National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. First celebrated in 1996, the Academy of American Poets organized the holiday to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. The reading list I’ve culled is January – May 2022 releases in poetry and represents the vast variety of voices, young and old, and the variety of thoughts and ideas expressed around the country, and the world, in this written word form. Many debut poets are featured in this list.

Books: 
Canopy: Poems Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780358671053
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - March 22nd, 2022

Linda Gregerson’s long-awaited new collection is a tour de force, a compendium of lives touched by the radical fragility of the planet and, ultimately, the endless astonishment and paradox of being human within the larger ecosystem, “in a world where every breath I take is luck.” Gregerson is a University of Michigan Professor of English and Creative Writing.


Return Flight Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781571315281
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Published: Milkweed Editions - January 18th, 2022

Return Flight is a thrumming debut that teaches us how history harrows and heals, often with the same hand; how touch can mean “purple” and “blue” as much as it means intimacy; and how one might find a path toward joy not by leaving the past in the past, but by “[keeping a] hand on these memories, / to feel them to their ends.”


Against Heaven: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450826
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Published: Graywolf Press - April 5th, 2022

Winner of the Academy of American Poets First Book Award, selected by Claudia Rankine, Kemi Alabi’s transcendent debut reimagines the poetic and cultural traditions from which it is born, troubling the waters of some of our country’s central and ordained fictions―those mythic politics of respectability, resilience, and redemption. 


Time Is a Mother Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9780593300237
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Published: Penguin Press - April 5th, 2022

In his deeply intimate second poetry collection, Ocean Vuong searches for life among the aftershocks of his mother’s death, embodying the paradox of sitting within grief while being determined to survive beyond it. Shifting through memory, and in concert with the themes of his novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Vuong contends with personal loss, the meaning of family, and the cost of being the product of an American war in America.


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The Hurting Kind Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781639550494
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Published: Milkweed Editions - May 10th, 2022

Connections are at the heart of Limón’s sixth collection as she investigates the natural and man-made worlds, as well as hardship, joy, and family life.


Best Barbarian: Poems Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780393609332
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 22nd, 2022

Best Barbarian asks the reader to stay close as it plunges into catastrophe and finds surprising moments of joy and intimacy. This fearless, musical, and oracular collection announces poet Roger Reeves as an essential voice in American poetry.


Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head: Poems Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593134351
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Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - March 1st, 2022

Drawing from her own life, as well as pop culture and news headlines, Shire finds vivid, unique details in the experiences of refugees and immigrants, mothers and daughters, Black women and teenage girls.


Customs: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450796
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - March 1st, 2022

Solmaz Sharif examines what it means to exist in the nowhere of the arrivals terminal, a continual series of checkpoints, officers, searches, and questionings that become a relentless experience of America. With resignation and austerity, these poems trace a pointed indoctrination to the customs of the nation-state and the English language, and the realities they impose upon the imagination, the paces they put us through.


Spooks Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781947817388
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Published: Saturnalia Books - March 15th, 2022

Stella Wong’s debut book of poems playfully subverts and willfully challenges any notions we might have about Asian Americanness and its niceties. While her previous chapbook stunned her admirers and adherents into an almost fawning incredulity, this outing eviscerates. More like getting struck with Chinese stars right between the eyes.


Dream Drawings: Configurations of a Timeless Kind Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780063218116
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Published: Harper Perennial - May 3rd, 2022

This debut poetry collection from Nin speaks to colonialism’s impacts on their native country, Angola, through poems on exile, family, and queer love.


The Necessity of Wildfire: Poems Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781949467789
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Published: Blair - April 5th, 2022

Set in the Pacific Northwest, Scarano’s second book wrestles with violence and desire, contemplating how the past shapes the future.


A Hundred Lovers: Poems Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780593320983
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Published: Knopf - February 8th, 2022

Described as “an erotic journal in poems,” Hofmann’s second collection blurs genres, leaning into autofiction and lyric essay while paying tribute to the Shakespearean sonnets and other poetic lineages. A Hundred Lovers illuminates the beauty of classical music, sculpture, and paintings, positioning love alongside these creations as a similarly immortal and exquisite work of art. Along the way, Hofmann explores the complicated, often intersecting ideas of monogamy, desire, and violence.


Two Brown Dots (New Poets of America #46) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781950774517
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: BOA Editions - April 12th, 2022

Written from the perspective of an Asian American woman growing up in Kentucky, the debut from Quintos asks what it means to be mixed race and have multiple ethnicities in America.


