Good Dress

Brittany Rogers

In her debut poetry collection, Brittany Rogers explores the audacity of Black Detroit, Black womanhood, class, luxury and materialism, and matrilineage. A nontraditional coming-of-age, Good Dress witnesses a speaker coming into her own autonomy and selfhood as a young adult, reflecting on formative experiences.

With care and incandescent energy, the poems engage with memory, time, interiority, and community. The collection also nudges tenderly toward curiosity: What does it mean to belong to a person, to a city? Can intimacy and romance be found outside the heteronormative confines of partnership? And in what ways can the pursuit of pleasure be an anchor that returns us to ourselves?

Signs, Music

Raymond Antrobus

Structured as a two-part sequence poem, Signs, Music explores the before and after of becoming a father with tenderness and care—the cognitive and emotional dissonances between the “hypothetical” and the “real” of fatherhood, the ways our own parents shape the parents we become, and how fraught with emotion, curiosity, and recollection this irreversible transition to fatherhood makes one’s inner landscape. 

At once searching and bright, deeply rooted and buoyant, Raymond Antrobus’s Signs, Music is a moving record of  the changes and challenges encompassing new parenthood and the inevitable cycles of life, death, birth, renewal and legacy—a testament to the joy, uncertainty, and incredible love that come with bringing new life into the world.

Cloud Missives

Kenzie Allen

Intimate, dissecting, and liberating, Cloud Missives is a poetry collection of excavation and renewal. Like an anthropologist entering a dig site and unearthing bones, Kenzie Allen reveals a life from what endures after tragedies and acts of survival. Across five sections, poems explore pop culture—the stereotypes in Peter Pan, Indiana Jones, and beyond—fairy tales, myths, protests, and forgotten histories, before arriving at a dazzling series of love poems that deepen our understanding of romantic, platonic, and communal love.

Cloud Missives is an investigation, a manifestation, and a celebration: of the body, of what we make and remake, of the self, and of the heart. With care and deep attention, it asks what one can reimagine of Indigenous personhood in the wake of colonialism, what healing might look like when loving the world around you—and introduces readers to a profound new voice in poetry.

The Palace of Forty Pillars

Armen Davoudian

Wry, tender, and formally innovative, Armen Davoudian’s debut poetry collection, The Palace of Forty Pillars, tells the story of a self estranged from the world around him as a gay adolescent, an Armenian in Iran, and an immigrant in America. It is a story darkened by the long shadow of global tragedies—the Armenian genocide, war in the Middle East, the specter of homophobia. With masterful attention to rhyme and meter, these poems also carefully witness the most intimate encounters: the awkward distance between mother and son getting ready in the morning, the delicate balance of power between lovers, a tense exchange with the morality police in Iran.

In Isfahan, Iran, the eponymous palace has only twenty pillars—but, reflected in its courtyard pool, they become forty. This is the gamble of Davoudian’s magical, ruminative poems: to recreate, in art’s reflection, a home for the speaker, who is unable to return to it in life.

Have You Been Long Enough At Table

Leslie Sainz

Taking its title from Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, Leslie Sainz’s Have You Been Long Enough at Table explores the personal and historical tragedies of the Cuban American experience through a distinctly feminine lens. Formally diverse with echoes of Spanish throughout, this debut collection critiques power and patriarchy as weaponized by the governments of the United States and the Republic of Cuba. In investigating the realities of displacement and inherited exile, Sainz honors her imagined past, present, and future as a result of the “revolution within the revolution”—the emancipation of Cuban women.

Through lyric and associative meditations, Sainz anatomizes the unique grief of immigrant daughters, as her speakers discover how family can be a microcosm of the very violence that displaced them. What emerges is a spiritual blueprint for disinheritance, radical self-determination, and the nuanced examinations of myth, ritual, and resistance.

I Do Everything I’m Told

Megan Fernandes

Restless, contradictory, and witty, Megan Fernandes’ I Do Everything I’m Told explores disobedience and worship, longing and possessiveness, and nights of wandering cities. Its poems span thousands of miles, as a masterful crown of sonnets starts in Shanghai, then moves through Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Lisbon, Palermo, Paris, and Philadelphia—with a speaker who travels solo, adventures with strangers, struggles with the parameters of sexuality, and speculates on desire.

