6 May 2022 Poetry Releases That Will Supercharge Your Spring Reading
Whether you’re inspired by mystical rituals, nature, or pop culture, this month’s releases hold something for everyone. Delve into emotional highs and lows with these six stand-out collections.
1. Fortunate by Kim Rashidi
Release date: May 3
If you keep tarot cards alongside poetry collections on your bookshelf, this inventive and whimsical debut is for you. Rashidi weaves together 78 poems, one devoted to each of the Major and Minor Arcana cards. Read poetic musings on the Eight of Wands, the Ace of Cups, and all your other favorite symbols to understand them from a new, illuminating angle. Plus, the book involves a fun, interactive component: Fill in the blank pages beside each poem with your own reading or insights.
2. The Hurting Kind by Ada Limón
Release date: May 10
Voted one of the season’s top 10 most anticipated poetry releases by Publisher’s Weekly, Ada Limón’s sixth collection celebrates sensitivity and small moments. Limón embeds herself deeply in the natural world, coloring her poems with animals, blooming flowers, and a rich sense of place. Like its title suggests, this collection shows Limón exploring what it means to be the “hurting kind”—a weeper, someone whose emotions linger forever. Grief and joy coexist in this collection, along with reverence for both the past and present.
3. Queer Nature: A Poetry Anthology edited by Michael Walsh
Release date: May 11
Pastoral poetry has largely been defined by an exclusive and non-diverse canon, a tradition that Queer Nature pushes back against by featuring more than 200 LGBTQ poets from the 19th century onward. The immersive work interrogates the many parallels between the natural world and queer identity. You won’t want to miss the voices in this triumphant and vital anthology, which includes Jericho Brown, Natalie Diaz, Elizabeth Bishop, and more.
4. Selena Didn’t Know Spanish Either by Marisa Tirado
Release date: May 15
Marisa Tirado takes risks with genre in her first poetry collection, which reads as both a nonfiction text chronicling the experiences of Selena Quintanilla and the speaker’s memoir in verse. Tirado finds a new way of accessing her own identity through Selena’s rise to stardom, as it brings up questions of assimilation, appropriation, and how perceptions of Latinx culture and heritage have changed.
5. light waves by Kirsten Shu-Ying Chen
Release date: May 18
If you’re looking for poems that address the universal yet unique experience of grief, Kirsten Shu-Ying Chen’s light waves is a must-read. As Chen writes about the death of her mother, she creates a striking, lifelike portrait that renders her immortal on the page. Chen’s ambitious collection maintains a sense of movement as it journeys through grief, as well as takes on this heavy, all-encompassing subject through a series of small moments.
6. The Not Yet Fallen World by Stephen Dunn
Release date: May 24
Stephen Dunn, who passed away in 2021, enjoyed a wide-spanning and prolific poetry career: 19 published poetry collections, a Pulitzer Prize, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a long teaching career. The Not Yet Fallen World, a collection of both new and old poems, represents this legacy. Known for both his wisdom and irony, Dunn wrestles with mortality within the pages of The Not Yet Fallen World, yet also finds humor. The collection will serve as a comfort to Dunn’s long-time fans, as well as introduce his poetic contributions to an ever-growing audience.