Whitemud Walking Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781552454411
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Coach House Books - April 12th, 2022

Weigel’s relationship to his homeland and the colonial history of Canada and the North-West are central to this genre-bending combination of visual art and writing.


Against Heaven: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450826
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - April 5th, 2022

Alabi’s poetry debut engages with Black queer identity and cultural traditions in poems that speak to resilience, transformation, and healing.


antes que isla es volcán / before island is volcano (Raised Voices) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780807014578
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Beacon Press - April 5th, 2022

Presented in both Spanish and English, the entries in this sixth collection from Salas Rivera consider the possibilities for a decolonial future for Puerto Rico.


Museum of Objects Burned by the Souls in Purgatory Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781948579254
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Alice James Books - May 10th, 2022

Taking its title from a small gallery in Rome, Thomson’s collection ponders religious relics and works of art and the stories associated with each.


Vinegar Hill: Poems Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9780807006535
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Published: Beacon Press - April 12th, 2022

In this, his debut poetry collection, author Colm Tóibín tackles religion, sex, and family. The book features a long poem at its center narrated by two friends reminiscing as they walk through Dublin.


Beast at Every Threshold Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781551528830
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Arsenal Pulp Press - April 5th, 2022

Revisiting folklore and myth, these poems address the notion of “otherness” and examine cultural stories, queer identity, and the body.


My Grief, the Sun Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781487010843
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Published: House of Anansi Press - April 5th, 2022

In her debut, Mello explores life in the U.S. as a Brazilian immigrant and undocumented woman during a moment of political instability.


Before Whiteness: City Lights Spotlight No. 21 Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780872868847
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Published: City Lights Books - April 26th, 2022

A collection that turns Blackness into a question of reading, of inscribing and decoding Blackness in poetry, Before Whiteness ranges from medieval Beowulf to contemporary UK grime. Born in Britain but now living in the U.S., D.S. Marriott trains his analytical gaze on grim American subjects like the Middle Passage and lynchings, yet also finds inspiration in African American poets and artists.


When the Blue Goes: The Poems of Robert Nash Cover Image
By Robert Nash, Francoise Canter (Translator)
$24.95
ISBN: 9781684750429
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Down East Books - May 15th, 2022

Nash disappeared in 1995. His poems, written in Maine and sent to the poet’s friend in France, were discovered in a basement. Written in French, these poems have been translated back to the poet’s native English.


Casual Conversation (New Poets of America #47) Cover Image
By Renia White, Aracelis Girmay (Foreword by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9781950774555
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Published: BOA Editions - April 19th, 2022

Discourse—what is said and what isn’t—lies at the center of White’s debut, a consideration of daily speech and interactions.


Earth Room Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781955125109
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Published: Changes Pub. - April 5th, 2022

Selected by Nobel laureate Louise Glück as winner of the inaugural Bergman Prize, the debut from Mannheimer is a book-length narrative poem that looks at the intersection of art and love.


Fighting Is Like a Wife Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566896344
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Coffee House Press - April 12th, 2022

The visual poems of Amezcua’s second collection tell the story of two-time world boxing champion Bobby “Schoolboy” Chacon and his first wife, Valorie Ginn.


Anthropocene Lullaby (Carnegie Mellon University Press Poetry Series ) Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780887486753
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Carnegie Mellon University Press - February 15th, 2022

Confronting environmental destruction, greed, and the digital age, Hays grapples with fear and motherhood, as well as with the loss of the natural world.


Zoom Rooms: Poems Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593321317
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - March 29th, 2022

Zoom Room explores the oddities of the zeitgeist alongside its expected constants. Its title poem draws from a series of Zoom meetings (a classroom, a memorial service) rendered in sonnet form.


The Owl and the Nightingale: A New Verse Translation (Lockert Library of Poetry in Translation #137) Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780691202167
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Princeton University Press - May 24th, 2022

U.K. poet laureate Armitage offers a complete verse translation of one of the earliest literary works in Middle English. The anonymous poem tells the tale of two birds who embark on a war of words that’s recorded by a nearby poet.


Distant Transit: Poems Cover Image
By Maja Haderlap, Tess Lewis (Translated by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9781953861160
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Archipelago - March 22nd, 2022

Slovenian-Austrian poet Haderlap writes about violence, survival, and traditions that evoke Slovenia’s landscapes and political history.


Quiet Night Think: Poems & Essays Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781770416253
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Misfit Book - April 5th, 2022

Sze investigates her origins as a person and poet in this collection of verse and prose that takes its inspiration from experiences of new motherhood.


