10 New Poetry Collections to Read in October

From Upile Chisala, Allie Michelle, and Emmy Marucci’s latests to some brand new voices in the poetry scene, October is filled with exciting and inspiring new poetry collections. This month brings poetry that explores the flaws of the prison system, the concept of finding a home in oneself, overcoming family trauma, and creating change. 


Nectar by Upile Chisala — October 1 

Nectar, the second collection of poetry and prose by Malawian storyteller Upile Chisala, is a love letter to women as she guides readers through the beautiful process of blooming into self-love and self-acceptance. 


She addresses difficult subjects such as family wounds, generational trauma, and rejection but encourages readers to make changes in their lives and come out stronger on the other side. After the success and acclamation for her first collection, soft magic, these poems are a great way to kick off the month of October. 



Almost Home by Madisen Kuhn — October 1

Perfect for fans of Rupi Kaur and Amanda Lovelace, Instagram poet Madisen Kuhn’s latest collection explores the meaning of home and the discovery of finding it within oneself. Almost Home, Kuhn’s third collection uses the framework of a house to analyze the universal themes of home. Complete with illustrations by Melody Hansen, this emotionally candid collection invites readers to explore what home means to them, whether they feel connected or vastly far away from it its meaning. 



Swallowtail by Brenna Twohy — October 1 

Shining the light on how pop culture impacts young women today, Brenna Twohy’s new poetry collection Swallowtail dives deep. With poems such as “Fantastic Breasts and Where To Find Them,” “Anxiety: A Ghost Story,” “Another Rape Poem,” and “In Which I Do Not Fear Harvey Dent,” these poems seek to dissect how the media women consume in America today affect our daily lives, both positively and negatively. 



Tell Me Another Story by Emmy Marucci —October 8

Inspired by the child’s perennial question, “Will you tell me a story?” Marucci examines the stories of those closest to her—her grandfather, nephew, and husband—as well as those she hardly knows—the women sitting at the next table in the diner; the roofer she meets on the train. Part 1 of this collection, Me, is Emmy’s own raw and personal story while Part 2: You, tells the stories of others with tenderness and curiosity. Told through poems and photographs, Tell Me Another Story celebrates the beauty of everyday life, fear, loss, family nostalgia, grief, and love. 



Submerge by K.Y. Robinson — October 8 

From the acclaimed author of The Chaos of Longing comes a powerful second collection exploring the immersion in the release from trauma, mental illness, and loss. Using the metaphor of water to tell a story about achieving wholeness through letting go, Submerge is organized in three sections: Part One, “Immerse,” reflects on birth and beginnings while exploring themes of love, self-discovery, and cultural history. Part two, “Drown,” examines mental illness, trauma, and loss. Part Three, “Emerge,” takes lessons from water and begins a journey toward healing through self-care and gratitude. Through vivid imagery and messages of empowerment and inspiration, Submerge is a collection of poems for anyone looking to heal. 



Where to Begin: A Small Book About Your Power to Create Big Change in Our Crazy World by Cleo Wade — October 8

Cleo Wade’s second collection brings ideas, mantras, poetry, and prose filled with the heart and wisdom she is known for. What started as a place for Wade to record her worries, fears, anxieties, and feelings of helplessness, now takes the form of a collection addressing acceptance, justice, love and equality. Change-making comes in all sizes and big movements are made up of small moments. Wade seeks to bring empowerment to her readers and invite them to show up and do something in any way they can. 



The Rose That Blooms in the Night by Allie Michelle — October 15 

The latest collection from Instagram influencer Allie Michelle is meant to be a mirror reflecting the love inside of those who read it. The Rose That Blooms in the Night explores the transformational cycle of life, love, and the continuous rediscovery of the self. It’s about finding a home in our own skin instead of seeking it within other people. This poetry collection is a journey of finding the strength it takes to be soft, like a rose that blooms in the night without the sun must learn to create light within itself to bloom.



Reflection by Tyler Lockett — October 15

Fueled by faith and powered by a strong work ethic, NFL wide receiver Tyler Lockett’s debut book of poetry is a reflective and uplifting journey through topics such as identity, sports, race, relationships, and how to live a purposeful life. Lockett draws on his unique perspective as an NFL All-Pro wide receiver and return specialist for the Seattle Seahawks, to address life’s many challenges, temptations, and rewards. With words of encouragement throughout, as well as workshop questions, notes, and inspirational messages, Lockett seeks to bring positivity and hope into the lives of his readers. 



Felon by Reginald Dwayne Betts — October 15 

Reginald Dwayne Betts’ unique and timely collection explores the effects of incarceration by canvassing a wide range of emotions and experiences through homelessness, underemployment, love, drug abuse, domestic violence, fatherhood, and grace. With firey and fierce poetry, Betts confronts post-incarceration existence and examines prison not as a static space, but as a force that enacts pressure throughout a person’s life. 


Drawing inspiration from lawsuits filed on behalf of the incarcerated, the redaction poems focus on the ways we exploit and erase the poor and imprisoned from public consciousness. Felon addresses the flaws of the criminal justice system and the inadequacy of the labels it generates, with the use of compelling language and visceral images. 



Madcap by Jessie Janeshek — October 15

Jessie Janeshek’s third collection is a gothic, nostalgic adventure as her daring poems explore old Hollywood, the occult, ouija boards, Madonna, and drugs. With images of Dracula, the velvet underground of film and fantasy, and the summoning of Clara Bow, Jean Harlow, Lana Turner, Veronica Lake, Carole Lombard, and Marilyn Monroe throughout, Madcap is a wild ride, just in time for Halloween and ghostly celebrations.