Mary Soon Lee
Featuring 119 haikus inspired by the Periodic Table (yes, that one from intro to Chemistry), Mary Soon Lee’s collection hums with imagination. Within its pages, Boron (described as “no fireworks, no fuss”) urges us to consider the power of focus and diligence while “Lithium” highlights the importance of connection with others and our connection to ourselves (“empower my phone, my car. / Banish depression.”). Each element is an invitation to reckon with the wonder of the world that surrounds us. Each page is a celebration.
In Nikita Gill’s Great Goddesses: Life Lessons from Myths and Monsters, readers are reminded of the power of retelling old tales. As she reexamines the ancient archetypes of monsters, goddesses, villains, and heroines, the complexities of what it means to possess power confront readers to make them reconsider their own agency. Memorable and infused with wisdom, Great Goddesses is as illuminating as the women brought to life by Gill’s words.
Life of the Party
For Olivia Gatwood, poetry is a powerful tool, one that can “help us feel less alone in the dark.” The poems in Life of the Party prove this—each stanza offering light to those who are willing to embrace it. Throughout the collection, Gatwood’s knack for tapping into the vulnerability and wonder of human emotion with empathetic clarity is unshakable. Poems like “No Baptism” feel like a mirror that reminds readers that “Once, everything was a gift. Once, anything / resembling the things we wanted was the we wanted.”
Like a match, Yrsa Daley-Ward’s poetry captivates the eye and emanates light. Each line is luminous and unabashedly fierce, even when wielded through two short lines. Throughout bone, Daley-Ward dares to explore her inner shadow, the contradictions of intimacy, and the many histories that have shaped her. With ease, she compels her audience to bear witness to the complexity and limitless iterations of Black womanhood. bone‘s stanzas exorcise, invoke, and conjure. Daley-Ward’s poems will banish whatever binds you.
If They Come for Us
Fatimah Asghar’s debut collection is a fearless meditation on the way history, faith, and family can shape an individual’s identity and their sense of home. When Asghar confesses, “I whisper my country my country my country / & my hands stay empty” in “When the Orders Came,” the limits of the American dream are confronted along with the dangers of existing in a nation where “the cost / of looking the other way” can be fatal. Urgent and illuminating, Asghar’s collection is a necessary salve.
Tears for Water
Penned by the iconic 15-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys, Tears for Water gives fans a closer look into the soul of a songwriter, singer, and poet. With warmth, heart, and bravery, Keys’ meditations on womanhood, creativity, and love (for the self and others) crafts an intimate portrait of her ethos as not only an artist, but as a person. When she confesses, “these are my most delicate thoughts,” you’ll believe her and be changed all the better for it.
It's Not Magic
It’s Not Magic by Jon Sands offers its audience an earnest exploration of identity, memory, and the irrevocable nature of intimacy. In poems like “Ode to My Mother’s Hip” and “I Should Be Writing the Story,” Sands peels back the veneer of post-modern apathy and delves deep into an immersive spectrum of human emotion, which in turn, encourages his readers to do the same. A satisfyingly searing portrait of selfhood and coming of age, It’s Not Magic is a spell in its own rite.
Lean Against This Late Hour
In Garous Abdolmalekian’s first collection to appear in English, the surreal takes center stage. Filled with incandescent stanzas and cinematic imagery, Abdolmalekian’s Lean Against This Late Hour sifts through the intricacies of loss, grief, desire, and how we must reckon with the past as we live in the present and reach toward the future. When Abdolmalekian writes, “This time send us a prophet who listens,” readers can’t help but pay attention. This collection commands you to put your ear to the ground.
Throughout Forage, Rose McLarney reflects on the implications of embodiment, nature, and ecology in unexpected and unshakable ways. Crafted with precision and heart, McLarney’s poems announce themselves, each stanza possessing a voice of its own that slips with ease into the ears of its listener and quickly takes root. Forage is a compelling rumination on mortality and our ever-changing environment. Its urgency has something to teach us. This collection is one that you will return to again and again.
all of it is you.
In the introduction to all of it is you., Nico Tortorella writes, “the goal for this book, and every day for myself, is to be a physical manifestation of process and journey.” As you delve deeper and deeper into Tortorella’s collection, this goal becomes both a guiding compass and a thread connecting each section of the collection—body, earth, and universe—to the reader, revealing the “practical magic” in the ordinary and the transformative potential of the written word.
Much like The After Party, No Matter‘s pages offer readers a gripping investigation of memory, reinvention, and imagination. Reminiscent of Italo Calvino’s Cities and the fictive visions of Renee Gladman, the poems within No Matter defy predictability and boldly reconfigure traditional forms like the sonnet alongside immersive free verse and newly imagined modalities. Visceral, unapologetic, political, and intimate, Prikryl’s poetry possesses a “magnetic nearness” that gently encourages you to lean in closer.
Miracle in the Mundane
Tyler Knott Gregson
In the introduction to Miracle in the Mundane: Poems, Prompts, and Inspiration to Unlock Your Creativity and Unfiltered Joy, Tyler Knott Gregson reminds readers how powerful embracing one’s imagination can be. “This is a ‘life reboot’ of sorts,” Gregson writes. Through many prompts, exercises, and stanzas, readers are pushed out of the routine, allowing something new and exciting to emerge. The perfect remedy for any writer stuck in a rut, Miracle in the Mundane will rekindle your creative spark back into a flame.
Take Me With You
Intimately immersive and unflinchingly self-aware, Andrea Gibson’s lyrical Take Me With You grapples with the interwoven ramifications of longing, family, gender, and reconciliation. Amplified by enthralling line drawings by Sarah J. Coleman, each section of this book maps out a body politic that reveals what it means to be wounded and find healing in the forever changing landscape of a post-millennial world. Gibson’s poetry is a cathartic silver lining to the ever-present anxieties of our era.
Fear of Description
Award-winning poet Daniel Poppick taps into the philosophical and political intricacies of millennial life with riveting sincerity. Existential, weighty, and vibrant, Fear of Description captures the existential uneasiness that defines the world we live in and the future world we’re creating. In an age defined by uncertainty, poems like “Red Sea” give us permission to admit that we’re “terrified of a number of fates,” and to remember that it’s okay to be scared, to feel joy, and live life fully without having all the answers.
Love Poems for Married People
From beginning to end, Love Poems for Married People invites its audience to find romance in the everyday, to dispel the misconception that the passion can’t be found in the ordinary. In this refreshing depiction of intimacy, Josh Kenney’s poetry offers us an unexpected but deeply personal definition of compassion, belonging, and truth. He reminds us that even lying in bed and looking at our smartphones with someone we love can be a radical form of survival.
Well-known and at times chastised for their penchant for aesthetics, innovation, and being online, Millennials aren’t just changing the landscape of pop-culture and our global economy. They’re also reimagining what poetry can look and feel like. Through a chorus of diverse voices, millennial poets are challenging us to reconsider what a poem can offer and reveal. Their stanzas are so much more than just a boomer’s memento mori. Millennial poetry is the embodiment of an evolving poetics and a new way of surviving in a world defined by uncertainty.
Here are a few of the Millennial poets whose voices will make you put down your phone, lean in close to the page, and listen.
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