Across four sections, poems navigate the terrain of queer, normative, and ambiguous intimacies with a frank intelligence: “It’s better to be illegible, sometimes. Then they can’t govern you.” Strangers, ancestors, priests, ghosts, the inner child, sisters, misfit raccoons, Rimbaud, and Rilke populate the pages. Beloveds are unnamed, and unrealized desires are grieved as actual losses. The poems are grounded in real cities, but also in a surrealist past or an impossible future, in cliché love stories made weird, in ordinary routines made divine, and in the cosmos itself, sitting on Saturn’s rings looking back at Earth. When things go wrong, Fernandes treats loss with a sacred irreverence: “Contradictions are a sign we are from god. We fall. We don’t always get to ask why.”

 

Trace Evidence

Charif Shanahan

 

In Trace Evidence, the urgent follow-up to his award-winning debut Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing, Charif Shanahan continues his piercing meditations on the intricacies of mixed-race identity, queer desire, time, mortality, and the legacies of anti-Blackness in the US and abroad. At the collection’s center sits “On the Overnight from Agadir,” a poem that chronicles Shanahan’s survival of a devastating bus accident in Morocco, his mother’s birth country, and ruminates on home, belonging, and the mysteries of fate. With rich lyricism, power, and tenderness, Trace Evidence centers the racial periphery and excavates the vestiges of our violent colonial past in the most intimate aspects of our lives. In a language yoked equally to the physical and metaphysical worlds, the poet articulates the need we all share for real intimacy and connection, and proves, time and again, that the true cost of our separateness is the love that our survival requires.

 

Judas Goat

Gabrielle Bates

Gabrielle Bates’s electric debut collection Judas Goat plumbs the depths of intimate relationships. The book’s eponymous animal is used to lead sheep to slaughter while its own life is spared, and its harrowing existence echoes through this spellbinding collection of forty poems, which wrestle with betrayal and forced obedience, violence and young womanhood, and the “forbidden felt language” of sexual and sacred love. These poems conjure encounters with figures from scriptures, domesticated animals eyeing the wild, and mothering as a shapeshifting, spectral force; they question what it means to love another person and how to exorcise childhood fears. All the while, the Deep South haunts, and no matter how far away the speaker moves, the South always draws her back home.

In confession, in illumination, Bates establishes herself as an unflinching witness to the risks that desire necessitates, as Judas Goat holds readers close and whispers its unforgettable lines.

So Tall It Ends in Heaven

Jayme Ringleb

With lush and deeply intimate language, Jayme Ringleb’s debut collection So Tall It Ends in Heaven explores sexuality, estrangement, and the distances we travel for love.

Following the end of a marriage, So Tall It Ends in Heaven’s queer southern speaker tries to restore a relationship with his father. His father lives across an ocean, but more keeps them apart than just that: the father rejected his son long ago after learning that his son is gay. The poems search for answers across the United States and Europe, in and out of historical imagination, as the speaker struggles to separate his understanding of devotion and belonging from the constant losses in his life. Drawing from—and subverting—the formal traditions of love poems, parables, and elegies, the collection claims a vital space for one’s own solace. “Nobody will love you / like this poem does,” the speaker says; “Tell this poem / what you want. // Anything.”

In turns that are ruminative, funny, and tender, Jayme Ringleb’s debut collection questions what and whom one lets go of by coming out—can love, in all its complexities, ever be uncoupled from grief?

Magnolia

Nina Mingya Powles

Magnolia, Nina Mingya Powles’ exquisite debut poetry collection, pushes the borders of languages and poetic forms to examine memories, myths, and the experiences of a mixed-race girlhood. From Aotearoa to London, from Shanghai to New York City, these poems journey across shifting, luminescent cities in search of connection: through pop culture, through food, through vivid colors. Scenes from Mulan, Blade Runner, and In the Mood for Love braid together with silken tofu and freshly steamed baozi. At the heart of the collection is “Field notes on a downpour,” a lyrical sequence that questions the limits of translation and our ability to understand one another. Alone, the speaker recognizes that “certain languages contain more kinds of rain than others, and I have eaten them all.”

Full of hunger and longing for a home that can embrace a person’s complexities, Magnolia draws on every sense to arrive at profound, yet intimate insights, and introduces readers to a brilliant new voice in poetry.

What Is Otherwise Infinite

Bianca Stone

Written in four sections with incisive and vivid lyrical language, Bianca Stone’s What Is Otherwise Infinite considers how we find our place in the world through themes of philosophy, religion, environment, myth, and psychology. “I deal only in the hardest pain-revivers, symbols and tongues,” writes Stone. “I want to tell you only / in the intimacy of our discomfort.” 