The Kissing of Kissing (Multiverse) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781571315496
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Published: Milkweed Editions - March 8th, 2022

Emerson’s debut explores neurodivergence, desire, dreams, and the ways that language can be manipulated to convey the largest variety of experiences.


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Gary Snyder: Collected Poems (LOA #357) Cover Image
By Gary Snyder, Anthony Hunt (Editor), Anthony Hunt (Editor)
$45.00
ISBN: 9781598537215
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Library of America - June 21st, 2022

This marks the first collected edition of Pulitzer Prize–winning beat poet Gary Snyder, who writes on nature, Buddhist spirituality, and his roles as a father, husband, and friend to others.


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A Boy in the City Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781646051786
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - July 26th, 2022

The debut from Yarberry questions inner thoughts and desires in poems that allude to other writers and Greek myths, as they take the reader on a tour of a city.


Fast Commute: A Poem Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780771051975
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: McClelland & Stewart - March 22nd, 2022

The book-length poem tackles environmental destruction, colonialism, and capitalism, taking the reader across the country in an attempt to understand the ecological crisis.


Why the Assembly Disbanded Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780823299256
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Fordham University Press - March 22nd, 2022

Reflecting on the state of affairs between the U.S. and Latin America, Tejada writes on white supremacy, immigration, intersectional identity, and community.


Harbour Grids Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781988784885
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Invisible Publishing - April 5th, 2022

Opening on poems that contemplate New York Harbor, this debut celebrates landscape, history, and community.


Dream of the Divided Field: Poems Cover Image
By Yanyi
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593230992
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Published: One World - March 1st, 2022

Pain and evolution are central themes in Yanyi’s second book. These poems look at the past, immigration, violence, and heartbreak to see how suffering leads to rebuilding.


From Shade to Shine: New Poems Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781640605985
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Published: Iron Pen - April 12th, 2022

This collection, which begins in November, draws on events in the Christian calendar as well as the stark landscape of the Scottish Orkney Islands.


Magnificent Errors (Ernest Sandeen Prize for Poetry) Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780268201821
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Published: University of Notre Dame Press - February 1st, 2022

Magnificent Errors addresses individuals living on the margins of society, tackling themes of homelessness, poverty and addiction.


Beast at Every Threshold Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781551528830
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Arsenal Pulp Press - April 5th, 2022

Beast at Every Threshold dances between familial hauntings and cultural histories, intimate hungers and broader griefs. With unapologetic precision, Natalie Wee unravels constructs of “otherness” and names language our most familiar weapon, illuminating the intersections of queerness, diaspora, and loss with obsessive, inexhaustible ferocity—and in resurrecting the self rendered a site of violence.


Then the War: And Selected Poems, 2007-2020 Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780374603762
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Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - February 1st, 2022

Carl Phillips has aptly described his work as an “ongoing quest.” Then the War is the next step in that meaningful process of self-discovery for both the poet and his reader. The new poems, written in a time of rising racial conflict in the United States, with its attending violence and uncertainty, find Phillips entering deeper into the landscape he has made his own.


A Year & Other Poems Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781571315472
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Published: Milkweed Editions - March 15th, 2022

Surveying the California wildfires, political turmoil, housing insecurity, and death, the third collection from Charles considers the role of resilience and hope in survival.


Walking Uphill at Noon: Poems (Mary Burritt Christiansen Poetry) Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780826363732
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Published: University of New Mexico Press - March 1st, 2022

In his second collection, free verse poems appear alongside forms invented by Yenser and explore neighborhoods, travel, current events, and magic.


The Loneliest Girl: Poems (Mary Burritt Christiansen Poetry) Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780826363695
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Published: University of New Mexico Press - February 15th, 2022

The Loneliest Girl examines Medusa’s turbulent past — raped in Athena’s temple, then transformed into a monster — to speak to the culture of victim blaming and the impossible demands placed on women.


Proceed to Check Out (Phoenix Poets) Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780226817545
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Published: University of Chicago Press - March 25th, 2022

The 14th collection from Shapiro reflects on recurring dreams, politics, technology, aging, and personal struggles, among other timely subjects.


Path of Totality: Poems Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781593767037
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Published: Soft Skull - February 8th, 2022

The loss of a child and the arc from hope to suffering is central to Pollari’s second collection. These poems examine hope and joy, followed by grief and shock, and the resilience required to move on.


