Nine New Poetry Collections to Soak Up
The New York Public Library is celebrating National Poetry Month throughout April! Discover everything the Library has to offer, including free events, our handpicked list of the best new poetry books, and fun ways to get involved on social media.
Reading poetry is not only pleasurable but invites (sometimes demands) us to explore other perspectives, process our experiences in a new way, and understand each other better. If you're looking for some new poetry reads, these selections below—considering identity, fatherhood, generational trauma, mortality, and much more—were all released within the last month or two.
I'm Always So Serious
by Karisma Price
An extended meditation on Blackness, family, and loss. Anchored in New Orleans and New York City, these poems braid personal and public histories into a cultural reckoning of past and present.
Couplets: A Love Story
by Maggie Millner
A collection of poems that describes the story of an ordinary woman living in Brooklyn who has closeted lesbian feelings until she meets someone who forces her to explore obsession, gender, queerness, and identity.
by Clint Smith
Smith traverses the vast emotional terrain of fatherhood, and explores how becoming a parent has recalibrated his sense of the world. Smith’s lyrical, narrative poems bring the reader on a journey not only through the early years of his children’s lives, but through the changing world in which they are growing up—through the changing world of which we are all a part.
Promises of Gold / Promesas de Oro
by José Olivarez; traducción al español de David Ruano González
Written in English and combined with a Spanish translation, this stellar collection of poems, exploring many forms of love and how each is birthed, shaped, and complicated by the invisible forces of gender, capitalism, religion, and so on, serves as a reminder that love is abundant and worth experiencing.
by Monica Youn
An Asian-American poet confronts the incessant questioning of “Where are you from…?” in a collection of poems that explores stereotypes, micro- and macro-aggressions, assimilation, self-doubt, and the pandemic-inspired epidemic of anti-Asian hate.
by Brenda Shaughnessy
Paying tribute to her own “influencers,” an award-winning poet reflects on the women who set her on her artistic path, introducing us to friends, mentors, sisters, and lovers, and exposes moments of spiritual and intellectual awakening, her love of art and the written word and her sense of the life force itself.
by Mahogany L. Browne
Chrome Valley offers an intricate portrait of Black womanhood in America. The characters grapple with the legacies of inherited trauma but also revel in the beauty of the undaunted self-determination passed down from Black woman to Black woman.
by Charif Shanahan
Piercing meditations on the intricacies of mixed-race identity, queer desire, time, mortality, and the legacies of anti-Blackness in the US and abroad.
Meet Me at the Lighthouse
by Dana Gioia
Including poems, song lyrics, translations, and concluding with an unsettling train ride to the underworld, Meet Me at the Lighthouse is a luminous exploration of nostalgia, mortality, and what makes a life worth living and remembering.
Summaries provided via NYPL’s catalog, which draws from multiple sources. Click through to each book’s title for more.