I Hate Telling You How I Really Feel (2019) and an artist book titled Operation USA through the Baltimore-based book arts group Container, a project acquired by Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee. With a potentness that cuts right to the heart of matters, Wallschlaeger’s poetry is heavily informed by Black feminism and delves into themes of race, sexuality, gender, politics, and contemporary culture. She has previously served as the poetry editor of Protean Magazine and a visiting assistant professor of poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is a lifelong resident of Wisconsin and currently lives in the Driftless region cataloging books at Metaphysical Graffiti.


Lonespeech, Ann Jäderlund, Johannes Goransson

Publisher: Nightboat Books
Publication Date: May 21, 2024
Format: Paperback

In Lonespeech, Ann Jäderlund rewires the correspondence between writers Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan into a series of stark, runic poems about the fraught act of communication and its failures. Forsaking her reputation as a baroque poet, Jäderlund uses simple words and phrases in favor of an almost childlike simplicity, giving her poems, on first glance, the appearance of parables: mountains, sunlight, rivers, aortas. Upon closer inspection, the poems glitch, bend, and torque into something else, enigmatic and forceful, lending them, as Jäderlund says, the force of “clear velocity.”

Ann Jäderlund (b. 1955) is a poet as well as a translator and playwright. She is widely acknowledged as one of the leading Swedish poets over the past forty plus years. Her enigmatic second book, Which once had been meadow, set off a fierce debate in Swedish media—now known as “the Ann Jäderlund Debates—about the role of mystery, accessibility and gender in contemporary poetry. She has gone on to write eleven books of poetry, as well as children’s books and plays. For her work, she has received numerous awards and honors, including the Aniara Prize, the Bellman Prize, The Nine’s Big Prize and the Erik Lindegren Prize. In 2022, her collected poems were published by Bonniers. In addition to her own poems, she has published a number of books of translations, most notably Gång på gång är skogarna rosa (Frequently the Woods are Pink), her critically acclaimed selection and translation of Emily Dickinson’s poems.  Jäderlund lives in Stockholm, Sweden.

Johannes Göransson (b 1973) is the author of eight books of poetry, including Summer and the collaborative (with Sara Tuss Efrik) The New Quarantine, a decreative translation of Göransson’s first book of poetry. He has translated several poets, including Aase Berg, Ann Jäderlund, Helena Boberg and Eva Kristina Olsson. Göransson was born in Lund, Sweden but has for many years lived in the US. He’s the co-founder of Action Books and teaches at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN.


Kiss the Eyes of Peace: Selected Poems 1964–2014, Tomaž Šalamun, Brian Henry (tr.)

Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Publication Date: May 21, 2024
Format: Paperback

Widely regarded as some of the most important and innovative poetry from postwar Europe, Tomaž Šalamun’s work offers a singularly thrilling reading experience. Sharp and subtle, Šalamun’s rhythms intertwine with an incantatory force; his prescient, liberatory politics and poetics pulse like a heartbeat. In Kiss the Eyes of Peace, the histories of Slovenia, the former Yugoslavia, and Europe are broken into kaleidoscopic harmonies of terror and joy: friends and family talk to each other under the sun as snow, apples, and deer mingle with blood and bones, with salt and cabbage, with gold, silk, and wine, and with God and heaven in the sand and grass.

Tomaž Šalamun was born in 1941 in Zagreb, Croatia, and raised in Koper, Slovenia. He is the author of more than fifty books of poetry and his work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages. A curator and conceptual artist prior to becoming an acclaimed poet, his honors include the Prešeren Prize, the European Prize for Poetry, the Mladost Prize, the Jenko Prize, and a Pushcart Prize. He served as Cultural Attaché to the Slovenian Embassy in New York and, in addition to serving as a Fulbright Fellow at Columbia University, held various visiting professorships across the United States. He died in Ljubjiana, Slovenia, in 2014.

