Poetry Chapbooks (May, 2024) Page 1

Due to difficulties in obtaining information in advance of chapbook releases, chapbook listings will be published at the end of each month, beginning with Issue 3 (May/June 2024). This post contains information about poetry chapbooks that we know about published during May, 2024.

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

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Cathexis Northwest Press

Resin in the Milky Way, Amanda Rabaduex

Resin in the Milky Way is a poetic journey that explores the intricate landscapes of human emotion – from the intimate moments of connection and disconnection to the grandeur of celestial phenomena, the poems reflect on the human condition in its myriad forms, inviting readers to contemplate their place in the universe, the fleeting nature of existence, and the beauty found in both the ephemeral and the eternal.

Diode Editions

Difficult, Rewa Zeinati

To what end do we admit the traumas we’ve inherited, the transgressions we’ve endured? How do we liberate our bodies from the choices we’ve made or the ones made on our behalf without permission? How do we transcend learned separateness and begin to move towards all that is perceived as not enough? How do we insist that it is in fact enough?

Gnashing Teeth Publishing

(Text) Messages From the Angel Gabriel, Frances Klein

“The Angel Gabriel brought me a message, but forgot it the second he saw his first cat video,” begins the tumultuous relationship between an angel and a human that is at the core of (Text) Messages from The Angel Gabriel. The novel in verse presents each stage of the relationship, from initial visitation to inevitable conclusion.

Seren Books

Cormorant, Elizabeth Parker

Elizabeth Parker’s second collection, Cormorant, explores the bird to tell stories about human and natural worlds, their losses and felicities. As Parker regards the miracle of the cormorant, she reminds us of the importance of wonder, offering an uplifting antidote to difficult times.

Grayson Books

The Ferry Keeper, Judith H. Montgomery

“These poems encapsulate the sharp and familiar consequences of living in a human body, with all its attendant emotions. With masterful poetic craft, Montgomery ferries us on one family’s journey through landscapes of life and death, with all of its victories and defeats.”

Querencia Press

Of Lost Things, Dani De Luca

In this poignant and probing debut, Dani De Luca invites the reader to sit long with the realities of birth, death and the million heartbreaks between. With tenderness borne of a heart that knows, De Luca traces the multitudes of loss, while reminding us that grief rearranges but needs not destroy.

Misplaced Organs & Various Saints, Dante Émile

“Dante Emilé has no dull edges. Turn Misplaced Organs & Various Saints on any side, you will find something to whet your blade with. This is a collection of asking: an asking of God, an asking of The Self, an asking of The Lover, all of which I recognize as prayer. It begs & demands. It is fantastic & fast. These poems hit hard, rattle the molars in the sockets. These poems pry the skin back. They shock, then delight in that shock. Misplaced Organs & Various Saints is vicious & bewitching. It will haunt you, like a father, like heartbreak, like a God that wants blood & regret. There is no doubt that Dante Emilé has hit the mark. This poetry lingers. Let it root down to the bones & live there.” -silas denver melvin, author of Grit (Sunday Mornings at the River, 2020)

Ugly Duckling Presse

FELO DE SE, Oliver Dybing

A chapbook that seeks to explore the emotional state of melancholic or profoundly nostalgic longing for a beloved yet absent something or someone. Often associated with a repressed understanding that one might never encounter the object of longing ever again.

PUNT, Anada Werner

PUNT holds an elsewhere’s gently exorcized quotidian. Pieces of a parallel day full of promise, disassembled for the ecstasy of reinvention. The lights dim, your shift never ends, and one box waits within another “Where the waterslides bow / in pursuit of summer.”

PUNT is the debut chapbook by Wisconsin-based poet Anada Werner.

Hopscotch, Fatemeh Shams, Armen Davoudian (tr.)

In Hopscotch, Fatemeh Shams crafts a vivid liminal world of Berlin-based poems, a canvas where home and exile blur into an intimate middle ground. Her work, geographically and metaphorically situated between her birthplace in Iran and her current life in exile, evokes a “third space”—a realm of creative liberation and a sanctuary for the play of memories, language, and space. Shams frames this space with tangible metaphors—airports, suitcases, the thresholds of nightclubs—and her poems, like the game of hopscotch itself, leap over borders with a childlike agility, contrasting against the harsh reality of exile. Shams’s poetry invites us to consider our own places of belonging and the potential spaces we inhabit—those rich intersections of language and lived experience.

