Autumn’s Best New and Upcoming Poetry Collections 2023

Calling my fellow lovers of verse and rhyme!

Autumn will usher in a wave of new poetry releases by a huge range of voices — from debut to widely renowned — and from publishing houses both big and small. The following collections are guaranteed to bring something fresh and exciting to the poetry sections of your bookshops and shelves, with unexpected approaches, styles and conversations sparked with every stanza. Read on for our list of some of this season’s most anticipated poetry releases.

Information Desk by Robyn Schiff
9780143136804 | Published by Penguin Books — USA | Paperback | Out Now | £17.99

Robyn Schiff’s fourth collection is an ambitious book-length poem in three parts set at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s information desk, where Schiff long ago held a staff position. Elaborately mapping an interconnected route in and out of the museum through history, material, and memory, Information Desk: An Epic takes us on an anguished soul-quest and ecstatic intellectual query to confront the violent forces that inform the museum’s encyclopaedic collection and the spiritual powers of art.

Ribwort by Hannah Komar
9781739128784 | Published by 3TimesRebel Press | Paperback | Out Now | £12.99

In the summer of 2021, Hanna Komar brought the script for this book to a publisher in Belarus, but it couldn’t be published in Belarus as it was deemed “extremist”. This is just a tiny tip of the iceberg of the repressions which unfolded in Belarus when the people stood up against the falsified election results on 9 August 2020 and the violence which followed afterwards. This book doesn’t start with the protest poems of 2020. It consists of sections which tell about the poet’s relationship with her parents and with herself, about her romantic relationships, about her relationship with her homeland, and the poetry of civil resistance. Each of them is administering a leaf of ribwort to help the wounds heal.

Plantains and Our Becoming by Melania Luisa Marte
9780593471340 | Published by Tiny Reparations Books | Paperback | Out Now | £15.99

Plantains And Our Becoming is an imaginative, blistering, beautifully written poetry collection about identity and history on the island of the Dominican Republic and Haiti to celebrate and centre the Black Diasporic experience. Through the exploration of the themes of self-love, nationalism, displacement, generational traumas, and ancestral knowledge, this collection uproots Black stereotypes while creating a new joyous vision for Black identity and personhood, one that is deeply grounded in the heirlooms and teachings of Black celebration as well as preservation.

After That by Lorna Crozier
9780771004285 | Published by Mcclelland & Stewart | Paperback | Out 05/09/2023 | £16.99

From Lorna Crozier, the poet that Ursula Le Guin called a “truth teller” and “visionary,” comes this new collection of soul-stirring poems that follow the death of a loved one. After That is a book written from the dark hollow we fall into when we lose those we love. Lorna Crozier’s sure poetry finds the words to engage with the grief that comes from the death of her partner, the writer Patrick Lane, whom she’d lived with for forty years, many of them tumultuous. With grace and precision, she illuminates sorrow. Without offering false comfort, the poems turn over our own grief so that we can catch a glimpse of the new life inside us again.

Rock Stars by Matt Mason
9781638340652 | Published by Button Poetry | Paperback | Out 05/09/2023 | £16.99

Witty, nostalgia, rhythmic and forlorn, Matt Mason’s poetry calls on the classic rock music that shaped him. Mason laments on his childhood in the 80s and addresses the graduating preschool class of 2023, as he takes us on the coming-of-age roadtrip of a lifetime!

Abyss and Song by George Sarantaris, translated by Pria Louka
9781954218093 | Published by World Poetry Books | Paperback | Out 07/09/2023 | £18.99

The first English-language collection of Greek Modernist George Sarantaris, described by Nobel Laureate Odysseus Elytis as ‘the greatest poet of the Generation of ’30,’ whose laconic lyric poetry oscillates between the philosophical and the erotic. Sarantaris’ lucid poems, with their epigrammatic simplicity, recall the ancient Greek poetic tradition while drawing on the French and Italian influences of his time.

Before Wisdom by Paul Verlaine, translated by Keith Waldrop & K.A. Hays
9781954218123 | Published by World Poetry Books | Paperback | Out 07/09/2023 | £18.99

A selection from the legendary French poet Paul Verlaine’s first four books translated with irreverence and musicality by Keith Waldrop and K.A. Hays. Before he became an icon of fin-de-siècle French poetry and a major influence on the Symbolist and Decadent movements, before he met Arthur Rimbaud and published his best-known collection (Wisdom), and before he was renowned as a troubled and often violent alcoholic, Paul Verlaine wrote four books of poetry. This volume presents selections from those books, presenting Verlaine’s lesser-known early work, in translations that Cole Swensen has called ‘a real tour de force’ and Michael Palmer calls ‘remarkable versions.’

Saint Ghetto of the Loans by Gabriel Pomerand
Translated by Michael Kasper & Bhamati Viswanathan
9781954218130 | Published by World Poetry Books | Paperback | Out 07/09/2023 | £18.99

One of the most influential, if rarely seen, visual poetry books of the post-war avant-garde era, Pomerand’s Lettrist masterwork elaborates a psychogeographic story of the bohemian Parisian neighbourhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés through punning prose-poems and dazzling, rebus-like ‘metagraphics’ on facing pages.

Tarta Americana by J. Michael Martinez
9780143137115 | Published by Penguin Books — USA | Paperback | Out 12/09/2023 | £17.99

Ragged and raging across the spectrums of cognition, race, and gender, Tarta Americana lyrically envisions forms of survival outside neuronormative perceptions and histories. Against the recent tide of white nationalism in the United States, Tarta Americana finds a rhinestone in Ritchie Valens, the rock and roll legend, surfacing across time and bodies, genders and sounds, displacing the linear unfolding of desire and biography.