We Are Not Wearing Helmets: Poems Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780810144231
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Published: TriQuarterly - February 15th, 2022

We Are Not Wearing Helmets is a collection of political love poems showcasing the beauty of those often discarded and erased from society, as well as confronting the atrocities against them, honoring the experiences and lives of immigrants, women of color, and seniors.


All the Flowers Kneeling (Penguin Poets) Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143136842
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Published: Penguin Books - February 15th, 2022

All the Flowers Kneeling marks Paul Tran’s debut collection, awarded fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, crafts a poignant ode to resilience in the face of intergenerational trauma. The powerful work challenges U.S. imperialism, presenting instead a more full and wondrous idea of freedom.


No Sign (Phoenix Poets) Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780226784076
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Published: University of Chicago Press - March 21st, 2022

No Sign grapples with national and international politics, looking at the history of the Earth and the climate crisis, and alluding to the film Hiroshima Mon Amour, the Vietnam War, and the Covid-19 pandemic.


Ultramarine Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781643621159
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Published: Nightboat Books - February 22nd, 2022

Ultramarine is the third and final collection in Wayne Koestenbaum’s “trance poem trilogy,” an atmospheric and experimental series. The book is informed by Koestenbaum’s own background as an artist, delving into paintings and the artistic process, using color as a metaphor through which to consider desire and memory.


let the dead in Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781942892281
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Published: Alan Squire Publishing - March 26th, 2022

An exploration of the mythologies that seek to a journey across Guyana, London, and the United States, Agostini's collection is a meditation on black womanhood, queerness, the legacy of colonization, and pleasure. These poems craft a creation story fat with love, queerness, mermaids, and blackness.


South Flight (Georgia Poetry Prize) Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780820360904
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Published: University of Georgia Press - February 15th, 2022

South Flight draws from Oklahoma’s Black history and explores themes of Black feminism, the blues, migration, and the ways Black Americans have improved the regions they’ve settled in.


Marrow: Poems (University Press of Kentucky New Poetry & Prose) Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780813183626
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Published: University Press of Kentucky - March 8th, 2022

Marrow reflects and honors the lives and voices of more than 900 children, teenagers, and adults who died in the mass murder-suicide at Jonestown, in Guyana, on November 18, 1978.


Headless John the Baptist Hitchhiking: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781946724489
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Published: Acre Books - February 18th, 2022

Salazar calls his debut poetry collection “the coming-of-age chronicle of a queer Latinx Southerner.” The book finds complexity, vulnerability, joy, and trauma in these identities, marveling at this striking juxtaposition. Salazar chronicles a tangled history with religion, as well as an enduring search for the spiritual and divine.


Late Fragments: Flares, My Heart Laid Bare, Prose Poems, Belgium Disrobed (The Margellos World Republic of Letters) Cover Image
By Charles Baudelaire, Richard Sieburth (Translated by)
$30.00
ISBN: 9780300185188
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Published: Yale University Press - May 17th, 2022

Baudelaire’s late poems, drafts, and prose fragments are collected for the first time in one volume, giving insight into the poet’s later poetic practice.


Madness Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781643621173
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Published: Nightboat Books - March 15th, 2022

Madness is the selected poems of a fictional poet, Luis Montes-Torres, a gay Cuban exile who makes a name for himself in the world of poetry before the contours of his ordinary life become overwhelming, stilted, and impossible. adness is a study in how pleasure, crisis, wonder, disappointment, love, and fantasy are written into our forms for living.


Content Warning: Everything Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781556596292
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Published: Copper Canyon Press - April 5th, 2022

In their bold debut poetry collection, Akwaeke Emezi imagines a new depth of belonging. Crafted of both divine and earthly materials, these poems travel from home to homesickness, tracing desire to surrender and abuse to survival, while mapping out a chosen family that includes the son of god, mary auntie, and magdalene with the chestnut eyes.


My Grief, the Sun Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781487010843
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Published: House of Anansi Press - April 5th, 2022

From concrete to confessional poem, exegesis to erasure, Canadian rivers to Kashmiri mountains, Wani undoes and complicates genre and gathers the world between the poet’s hands.


Thresh & Hold Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781938235948
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hub City Press - March 29th, 2022

Through erasure and persona, Dekine reimagines and calls to task the Works Progress Administration narratives, modern-day museums, and intergenerational traumas. Beyond gospel music, fear, and the stories of generations past, Thresh & Hold offers magic, healing, and innovative pathways to manifest intimacy.