Brian Henry is the translator of Tomaž Šalamun’s Selected Poems and Woods and Chalices, as well as Aleš Debeljak’s Smugglers and six books by Aleš Šteger, most recently Burning Tongues: New and Selected Poems. Henry is also the author of Permanent State, ten other books of poetry, and the collection of essays, Things Are Completely Simple: Poetry and Translation. His work has received numerous honors, including two NEA fellowships, the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, a Howard Foundation fellowship, and the Best Translated Book Award. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.


The Curve of Things, Kathy Kremins

Publisher: CavanKerry Press
Publication Date: May 24, 2024
Format: Paperback

In this collection of poems, curves in all their forms—a woman’s full hips, a rolling mountain, water’s soft bend, or the thrum of Irish immigrants living at the hard edges—are the focus. In their music, these poems celebrate queer love, map loss and liberation, and explore lovers’ scars and the knot of kinship that remains even when love fades. Tragic and tender, The Curve of Things traces the ecstatic joys and difficulties of loving women, celebrating this sweeping terrain of desire. A hymn of unapologetic intimacy and delicate language, these poems choose love over defeat and celebrate the warmth that humanity is capable of.

Kathy Kremins is a retired New Jersey public school teacher and the author of two chapbooks of poems, Seamus & His Smalls and Undressing the World. She is also the author of An Ethics of Reading: The Broken Beauties of Toni Morrison, Nawal el Sadaawi, and Arundhati Roy. She is an editor for NJ Audubon Magazine and a member of the feminist poetry collective Write On! Poetry Babes.


Listening in Many Publics, Jay Ritchie

Publisher: Invisible Publishing
Publication Date: May 21, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

Listening in Many Publics is motivated by the possibility of a future that is fulfilling, luminous, and held in common. The book expresses this vision in three long poems which are themselves composed of individual, interlinked poems. Using a circular structure that resists linear capitalist logics, fragmentation that attunes us to sound over sense, and a hybrid form that traverses both poetics and narrative, the poems speak to the necessity of articulating possible futures, of rehearsing different ways of being, and of returning to material truths, together. Plural, civic, and political, the poems locate themselves in the many publics that constitute our individual and social being, interrogate that which brings the subject into existence, and ultimately convey an open, hopeful sensibility in the face of the structures and systems they critique.

Jay Ritchie is a writer, editor, teacher, and McGill English PhD student. Author of the poetry collection Cheer Up, Jay Ritchie (Coach House Books, 2017), a collection of short stories, and a poetry chapbook, he has an MFA in Poetry from UMass Amherst and was the Assistant Editor for Metatron Press and Managing Editor of Vallum magazine. He lives in Tio’tia:ke / Montreal.


The Dove That Didn’t Return, Yael S. Hacohen

Publisher: Holy Cow! Press
Publication Date: May 21, 2024
Format: Paperback

The Dove That Didn’t Return tackles the canon of war poetry, an almost exclusively male-penned body of poems. In the book, biblical stories, verses, and fragments are rewritten through the eyes of a female lieutenant in the Israeli Army. It is a contemporary poetics on the revelations of war from an Israeli perspective never before told—a woman, and a soldier at that.

This debut full-length collection follows upon the publication of her critically acclaimed chapbook, Between Sanctity and Sand, from Finishing Line Press.

Yael S. Hacohen is a Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley. She has received research/teaching fellowships from Tel Aviv University and Bar Ilan University. She has an MFA in Poetry from New York University, where she was an ‎NYU Veterans Workshop Fellow, International Editor at Washington Square Literary ‎Review, and Editor-in-Chief at Nine Lines Literary Review. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in The Poetry Review, Ploughshares, The Missouri Review, Bellevue Literary Review, LIT, Prairie Schooner, New York Quarterly Magazine, Colorado Review, and many more. ‎Hacohen published her chapbook Between Sanctity and Sand with Finishing Line Press in 2021. Hacohen served as a lieutenant in the 162nd Armored Division of the Israeli Defense Forces.


First Light (Bilingual edition), Zafer Senocak, Kristin Dickinson (tr.)