Stories and Poems of a Class Struggle / Historias y poemas de una lucha de clases
by Roque Dalton, translated by Jack Hirschmann
9781644211762 | Published by Seven Stories Press | Paperback | Out 14/09/2023 | £14.99

Introducing an important Latin American voice to English readers. Roque Dalton is one of Latin America’s major poets and is beloved by English language poets, but his work is not widely available in English and is overdue for a rediscovery. In Stories and Poems of a Class Struggle, he explores oppression and resistance through the lens of five poetic personas, each with their own distinct voice.

Hated for the Gods by Sean Patrick Mulroy
9781638340713 | Published by Button Poetry | Paperback | Out 14/09/2023 | £16.99

Sean Patrick Mulroy’s Hated for the Gods invites the reader to embrace their queer heritage with disarming tenderness, and urges them to celebrate the joy of gay sex without shame. Plaintive and joyous, sexy and ferocious — often all at once — Hated for the Gods is as much a call to action as it is a work of literature. Sean Patrick Mulroy’s poetry weaves together stories from his coming of age in the American South of the 1990s with the broader history of gay men in America.

Poetry by Chance by Taylor Mali
9781638340744 | Published by Button Poetry | Paperback | Out 14/09/2023 | £23.99

Poetry By Chance is the first collection of poems that were all prompted by different rolls of Taylor Mali’s Metaphor Dice, featuring submitters from the inaugural Golden Die Contest. After reading through this collection, you can’t help but see the power of metaphor in understanding the world around us. In this anthology there is no singular poetic style or voice, but rather a collection of unique voices and perspectives for each roll.

Toy Gun by Matt Coonan
9781638340805 | Published by Button Poetry | Paperback | Out 14/09/2023 | £16.99

In Toy Gun, Matt fires his offbeat childhood and adolescence at the page. He enters each exit wound with sharp diction and form, extracting shards of trauma, mental health, and evolutionary violence. What you’ll find in this collection is ambitious anaphora — an attempt to explain the irrationality of an obsessive mind by imitation. The result of it all? Raw candour dripped on the backdrop of New York suburbia; an intimacy that lingers from backyard barbeques to funeral homes. You do not want to miss this searing debut.

Season’s Greetings From George by George Mackay Brown
9781915530073 | Published by Galileo Publishing | HB | Out 06/10/2023 | 12.99

From the early 1960s to the late 1980s, George Mackay Brown either wrote new Christmas poems which were printed on Christmas cards sent by his close friends, or, as the years went on, he designed his own cards, commissioning art from friends and family and again including original verse compositions. This book reproduces all the known cards, the majority of which were found in the possession of his great niece living in Stromness, George’s home town throughout most of his life. They are a complete delight and will be a must for all of Mackay Brown’s numerous and devoted followers. But they also open a door into this remarkable man’s life which will have an appeal to an audience far beyond the shores of Orkney at Christmas time.

The Cheapest France in Town by Seo Jung Hak, translated by Megan Sungyoon
9781954218147 | Published by World Poetry Books | PB | Out 11/10/2023 | £18.99

The elusive, distant, almost disembodied voice of Korean poet Seo Jung Hak’s English-language debut examines interiorities that seem familiar, yet whose ordinariness rises to the level of the uncanny. Inspired by the commodification of arts, emotions, and ideologies, these poems — written over a span of 18 years from 1999 to 2017 — parody the very act of writing amid worn-out rhetorical tropes, in a tone that is at times sinisterly witty and at others ominously blithe.

kochanie, today i bought bread by Uljana Wolf
Translated by Greg Nissan, introduction by Valzhyna Mort
9781954218154 | Published by World Poetry Books | PB | Out 11/10/2023 | £18.99

The lyrical, imaginatively-crafted debut collection by one of Germany’s most important contemporary poets explores the ‘shifting of the mouth’ toward the other, toward translation, toward a reckoning with historical silences. In kochanie, today i bought bread, Uljana Wolf crosses borders from East Germany into Poland, from fairy tales to the tallying of land torn by fateful past, from women’s voices ‘hibernating in documents,’ to Lavinia’s spilling forth of red language.

The Slow Horizon That Breathes by Dimitra Kotoula
Translated by Maria Nazos, introduction by A. E. Stallings
9781954218161 | Published by World Poetry Books | PB | Out 11/10/2023 | £18.99

In her debut English-language collection, contemporary Greek poet Dimitra Kotoula takes on contemporary Greek society in challenging lyrical forms. In The Slow Horizon that Breathes, a selection from her first three books, published between 2004-2022, Kotoula — a poet born after the military Junta — engages modern Greek struggles, including troubled relationships, the financial crisis, motherhood, and the act of writing. Translated by Maria Nazos in close collaboration with the author, and introduced by A.E. Stallings, this volume presents to English readers Kotoula’s masterful transformation of private demons into a public resonance.

Organs of Little Importance by Adrienne Chung
9780143137740 | Published by Penguin Books (USA) | PB | Out 10/10/2023 | £17.99

Taking its title from Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, Adrienne Chung’s debut collection asks why we cling so dearly to the vestigial parts of our psychologies — residues of first impressions, thought spirals to nowhere, memories that persist despite outliving their usefulness. The speaker in these poems tries to wear more colour, indulges in Y2K nostalgia and falls in and out of love; a Jungian psychoanalyst has a field day with her dreams. While  Darwin was perplexed and ultimately dismissive of these seemingly useless body parts, Organs of Little Importance reframes and repositions the apparent uselessness of our compulsions, superstitions, errant thoughts, and other selves.

Leave a Reply