The Poetry Box

Journey of Trees, Susan Landgraf

In Journey of Trees, we find layers of fire, family, fruition and failure. Life is a journey, and trees can help us and/or show us where we’ve been and where we might go. These poems are both cautionary and celebratory. What has been felled—trees or a marriage, a dream or a body—might rise again in some other form or direction.

Trees talk. If we listen, we can learn from them. And if we revere them, spend time with them, we can become more spiritually enriched. In fact, trees are our better “half” —taking in carbon monoxide and releasing oxygen. Photosynthesis is a Greek word meaning “light” and “putting together.” In other words, if trees weren’t here, we wouldn’t be either. These poems by Susan Landgraf also have a way of putting things together and shedding light.

Remote Control, Laura Esther Sciortino

The work in this collection is a practice in ordinary love, both longing for and celebrating connection. Here, we may partake in reading as if a friend speaks to us directly. This friend that—despite mistakes and overreaching—invests herself with unabashed earnestness in the greenest of hope, imagination, freedom, beginner’s mind, surrender, and renewal.

Kansas, Reimagined, Anara Guard

In the winter of 1882, L. Frank Baum visited Kansas. He said it was the worst place he’d ever been and vowed never to return. In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, he described Kansas as completely gray: prairie, house, Uncle Henry. What a dreary contrast to technicolor Oz and the Emerald City.

This clever collection of persona poems shows the Midwest in full-color and beauty, giving voice to familiar characters and to unexpected entities. Hidden aspects of their lives are revealed, showing Kansas as a place worthy of imagination, one that demands our attention.

Finishing Line Press

Nile: Poems and Photographs, John Delaney

A chapbook of poems inspired by ancient Egyptian monuments and modern Egyptian tradesmen, documented in color photographs—all enabled by side trips taken near, and days spent drifting down, the Nile River. 13 poems, 18 color photographs.

Structures, Barry Vitcov

Structures is a poetry collection of Shakespearean-style sonnets, haibuns, on-sentence poems, triolets, villanelles, and haiku. Each poem seeks to match the discipline of a prescribed form with an approachable and conversational voice, which encourages the reader’s accessibility. Sometimes serious and sometimes whimsical, this collection provides appreciation for what life has to offer. And there is delight in the cameo appearance of a beloved standard poodle at least once in each poetic form!

Snow On Bare Dirt, Karen Lee Ramos

In these poems, Karen Lee Ramos doesn’t flinch or turn away from who and where she has been. Neither does she underestimate her “now” in the process of becoming. These poems are written with narrative proficiency in a style that is intensely focused, compact, and direct. Ramos is uncompromisingly honest in telling her story as she “speaks” to the human spirit’s ability to straddle shadows with persistence, acceptance, and resilience. She acknowledges that even in “a small harvest” there is “bounty enough,” and she steps out of her personal “galaxy of bruised stars” to remind her readers of the Buddha’s teaching: “Understanding is the heartwood of well-spoken words.” This is a brilliant debut collection of “well-spoken words.” –Adele Kenny, Poetry Editor, Tiferet

For a Chance to Walk on Streets of Gold, Claire Weiner

For a Chance to Walk on Streets of Gold is a personal history that weaves deftly across time, place, and generations. It moves from Poland and Russia where the poet’s grandparents were born and escaped persecution, to Chicago and its suburbs, where the poet grew up, to Florida, where her parents retired.  Without sentimentality, but with respect and tenderness, these poems speak of a family’s vulnerabilities as well as joys. The reader experiences a deep sense of empathy for suffering and an equal ability to celebrate success.

At the Crossroads, Lina Belar

Lina Belar‘s poetry blends her love for nature and all its creatures, including the human ones, with a foolish love of language.  She has been featured in Talking Stick, Lake Region Review, and Northern Lights Library Network’s Poets Across Minnesota. In 2017, Lina received the first prize poetry award at the Brainerd Writer’s Alliance Festival and she published her first chapbook, Rural Score.  She is a fiscal year 2021 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

During the Covid pandemic she spent much time promoting the poetry of others including the regional collections Poems of Hope and Reassurance and More Poems of Hope and Reassurance and the publications of the Wadena County Historical Society’s Minnesota Voices.  A resident of Minnesota since 1974, she has written regular newspaper columns in which she displays her genuine affection for local history.  Lina lives in the rural community of Wadena, Minnesota where she is working on her third chapbook.

