4 New Poetry Collections to Add to Your Bookshelf This January
2020 begins with a boom with four brilliant and diverse voices in poetry. Exploring queerness, race, belonging, family and violence, along with the beauty of nature, these poetry collections will help you feel seen, validated, and loved in the unparallel way that only poems can. Make sure to clear some space on your bookshelves for these January releases.
Summer Snow by Robert Hass — January 7
New from Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author of Time and Materials and The Apple Trees at Olema, Robert Hass, comes his first collection since 2010, Summer Snow.
Hass’s trademark careful attention to the natural world, his subtle humor, and the delicate but wide-ranging eye he casts on the human experience is fully on display in this collection. He explores the poignancy of loss, the serene and resonant beauty of nature, and the mutability of desire.
The Lost Arabs by Omar Sakr — January 14
Award-winning Arab Australian poet Omar Sakr presents a collection of poetry that interrogates the bonds and borders of family, faith, queerness, and nationality. Described as visceral and energetic, Sakr’s poetry confronts the complicated notion of “belonging” when one’s family, culture, and country are at odds with one’s personal identity. Braiding together sexuality and divinity, conflict and redemption, The Lost Arabs is a fierce, urgent collection from a distinct new voice that is a must for your bookshelf this month.
All Along You Were Blooming: Thoughts for Boundless Living by Morgan Harper Nichols — January 21
With 1 million followers on Instagram, Morgan Harper Nichols has taken the web by storm with her profound poetry and signature artwork. Her new collection, All Along You Were Blooming, Nichols invites us to “stumble into the sunlight” and delight in the wild and boundless grace you’ve been given. With illustrated poetry and prose, we are encouraged to remember that light will always find us, even when the sun sets. We can make room for becoming, for breathing, for stumbling, and for simply being—for there is Grace, today and every day. All Along You Were Blooming is a celebration of hope, an encounter with grace, a restoration of the heart, healing of wounds and an anthem of freedom.
Homie by Danez Smith — January 21
Rooted in the loss of one of Smith’s close friends, Homie is a magnificent anthem about the saving grace of friendship. His poetry comes out of the search for joy and intimacy within a nation where both are scarce and getting scarcer. In poems of power and generosity, Smith acknowledges that in a country overrun by violence, xenophobia, and disparity, and in a body defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis, it can be hard to survive, and even harder to remember reasons for living. Part friendship diary, part bright elegy, part war cry, Homie is written for Danez and for Danez’s friends and for you and for yours.