Publisher: Zephyr Press
Publication Date: May 21, 2024
Format: Paperback

In this bilingual collection (Turkish and English), Zafer Senocak returns to the language of his childhood even as he writes from Germany, his home since he was eleven. Readers will find explorations of migration, exile, memory, identity, and the fine line between reason and belief — themes that have appeared throughout his career as a leading Turkish-German intellectual, but which gain new shades of meaning as he articulates them in his first language. Some poems reference mystical Islam — exploring both hidden and evident aspects of the world, the real and the dream-like — as well as Turkish poetic traditions. These poems movingly give voice to what his translator Kristin Dickinson calls “moments of cross-cultural contact and entanglement.” The book will be a fascinating companion to his earlier collection, Door Languages, published by Zephyr Press in 2008, translated from German by Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright.

Zafer Şenocak is a prolific Turkish-German author and public intellectual, who has published ten books of poetry, seven novels, five essay collections, and numerous articles over the past 40 years. Born in Ankara in 1961, he has lived in Germany since 1970 and in Berlin since 1989. He wrote exclusively in German early in his career, but he now frequently writes in Turkish. He has won several prestigious awards in Germany, and is a frequent contributor to nationwide German newspapers.

Translator Kristin Dickinson is Associate Professor of German Studies and affiliated faculty in the department of Comparative Literature and the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Michigan. Her research and teaching focus on questions of migration, translation, multilingualism, and cross-cultural contact in and between German and Turkish literature. Her book Disorientations: German-Turkish Cultural Contact in Translation (1811–1946) appeared in 2021 with Penn State University Press. She is also the co-curator of the photography exhibit “Visualizing Translation: Homeland and Heimat in Detroit and Dortmund,” and the co-creator of the public humanities project translatingmichigan.org.


Fake Piñata, Ashleah Gonzales

Publisher: Rose Books
Publication Date: May 21, 2024
Format: Paperback

In this debut collection, Ashleah Gonzales cuts open and examines the pieces of a life as they fall. Hands full of rotten oranges, promises to ancestors, lost secrets, empty days in Paris—they begin to add up to “an eternity that’s entirely mine.” These poems sting with tenderness, intimacy, and a longing to find a place that finally feels like home.

Ashleah Gonzales is an American writer living in Paris. This is her first book.


NO REST, Jason Koo

Publisher: Diode Editions
Publication Date: May 24, 2024
Format: Paperback

What do we truly know? Are we deceiving ourselves when we think we know ourselves or the world? Jason Koo’s No Rest, a winner of the Diode Editions Book Contest, pursues these questions through a series of long poems like essays in verse that demonstrate the elusiveness of any answers even as they keep up the pursuit. The book begins on the day after the 2016 presidential election, when Koo discovers that his best friend from high school has killed himself by throwing himself in front of a train. The year he thought would be the best of his life—because of the unexpected joy of meeting his future wife and seeing his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers win the city’s first championship since 1964—turns out to be just another triumph of his own self-absorption.

The book then returns to the start of 2016, unfolding along two arcs: one to the poet’s fortieth birthday that August, the other spanning the next four years to the outbreak of COVID-19. With bitter honesty and irreverent, self-deprecating humor, Koo’s No Rest explores the problem of how to emerge from the condition of the “exact same,” the “saturation // of the same so-be-it that has always been” in American life, and the only truth that becomes clear over the course of this relentless, boundary-stretching book is that there is no rest to this quest. Juxtaposing personal failures against systemic ones, No Rest shows again and again that what we think is knowing is not knowing, doing is not doing, being is not being. We always find ourselves enclosed again in the “social fabric of fabrications,” still trying to begin being in a more truthful, impactful way.

Jason Koo is a second-generation Korean American poet, educator, editor and nonprofit director. He is the author of four full-length collections of poetry: No Rest, a winner of the Diode Editions Book Contest, More Than Mere LightAmerica’s Favorite Poem and Man on Extremely Small Island. His work has been published in Best American Poetry 2022Missouri ReviewPoetry NorthwestVillage Voice and Yale Review, among other places, and won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center and New York State Writers Institute. He is an associate teaching professor of English and the director of creative writing at Quinnipiac University and the founder and executive director of Brooklyn Poets.