Heliotropic, Doug Bootes

Thought provoking and heartfelt, Heliotropic offers a working nomad’s lyrical meditations on the littoral regions of the southern US. Coast to coast, sea-level to high desert; from a barrier island’s shore, the trail, or from the interstate, these poems explore the intersectionality over time of cultures, geography, and language. Rooted in Appalachia, the poet’s voice elevates sound over meaning, allowing the individual reader to experience their own unique imagery and self-determined meaning while exploring the inner and outer realms we together inhabit. In the kind and inimitable words of James Stevens – “With a perfect ear, Bootes chooses words that move our sensory boats to the place ‘our discordant coastlines migrate.’ Heliotropic is a gift for your mind.”

Safety Trip, Anna Papadopoulos

“Anna Papadopoulos speaks in the voice of the poet as the conscience of the society. She speaks for the children of the Robb Elementary School tragedy – “Dark-soled shoe stains in the center / where we’ve left our marks.” She grieves a child falling from an airplane leaving Afghanistan – “A firefly flashes in the sky, will freeze / time like those stars that we can’t see.” She also explores her own immigrant experience: “And we don’t think about our old neighbors, who warned their kids about us: Don’t they know – they’re in America now.” This is a poet who puts on the page what others are afraid to admit they are thinking, bearing witness in “A Twenty-Three-Year-Old Dies Opening the Door.” We live in unusual times – “how easy it is to disappear / to lose focus like this pixelated face…” Even so, she chooses to find beauty in the world. In “A Warm February Day in New York,” she continues to let the world speak to her and weave its magic: “the sunset drops its pink hue like a crocheted baby’s blanket. / The Verrazano Bridge’s arches are sculpted in the shape of a woman’s breasts.” Anna Papadopoulos thinks deeply about everything and writes with power, depth and beauty. –Diane Frank, Author of While Listening to the Enigma Variations: New and Selected Poems

daughter, while i’m still here, Marilyn J. Baszczynski

The poems in daughter, while i’m still here capture a mother’s desire to convey what over eight decades of experiences and learnings have revealed about the fragility of life, relationships and happiness, which she shares in poignant moments of recollection during her final weeks in hospice. Each poem reveals fragments of an enduring connection with her daughter, sometimes wound into stories about teeth, snapshots or shoes, but more often in an opening up of her most vulnerable self. There are reasons to cry, laugh, and grieve as she allows her daughter to share and feel her thoughts, hopes, and dreams, even as she tries to push back against the dementia that ultimately robs her of her words.

WANDERING, Georgia San Li

WANDERING is a debut poetry chapbook that delves into questions of myth and meaning through a multi-voice prism of broken histories, ambition, abandonment, connectivity, love and desire. These themes are explored in a five-part arc: dream making, death sequence, flood waters, earth & gravity, and re-memory material & time.

The Unreliable Narrator, C.M. Clark

Narrators are never the exclusive property of prose fiction, according to this new chapbook collection, The Unreliable Narrator, by C.M. Clark. In these poems, the author explores how all speakers – even when embodied in written language – can sometimes be forthcoming, and sometimes simply unreliable. There are always unresolved questions concerning whose voice a poem manifests. From the dramatic monologue form, where a character “speaks” the poem, to a confessional set of lines — or in the case of the prose-poem a block of text – any poem’s persona is open to the reader’s interpretation. Is any poem ever the poet speaking? Or are all poetic voices more properly unreliable narrators, after all?

Wild Canvas, Alison Davis

“One of [Alison’s] most apt tools in these poems is the question mark – her mastery of it makes it as though you can actually feel one in your palm. She helps you behold the question mark’s smooth edge, its fine point, its lone period, both isolated and in community. And then, she holds it to your eye, and uses it as a lens through which to see our world.” –Phil Kaye

The loneliness of a planet without a moon, Kathleen Jesme

What kind of lonely planet this, the forested world of Kathleen Jesme’s home, the wilderness of, dare we say, her soul meeting all the natural things? She knows all their names, whispered into her open wide and waiting poet’s ear. Birds, varieties of trees, wee creatures in the long grass, flowers—many flowers growing wild and awaiting her notice. In every season the changing reflection of the moon.

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Don’t see a poetry chapbook published between 5/1 and 5/31 here? Contact us to let us know!


New Poetry Books (5/7/24)