15 New and Forthcoming Poetry Collections You Should Be Reading

Literature


It has been almost thirty years since the Academy of American Poets launched National Poetry Month, and the vitality of American poetry has only grown since then. These new and forthcoming 2024 poetry collections showcase the diversity and talent of the poets writing today. Their words inspire a new way of thinking and being, encouraging us to empathize with one another and appreciate the world around us.

Good Monster by Diannely Antigua

Antigua’s sophomore collection is a raw, innovative exploration of the body after trauma. Through lyrical free verse, “Sad Girl Sonnets,” and her invented collage form of the “Diary Entry Poem,” Antigua investigates religious trauma, chronic pain, and mental illness. The result is a poetry collection of considerable courage and vulnerability.

Grief Slut by Evelyn Berry

In her debut, Evelyn Berry captures the experiences of growing up queer in the South, of transgender self-creation, and of losing a friend to suicide. She embraces queer sexual pleasure, the paired joy and fear of trans identity, and the terroir of the Southern United States. Her daring, tone-driven voice establishes her as a poet to watch.

Momently by Zach Savich

Bees. Blossoms. Sheet metal. Ladders. These breathless, surrealist prose poems are preoccupied with mortality, the creative life, ephemerality, and nature. Savich’s history as a cancer survivor is translated through the intimacy with death that he takes on the page. His sense of prosody and imagery will make the sounds and images of his poems stay with the reader.

Being Reflected Upon by Alice Notley

Notley’s highly anticipated memoir-in-verse reflects upon a seventeen-year period of her life as a poet. She mourns the death of her second husband, undergoes radiation treatment for cancer, and contemplates the role of poetry in a dying world. Throughout the expansive scope of her subjects, she maintains her singular, restless, and fresh poetic voice.

Girl Work by Zefyr Lisowski

Girl Work is a book-length meditation on the inscrutability of memory, on sexual violence, and on the role of beauty and labor. Lisowski writes candidly about sex work and trans identity in the current political climate. Her visual poetics are highly effective: overlapping prose blocks or spiraling verse represent how traumatized existence complicates memory and recall. The collection is at once impressively cohesive yet formally diverse.

Interrogation Records by Jeddie Sophronius

Literature is a crucial tool for resisting censorship and oppression. This documentary poetry collection is a vital exploration of a little-known historical event: the Indonesian killings of 1965-1966. Jeddie Sophronius refuses the instinct, both in Indonesia and abroad, to neglect learning about the massacre. His approach is both painstakingly archival and highly personal, and he approaches the atrocity with nuance, courage, and urgency. He displays his proficiency at many poetic forms, including repetitive forms like the pantoum, visual poetics, and collaged work. Interrogation Records is not only an important piece of historical research but also a display of significant poetic talent.

Instructions for Traveling West by Joy Sullivan

Joy Sullivan’s debut collection is an autobiographical account of uprooting her life mid-pandemic: breaking up with her longtime partner, quitting her job, selling her house, and moving west. Throughout her journey, she composed these poems, which demonstrate the bravery, agency, and fire it takes to embrace uncertainty. Her writing is infused with delight, Western scenery, and ocean salt. Sullivan has a tender and unique new poetic voice.

Woke Up No Light by Leila Mottley

Leila Mottley’s first book of poetry is bold and no-holds-barred. She writes fiercely and tenderly about the challenges of Black existence in America. With lyrical free verse and impressionistic imagery, Mottley explores family lineage, sexuality, fear, joy, and desire. She has a poetic voice all her own, further cementing her as a writer to watch after the success of her daring first novel Nightcrawling.

The Palace of Forty Pillars by Armen Davoudian

This debut poetry collection is an intimate, trailblazing exploration of Armen Davoudian’s identity as a gay man, as an Armenian, and as an immigrant. The poems follow Davoudian’s own journey from Ishafan, Iran to the United States. He innovates form with invented rhyme schemes and repetitive forms. The poems are tender and filled with the sights, scents, and sounds of his homeland. 

Rangikura by Tayi Tibble

Tayi Tibble’s sophomore collection of poetry is relentlessly modern in its voice and diction, and yet carefully crafted with attention to image, form, and sound. She writes audaciously about her girlhood as a Māori in New Zealand, with an unflinching eye to all-night clubs, unsatisfying affairs, and the violence enacted against indigenous women. Through it all, her writing is refreshingly contemporary and fresh, and this collection cements her as a poet to watch.

Hereafter by Alan Felsenthal

Alan Felsenthal’s highly anticipated second collection is a quietly meditative work of nature poetry. Blending the pastoral and the elegiac, Felsenthal interrogates the impact of humanity on nature. His poems are infused with diverse sceneries: the ocean, the moon, and the desert. His voice is tender and hopeful for a better future.

Inconsolable Objects by Nancy Miller Gomez

Nancy Miller Gomez’s debut is a powerhouse of a poetry collection. Her diction is assertive and urgent as she offers love to all the broken things in the universe. She interrogates the often unseen role of the mother, the mark that humanity leaves on the world, and the dangers inherent to intimate relationships. Throughout the poems, she is unrestrained and unsentimental, yet filled with tenderness for all things that strive.

36 Ways of Writing a Vietnamese Poem by Nam Le

Nam Le’s first book of poems is formally wide-ranging, incorporating erasure, ekphrasis, and offertory. He writes boldly about the Vietnamese diaspora, about the “violence of translation,” and about the generational impacts of oppression and historical trauma. His poetic voice is fierce and varied, from the measured, calculated “arithmetical” to the bold “slam declension.” With this book, Le cements his legacy as a daring and innovative writer.

Colorfast by Rose McLarney

Rose McLarney’s writing is vibrant and magical as she considers the terrain of her Appalachian upbringing. McLarney interrogates the omission of women’s voices from history, the natural environment of the South, and the stories of her girlhood. Her diction is precise and patient as she applies a unique vision to the often-overlooked parts of the world.

Bluff by Danez Smith

The long-anticipated new poetry collection from Danez Smith reckons with protest and silence in a divided country. In their trademark powerful voice, Smith confronts police violence against Black people in America, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the role of poetry throughout it all. They play audaciously with form and diction that resists the institutions of white America.

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