6 October 2022 Poetry Releases to Start the Fall Season

Fall is in the air, and you’re going to want to wrap up in a cozy blanket with a cup of tea and a stack of new poetry collections by your side. October releases offer everything readers love about the genre: Beloved voices return with much-anticipated books, debut poets express fresh and unique points of view, and topics range from self-fulfillment to geopolitics. Get started with these six incredible collections. 


1. Balladz by Sharon Olds

Release date: Oct. 4


Sharon Olds is a long-standing influence and leader in the tradition of confessional poetry, reflecting on her own experiences with unabashed vulnerability to make larger points about gender, family, violence, and the ever-shifting world around her. In Balladz, the Pulitzer Prize winner’s 15th collection, Olds pays homage to this tradition and secures her place within it, referencing and writing in the style of Emily Dickinson as she explores the present and takes us back in time. Opening with searching and introspective quarantine poems, Balladz then takes a journey back through childhood and past loves, as well as looks forward toward an uncertain future.


2. In a Few Minutes Before Later by Brenda Hillman

Release date: Oct. 4


Fans of ecopoetics shouldn’t miss Brenda Hillman’s latest collection, In a Few Minutes Before Later. Within its pages, the activist and Los Angeles Times Book Award winner boldly reckons with planetary anxieties and collapse through a variety of innovative and risk-taking forms. She’s not afraid to confront other crises along the way, weaving in a backdrop wife with racialized violence and political unrest. While In a Few Minutes Before Later is an undoubtedly heavy collection, it represents what poetry does best – help us face turmoil with hope and clear-headed strategies for resistance. 


3. When The Dark Spoke to Me by Christabelle Marbun

Release date: Oct. 11


Christabelle Marbun, an 18-year-old debut poet, showcases the importance of youth participation in poetry with When The Dark Spoke to Me, her first collection. Marbun writes from a deeply personal lens, wading through grief, loss, and mental health. The collection contains words scrawled in Marbun’s own handwriting, as well as creative experimentations with erasure poetry. In the midst of seemingly inescapable personal struggle, Marbun still finds a way to embark on a path forward toward optimism and light. 


4. Your Face My Flag by Julian Gewirtz

Release date: Oct. 18


Julian Gewirtz stands out as an unexpected voice in poetry—previously, he earned a doctorate in history with a focus on China, published scholarly works in the New York Times, The Guardian, and Foreign Affairs, and even served in the Obama administration. Gewirtz shows how research can play a vital role in poetry, with these academic interests paving the way for an unflinching, unforgettable exploration of geopolitics from a poetic lens. As he traces rising tensions between China and the West, Gewirtz illuminates an often dry topic with emotion and humanity.


5. The Enneagram Letters by Sarajane Case

Release date: Oct. 18


Do you know your Enneagram type? This personality test has taken over social media, podcasts, and more within the last few years, offering a look into people’s inner lives, motivations, skills, and passions. In The Enneagram Letters, popular and knowledgeable Enneagram expert Sarajane Case—who has nearly half a million followers on Instagram—takes a poetic journey into the heart of each Enneagram type, as well as instills practical and compassionate advice. 


6. We Find Our Way by Reyna Biddy

Release date: Oct. 25


Spoken word and print poet Reyna Biddy honors the sacredness, history, pain, and sacrifices of her ancestors in We Find Our Way, her fourth poetry collection. Biddy illustrates her perspective on the Black experience as she uses writing to complexly move into a space of healing. 


Happy reading!