Poetry Chapbooks (May, 2024) Page 2

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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Finishing Line Press

Curveballs, Jo Ann Smith

Curveballs– In sun or shadow, in grief or ecstasy Curveballs does not shy from hard intimate truth and deep emotion.

The reader is transported to new and strangely familiar internal territory, sometimes over bumpy terrain.

Light a fire, come sit with these poems; let them carry you to where you may not have known you needed to go.

After all, it is the curveballs life throws that are the most interesting.

The Aching Unrest of Spheres, Clint Frakes

The Aching Unrest of Spheres consists of poems written between 2002 and 2022 in Hawaii and the high desert of Northern Arizona. The poems explore personal mythology, love and desire, often set within dreamscapes and immersion in nature. The narratives often function as spiritual dialogues with poets, cultural icons and mythological characters of the ages.

Sundays and Hot Buttered Rolls: A Granddaughter of Harlem Speaks, Carla M. Cherry

Step into the captivating world of Sundays and Hot Buttered Rolls: A Granddaughter of Harlem Speaks, a poetic journey masterfully crafted by Carla M. Cherry. This chapbook unfolds like a lyrical tapestry, intricately weaving the vibrant threads of Cherry’s heritage.  A celebration of her father, a Harlemite, begins a nuanced exploration of the bustling streets and cultural treasures that have shaped her identity. James Van Der Zee’s photographic brilliance, the hallowed grounds of the Schomburg Center and Harlem School of the Arts, and the rhythmic pulse of Chicago-style stepping reverberate, becoming a metaphor for the intricate steps of the African diaspora’s history in the heart of New York City and beyond. As you traverse this poetic odyssey, anticipate satisfaction akin to the lingering aroma of her paternal grandmother’s homemade biscuits on Sundays—a sensory delight that nourishes the soul.

Daughter, Maureen Eppstein

Over a span of sixty-plus years, Maureen Eppstein traces in the Daughter poems her deeply personal arc of healing from the loss of a child and her sense of connection with all living things that evolved from her experience.

Motion Photos, Nina Bannett

Motion Photos offers a sparse and haunting examination of physical deterioration and emotional loss.  Using the language of trains, poems explore a father’s psychological landscape in the face of neurological illness and a daughter’s grappling with the inevitable. Economical in scope, poems explore the themes of mobility and stasis in the face of crisis.

first poems after the stroke, Shanan Ballam

“Then it was over: that which you fear, being/ a soul and unable/ to speak;” these lines by Louise Glück might serve to suggest the power of Shanan Ballam’s luminous first poems after the stroke—language as the soul’s release, healing energy driving these poems of damage and recovery. Her observant gaze turns always outward to nature: its unfolding, its flowering, the way things turn toward light––nature’s transformations assuring her own: “I am a monarch/butterfly who will emerge/ with wet wings jeweled/with dew…” –Eleanor Wilner author of Before Our Eyes: New and Selected Poems 1975-2017.

Near Afar, Richard Wilkinson

Retiring after nearly fifty years of working served as the spark for Near Afar. The book celebrates a journey of adventure, romance, and wonder while wrestling with that age old question, “What’s next?” Blending the playful with the deeply reflective, Near Afar employs a wide range of poetic forms commensurate with the diversity of experiences it covers. The reader will find ekphrastic, concrete, found, abecedarian, villanelle, and prose poetry among the more familiar lyric styles.

In My Locket, Marjorie Moorhead

Anyone who has experienced loss of a parent will recognize this journey through grief, acceptance, celebration, memory, that preserves the departed loved one in our hearts. Marjorie Moorhead’s In My Locket shares a loving portrait of her father, and coming to terms with a life without him in it, while reminding readers to notice and find solace in the small wonders present in each day we are given.

