As we wrap up 2019, there are still new poetry collections to discover before we break into a new decade. From the darkness of the deep web and the powerful influence of technology to the beauty of self-discovery and self-acceptance, here are four new poetry collections to dive into this December.
Forgive Yourself These Tiny Acts of Self-Destruction by Jared Singer — December 3
This debut collection features the work of Jared Singer from his ten years as a mainstay of the NYC poetry scene. He guides the reader through discussions of body image and body positivity, alongside talk of mental health, suicide, and anxiety. Through the lens of the complexity of American culture and New York, Singer also explores his identity as a Jewish American through his daily experiences. Through laughter, sadness, and rage, this modern handbook of sorts is about finding yourself and your place in this world without losing your way.
Gatekeeper by Patrick Johnson — December 10
Selected by Khaled Mattawa as the winner of the 2019 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry, Patrick Johnson’s Gatekeeper is a suspenseful tale, transfigured by distance and power while exploring the oppression and revolution of the digital world. The speaker descends into his inferno, his Virgil a hacker for whom “nothing to stop him is reason enough to keep going,” his Beatrice the elusive Anon, another faceless user of the deep web. Here is unnameable horror―human trafficking, hitmen, terrorist recruitment.
Drawing inspiration and forms from the natural world and from science, the speaker attempts to find a stable grasp on the complexities of this exhilarating and frightening world of the dark. This spooky debut navigates through modernity with suspense and horror.
Dispatch by Cameron Awkward-Rich — December 10
Another collection tackling the world of the web and mainstream media, is Cameron Awkward-Rich’s intimate second book of poems, Dispatch. Set against the media environment that saturates even our most intimate spaces, these poems attempt to reckon with and withstand violence in America and revise. Winner of the 2018 Lexi Rudnitsky Editor’s Choice Award, Dispatch poses questions such as, What kind of revisions will make this a world/a story that is concerned with my people’s flourishing? How ought I pay attention, how to register perpetual bad news without letting it fatally intrude?
My Hope For Tomorrow by Ruby Dhal — December 15
This book of self-discovery takes the reader on a journey of hardship and hurting to peace and healing. With poems about love, heartbreak, mental health, acceptance, grief, and relationships with lovers, family and friends, My Hope For Tomorrow is like a remedy for the heart, food for the soul. The purpose of this collection is to allow each reader to learn more about themselves and become hopeful on their healing journey. Many passages included in this book are already appreciated and loved dearly by readers all over the world.