Populated by Archangels, limping in paradise; by allergies of the soul; the intimacy and danger of motherhood; psychic wounds; and dirty, dirty chocolate layer cake, What Is Otherwise Infinite deftly examines our inherent and inherited ideas of how to live, and the experience of the Self—which on one hand is so intensely personal, and on the other, universal.

All The Names Given

Raymond Antrobus

On the heels of his much-lauded debut collection, Raymond Antrobus continues his essential investigation into language, miscommunication, place, and memory in All The Names Given, while simultaneously breaking new ground in both form and content. 

The collection opens with poems about the author’s surname—one that shouldn’t have survived into modernity—and examines the rich and fraught history carried within it. As Antrobus outlines a childhood caught between intimacy and brutality, sound and silence, and conflicting racial and cultural identities, the poem becomes a space in which the poet reckons with his own ancestry, and bears witness to the indelible violence of the legacy wrought by colonialism. The poems travel through space—shifting fluidly between England, South Africa, Jamaica, and the American South—and brilliantly move from an examination of family history into the wandering lust of adolescence and finally, vividly, into a complex array of marriage poems—matured, wiser, and more accepting of love’s fragility. Throughout, All The Names Given is punctuated with [Caption Poems] partially inspired by Deaf sound artist Christine Sun Kim, in which the art of writing captions attempts to fill in the silences and transitions between the poems as well as moments inside and outside of them. 

Formally sophisticated, with a weighty perception and startling directness, All The Names Given is a timely, tender book full of humanity and remembrance from one of the most important young poets of our generation.

My Darling from the Lions

Rachel Long

Each poem in Rachel Long’s award-winning My Darling from the Lions has a vivid story to tell—of family quirks, the perils of dating, the grip of religion, or sexual awakening—stories that are, by turn, emotionally insightful, politically conscious, wise, funny, and outrageous. Told in three sections, it’s a book about growing up, falling in love with not-great men, and girlhood; a collection that speaks to femininity, divinity, familial shame, Black identity, and modern culture.

Long reveals herself as a razor-sharp and original voice on the issues of sexual politics and cultural inheritance that polarize our current moment. With a fresh commitment to the power of the individual poem, her collection offers immediate, wide-awake poetry that entertains royally, without sacrificing a note of its urgency or remarkable skill.

My Darling from the Lions marks the arrival of a thrilling new voice and presence in poetry.

Superdoom

Melissa Broder

Featuring a new introduction from the author, Superdoom: Selected Poems brings together the best of Broder’s three cult out-of-print poetry collections—When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother, Meat Heart, and Scarecrone—as well as the best of her fourth collection, Last Sext.

Embracing the sacred and the profane, often simultaneously, Broder gazes into the abyss and at the human body, with humor and heartbreak, lust and terror. Broder’s language is entirely her own, marked both by brutal strangeness and raw intimacy. At turns essayistic and surreal, bouncing between the grotesque and the transcendent, Superdoom is a must-have for longtime fans and the perfect introduction to one of our most brilliant and original poets.

Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night

Morgan Parker

Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night—the book that launched the career of one of our most important young American poets—is back in print.

The debut collection from award-winning poet Morgan Parker demonstrates why she’s become one of the most beloved writers working today. Her command of language is on full display. Parker bobs and weaves between humor and pathos, grief and anxiety, Gwendolyn Brooks and Jay-Z, the New York School and reality television. She collapses any foolish distinctions between the personal and the political, the “high” and the “low.” Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night not only introduced an essential new voice to the world, it contains everything readers have come to love about Morgan Parker’s work.

The Perseverance

Raymond Antrobus

In the wake of his father’s death, the speaker in Raymond Antrobus’ The Perseverance travels to Barcelona. In Gaudi’s Cathedral, he meditates on the idea of silence and sound, wondering whether acoustics really can bring us closer to God. Receiving information through his hearing aid technology, he considers how deaf people are included in this idea. “Even though,” he says, “I have not heard / the golden decibel of angels, / I have been living in a noiseless / palace where the doorbell is pulsating / light and I am able to answer.”

The Perseverance is a collection of poems examining a d/Deaf experience alongside meditations on loss, grief, education, and language, both spoken and signed. It is a book about communication and connection, about cultural inheritance, about identity in a hearing world that takes everything for granted, about the dangers we may find (both individually and as a society) if we fail to understand each other.