Inconsolable Objects, Nancy Miller Gomez

Publisher: YesYes Books
Publication Date: May 21, 2024
Format: Paperback

Part cautionary tale, part love letter to the broken objects and people of this world, Inconsolable Objects is driven by the search for beauty in the forsaken. The poems are populated with sentient tornados, fetal mice floating in a snow globe, soldiers marching past a disembodied heart, and birds that have learned to imitate the sound of an AK47. In her spectacular debut, Gomez offers a call and response to all of us stumbling towards connection. These poems witness, interrogate, mourn, praise, and provide a hopeful glimpse into the mysteries of our shared experience.

Nancy Miller Gomez is the author of Inconsolable Objects (YesYes Books, 2024) and the chapbook Punishment (Rattle Chapbook Series). Her work has appeared in Best American PoetryBest New PoetsPrairie SchoonerThe Adroit JournalNew Ohio ReviewShenandoahThe RumpusRattle, and elsewhere. She co-founded an organization that provides writing workshops to incarcerated women and men and has taught poetry in Salinas Valley State Prison, the Santa Cruz County Jails and Juvenile Hall. She received her J.D. from the University of San Diego and her MFA in Poetry from Pacific University. She lives with her family in Santa Cruz, California.


RECURRENT , Darla Mottram

Publisher: Querencia Press
Publication Date: May 24, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

I don’t want to fix it / I just want to hold it, Darla Mottram writes in RECURRENT. If a person can do this, can offer the materials of their life to us, in this way (photographs, reports, documents, poems, dreams, nightmares, truths…no end or beginning to the list), if it can be held and not fixed (as it was never broken or in need of fixing), then what? I read this book and sit back in awe at this question, living in the room with me. —Emily Kendal Frey, author of Lovability and Sorrow Arrow

Darla Mottram (they/she) is a poet, writer, and visual artist based in Portland, Oregon. They created and ran Gaze, an online literary journal, from 2018-2021. RECURRENT is their first book.


Trespassing My Ancestral Lands, Kalpna Singh-Chitnis

Publisher: Finishing Line Press
Publication Date: May 24, 2024
Format: Paperback

Trespassing My Ancestral Lands is a deeply resonant poetic journey through varied landscapes of emotion, cultural history, and self-discovery. It delve into the complexities of the immigrant experience and the loss of native identity, blending themes like human grief, the duality of love, the impact of war, and the cycles of existence. Kalpna Singh-Chitnis masterfully intertwines the personal with the universal, offering a unique voice that speaks to the core of human experience. The book invites readers to profoundly engage with the text, offering a space for introspection and understanding. It’s a book that is expected to leave a lasting impact, remembered for its emotional depth, cultural relevance, and poetic mastery.

Kalpna Singh-Chitnis is an Indian-American poet, writer, filmmaker, and author of six poetry collections. Her works have appeared in notable journals such as World Literature Today, Columbia Journal, Tupelo Quarterly, Cold Mountain Review, Indian Literature, Vsesvit, Silk Routes (IWP) at The University of Iowa, and Stanford University’s Life in Quarantine. Her poetry has been translated into twenty languages and has been included in college and university curricula in India and in the UK. Website: www.kalpnasinghchitnis.com


In the Grip of Grace, Marianne Mersereau

Publisher: Finishing Line Press
Publication Date: May 24, 2024
Format: Paperback

Marianne Mersereau draws from the rich storytelling “porch culture” of her native Southern Highlands of Appalachia to create, In the Grip of Grace, a memoir in verse replete with wild ghost tales, mythologies and folklores of the unique characters who populate the pages. Themes of family, nature, grief, and the long-lasting impacts of war are explored. The narrative poems serve as witness to both triumphs and losses and to grace harvested from loss.

Marianne Mersereau grew up in the Southern Highlands of Appalachia and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest.  She is the author of the chapbook Timbrel (also from Finishing Line Press).