The Lighted Pull of Dreams, Abby Lynn Bogomolny

In this extraordinary poetry collection influenced by the moon’s silver luminosity, Abby Lynn Bogomolny elevates us with gorgeous images to “fill ourselves and fly.” Yet each boon is balanced by gravity. From her immigrant grandparents’ struggles to those of her own, she writes with heart and wit of vivid Brooklyn streets, the pine flats of Florida, and coastal California. If you thrive on words from a female-centered perspective, one with a strong sense of place in lyrical rhythmic lines, The Lighted Pull of Dreams is a must read.

That Place, Ana Martínez Orizondo

Publisher: Finishing Line Press
Publication Date: May 31, 2024
Format: Paperback

In her first chapbook, That Place, Ana Martinez Orizondo explores themes of belonging and identity through her childhood memories of her native Cuba and transformational journey into womanhood. Using a blend of Spanish and English, her poetic language evokes a unique musicality that awakens all the senses.

Ana Martínez Orizondo (AMO) is a Cuban born visual artist, poet and Emmy award-winning producer living in Miami, Florida. You can find her on Instagram @amoexpression or visit her website at www.anamartinezorizondo.com.

Bottlecap Press

the skin song, devon fulford

coming of age is not an endeavor that most of us would choose, given any other option. it’s messy, raw, maddening, and ultimately, an inevitable part of growing up. when you’re a girl growing up in the south, societal pressures and expectations can feel positively oppressive at times. what is a body? why does skin have so much power? and what of the comingling frustrations and joys of sex versus love?

the skin song delves into instances of sex and intimacy that shaped the author as a young person learning about herself and the world in which we live. each free verse, stream-of-consciousness poem explores one of devon fulford’s core memories: some are funny, many are painful, but all are fraught with the perfect 20/20 vision only hindsight can offer.

Colossus in the Middle of Nowhere, Lachlan Chu

Colossus in the Middle of Nowhere is a dedication to the thing and its complement—what the Earth is now, and what it will be when we are cut from it. Something like a blank road runs through these ten poems, breaching the mortal and the celestial, stitching over and over the body, winding towards the nearest exit.

At the end, there is dust and there is an army, a god and the smallest devil, the thing and its complement. This collection, in its brevity, explores with graceful verse the fact of humanity and how we live with it.

Mooncalf Almanac, Matt Schumacher

This surrealistic almanac means to breeze in like unpredictable weather and surprise readers’ poetic lives of the mind with speakers who audaciously challenge the impending doom and cataclysms of climate change: here is the boasting poem of a surfer who boldly rides lava floes; here are the forewarnings of fortunetellers whose crystal balls and tarot deck are truly the paintings of Dali, Ernst, and De Chirico; here are green weathermen who remain wise bellwethers despite dizzying severe weather, staying brave even when plagued by the ghosts of past hurricanes; and here is a stormchaser, transformed by moving rainbows.

Here, too, is the mooncalf, mooing and galloping in with mythic heartbeat and hoofbeat, part cryptid familiar, perhaps part tree or water sprite, whose ghostly lunar undulations glide like the silver of the nightly tides. The mooncalf’s many thinginess includes the indomitable spirit and inestimable mystery of the wild. Aspiring to be the only almanac for animals, an ally for animals of all kinds, with lines that prize wolf spiders, and recover from wildfires, Mooncalf Almanac is content to nest with tree vole. It is a primer to inspire the child in us to admire the ephemeral brilliance and suddenness of weather in all seasons. Mooncalf Almanac aims to rain down and snow us in with poems that urge us to be protectors of the earth, hoping that show us a little of how to defy imaginative drought, to help us harvest that most elusive crop: our dreams.

Vanity Twist, Iain Grinbergs

Vanity Twist is an existential exploration of non-normative love, loss, and desire. It has more questions than answers. It revels in “low” and “high” culture. It is a success and a failure, a celebration and a mourning.

The collection toys with traditional forms and free verse to create a unique collection full of tension, which is articulated by a playful poetic voice. Self-acceptance is the main concern throughout. Ultimately, Vanity Twist is a reminder that you can find a path through trauma in poetry.

solacement: of finding joy in misery, Madalyn R. Lovejoy

solacement: of finding joy in misery is a dichotomous work, moving back and forth between elation and despair to portray love, illness, and embodiment.

solacement is a piece that focuses on the positives and negatives of life, situating one perspective next to the other. It also utilizes nature and the seasons to clarify various mental states and moods.

solacement: of finding joy in misery reveals that while things aren’t perfect, peace can still be found when navigating life’s ups and downs.

Hummingbirds and Cigarettes, Nancy Byrne Iannucci

Our world is full of contrasts.  Something as small as a hummingbird or butterfly can bring hope, beauty, and mystery, whereas something as small as a cigarette can destroy you and those around you. Love and hate, peace and chaos, nature and the artificial find their way into Hummingbirds and Cigarettes.  Nature plays a big role overall in this collection of poetry.  The natural world’s hidden messages and deciphering its meaning tend to be a common theme.

At the same time, these poems address the insecurities and complexities of human relationships.  Love and desire and the hope that these blissful parts of a bond will endure, which are often explained or shrouded in images of the natural world: the seasons, hummingbirds, butterflies, etc.

So, come take a walk with me through my world, my poems, perhaps one or more will shake your soul.

The Home of Milk, Chelsea Wills

The Home of Milk is a debut collection of poems born out of deep connection with becoming in here and now. This collection is about the liminal sweetness and revulsion of early parenting. In these pages we find glimpses of presence and clear-eyed aliveness. All the while, it is in conversation with the lineage of those influenced by leftover breakfast cereal, politics of awe, a nagging pandemic, patti smith, lullabies from Leonard Cohen, the possibility of next seasons seeds.

She weaves her longtime work as a visual artist into this work with her exacting descriptions of ordinary moments which are precise and unflinching. Her work troubles the notion of where poetry lies and who it is for by placing it in the everyday.

Scorpio Mooned, Heather May

Scorpio Mooned is an immersive journey into the realms of feelings, depth, and contemplation, woven throughout time.  While deeply personal, the poems resonate universally, offering readers an exploration into their own emotional landscapes.

Inspired by the author’s discovery of her moon sign, these verses uncover a new layer of self-understanding, Each poem in Scorpio Mooned is a raw and unfiltered expression of deep-watered feelings, devoid of sugar-coating or pretense.

Sputnik Dreams, Joseph E. Lerner

Sputnik Dreams is a collection of poetry, micro fiction, and prose-poems that explore the liminal spaces between dreams and waking nightmares, as viewed through the prism of the author’s life and culled from memories and fantasies spanning childhood, youth, and middle age.

A man on a business trip to a foreign city sees his elderly parents at a bus stop, and then, throughout the day, runs into other family members: cousins, aunts, uncles, and relatives long dead, none of whom recognize him (“In the City of K”). A couple driving down a coastal highway are deluged by a giant landslide; they survive, wander into a wedding on the beach, but soon discover the ceremony turns sinister and foreboding (“This is Not a Ghost Story”). And in “News of Sputnik,” a boy and his older brother, after the world’s first satellite is launched into orbit, attempt their own space flight, a kite that turns magical: “The kite’s invisible, but the line holds firm. Nearer the Earth, above houses and treetops, other kites bob like acolytes genuflecting to their unseen god.”

I Didn’t Know It Would Come to This, Leslie Cairns

A continuation on her first chapbook, Leslie Cairns is diving into the world of mental health, disordered eating, and identity formation in a young person’s life. Through vignettes, flash, and prose poems, the poems explore what it means to be human.

Additionally, there are short poems (1-2 sentences) to be read as a short collection or as a daily reminder. These poems explore the vulnerability that exists in everyday moments.

Schopenhauer’s Dog, Andy Mallory

Schopenhauer’s Dog is a poetic and prosaic exploration of death, desire, and the inextricable relationship between the two. Its central conceit is that our consciousness of death and our capacity for yearning are conditioned by one another.