Thread: A Memoir in Woven Poems, Janet McMillan Rives

Publisher: Finishing Line Press
Publication Date: May 24, 2024
Format: Paperback

In Thread: A Memoir in Woven Poems, the author reveals connecting filaments of nature, place, family, and friendship over her lifetime. From a “Snow Day” in childhood to years living “In Paris” to the “Blaze” of a southwest desert to being “Called to Stay” in the Midwest to finally moving “Ahead” into retirement, she weaves prose narrative through her poetry.  These hybrids capture the transitions of life in a lyric tapestry.

Janet McMillan Rives resides in Tucson, Arizona. She was born and raised in Connecticut and spent most of her adult life in Iowa where she retired as professor of economics from the University of Northern Iowa.  She has published her poetry in many journals and anthologies and is the author of two chapbooks—Into This Sea of Green: Poems from the Prairie (Finishing Line Press 2020) and Washed by a Summer Rain: Poems from the Desert (Kelsay Books 2023).


Child Ballad, David Wheatley

Publisher: Wake Forest University Press
Publication Date: May 27, 2024
Format: Paperback

In Child Ballad, his sixth collection, David Wheatley explores a world transformed by the poet’s experience of parenthood. Leading his children through the landscapes of Northern Scotland, he follows pathways laid down by departed Irish missionaries and wolves, mapping a rich landscape of rivers, trees, and mountains. Writing across geographical and historical distances as he often does, Wheatley hones an aesthetic of complex intimacy, alert to questions of memory and loss while communicating the ache of the here and now, as seen through the eyes of young children. Wheatley is an Irish poet living and teaching in Scotland. As a cultural corridor, his Scotland is a space of migrations and palimpsests, holding different traditions in dynamic balance and fusion. Stylistically, Child Ballad draws on a spectrum of these traditions, from the Scottish ballad to the Gaelic bards, French symbolism, and the American Objectivists. A closing sequence on wildflowers and fungi of the poet’s home in Aberdeenshire becomes an exercise in Orphic taxonomy, rippling outwards from the world of small flowers and mushrooms to a vision of deep history, geology, and ultimately the mysterious origins from which all art flows.

David Wheatley was born in Dublin in 1970. He has published four poetry collections with The Gallery Press in Ireland and two with Carcanet Press in Machester, as well as Wake Forest University Press in North America. He was a co-founder and editor of the journal Metre and is also well-known as a critic and editor, having contributed to various anthologies including, most recently with Ailbhe Darcy, The Cambridge History of Irish Women’ s Poetry (2021) and Bone and Marrow / Cná mh agus Smior: An Anthology of Irish Poetry from Medieval to Modern (Wake Forest University Press, 2022).


Good Want, Domenica Martinello

Publisher: Coach House Books
Publication Date: May 21, 2024
Format: Paperback / eBook

Good Want entertains the notion that perhaps virtue is a myth that’s outgrown its uses. 

Exploring the value and shame ascribed to our desires both silly and serious – artistic, superficial, spiritual, relational – these poems grapple with deeply rooted questions: How can there be a relationship between goodness and godliness, if god is a character with shifting allegiances and priorities? Is clarity worth the pain of redefining your experience of the world? Is privacy the same as secrecy the same as deceit? Each caveat becomes a prayer, ritual, invocation, dream, or confession, requiring a blind faith that feels increasingly more impossible to sustain. 

Good Want looks inward, at once both sincere and tongue-in-cheek, to confront the hum of class and intergenerational trauma. Playing with and deconstructing received notions of ‘good,’ ‘bad,’ and ‘god,’ these poems open up a series of further possibilities: empathy for difficult people, acceptance of our difficult selves, and joy in every difficult thing.

Domenica Martinello holds an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was the recipient of the Deena Davidson Friedman Prize for Poetry. She currently lives in Montreal.


Don’t see a poetry title published between 5/21 and 5/28 here? Contact us to let us know!

Contents

New Poetry Books (5/7/24)