The pieces collected in Schopenhauer’s Dog aim to map out the contours of this conditioning and, by doing so, glimpse the endlessly bountiful terrain where grief and desire materialize concurrently. In the gardenways of the human spirit — wherever these affects pass over and through us in their dialectical dance — a shrewd cultivator might encounter not only the most magnificent flowers, but also the equally beautiful, decomposed matter from which they grow.

To Suffer, Charlotte Lucas

To Suffer is a collection of poems about the agrarian world and human kind’s relationship with nature. The poems draw on imagery of water, fruit, and soil to capture the simplicity of the world around people, and to showcase that the natural world is consistent throughout time.

Lucas also depicts the conflict between the natural world and contemporary society in the invention of war, drug addiction, and other human conflict. The existence of these issues goes against the harmony that the world once experienced.

Human relationships, and how people cope with these issues in life, are delved into as well. As the title states, To Suffer for someone is to love them despite knowing that that love may cause pain.

A mass of feathers: love poems, Rachel Vinciguerra

A mass of feathers is a collection of love poems–to Rachel’s grandparents who she lost within 6 months of each other, to her body during a painful and hopeful journey with cancer in her 20s, to her partners in life, both human and winged. The poems weave in and out of nature–the shore, a Pittsburgh riverside, an open courtyard under the stars in Haiti–and are fascicles of love beyond simple romance.

A mass of feathers is a meditation on healthcare, class, immigration, inequity, and ancestry. In this collection, time folds into itself, bending and molding a sense of identity in the context of family. In parts, inspired by her Italian-American grandparents, Haitian husband, and her first-generation English grandmother who kept her family’s history, the poems are an intergenerational and intercultural dialogue.

The collection blurs the lines between holy and human, sacred and mundane, longing and grieving, through encounters with memory, love, and our reciprocal connection to the world.

Tales From the Abandoned Greenhouse, Kay “Kro” Kroger

Tales From the Abandoned Greenhouse is a walk down an overgrown garden path. In the middle of a sprawling forsythia bush, you will find the decayed remains of lost loves. Tucked into the folds of a treestump, you will encounter a brother, or a mother. You may even encounter that rare animal called hope.

Reading these poems will take you through a neglected landscape that is nevertheless captivating as it slowly becomes something unrecognizable. But who among us has not allowed ourselves, at times, to become something unrecognizable? So come to the place where the tree has grown so tall that it has shattered through the glass roof. You will find that the sun is shining in. And the orioles are singing.

Chimolero, Andres Gallegos

Chimolero is someone that makes chimoles, a food vendor, a gossip, a liar, or an annoying and irritating person. The title of this collection of poems was carefully selected to highlight the latter definition. The themes in this collection are regularly explored in free verse and haiku, however these haikus only stick to the seventeen syllables. Loneliness, nature, skewed observations, and biased confessions are the persistent heart strings of this collection.

This is the author’s debut collection after years of unfinished works and unsent submissions. During 2023 the author found the time and space (a small room in Lincoln Heights) to finish these poems. The secret lies in writing one every day and not losing it. And in being self-annoying and sticking to the illusion of finishing a book. This is a testament of lethargic perseverance.

Punctuated, LeeAnn Pickrell

Punctuated is a playful book of punctuation poems inspired by her years as an editor. Frustrated by the misuse of the semicolon, she wrote a poem to illustrate its correct use. From there she realized the other marks of punctuation had troubled her as well …

In art and photography, images reflect emotions and ideas. These poems explore the idea of a poem as an image. Each poem in this collection is not only about the mark of punctuation; it also looks like the mark of punctuation, so a period looks like a period, a question mark like a question mark … The poems explore the function of the particular mark of punctuation and its metaphorical and visual representation out in the world. Punctuation, or the lack of in poetry, is as essential as the words on the page. This chapbook is her homage to punctuation.

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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)