6 Sensational October 2023 Releases

October is the favorite month of many writers and readers, with its crisp air and changing leaves inviting us to notice the natural imagery of our surroundings and snuggle into the season. The month is also full of much-anticipated book releases, perfect for a night on the couch with a cup of tea. Here are six new poetry collections you can’t miss. 


Negro Mountain by C.S. Giscombe 

Release date: Oct. 6


Negro Mountain is the 14th book by National Endowment for the Arts recipient C.S. Giscombe. Giscombe is known for his deep reverence for place and his precise and fascinating examinations of how place intersects with identity and justice. These themes play a pivotal role in Negro Mountain, which takes its name from a mountain in Pennsylvania where a Black man was killed fighting an18th-century war for white enslavers. This heavy history serves as a continuing thread throughout the collection and as a persistent call to action to consider what places are really “natural” and how geography intersects with our ever-shifting language. 


Dandelion by Heather Swan

Release date: Oct. 9


A lyrical and environmentally focused poet, Heather Swan  spotlights the role of place and how it influences our daily lives in Dandelion. A recipient of both the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship and the Wisconsin Chapbook Award, Swan’s poetry zooms in on uniquely Midwestern landscapes but evokes universal stakes. One review notes that Dandelion is “a book written for this era of eco-catastrophes” – within it, Swan juxtaposes the unnatural human inventions of pesticide, herbicide, and industrial supply chains with the natural, restorative role of air, water, and plants. 


The Way Forward by Yung Pueblo

Release date: Oct. 10


The Way Forward is the third collection in Yung Pueblo’s best-selling poetic trilogy, which also includes Inward and Clarity & Connection. As its cover suggests, The Way Forward evokes the metaphor system of a compass, likening this geographical tool to our own intuition. As a firm believer in how our intuition can keep us grounded, Yung Pueblo uses the poems in The Way Forward as a rallying cry to connect with yourself amidst the pressures and calamity of the outside world. 


Daughter by Ebonee Davis

Release date: Oct. 10


Ebonee Davis has had a career as a model, actress, and activist, and is now delving into poetry with her debut collection Daughter. Its subtitle, “The Soul Journey of a Black Woman in America Having a Human Experience,” gets at the heart of its theme and its power. Davis reflects on her own journey to make a broader social argument and influence. She depicts the experience of struggling with intergenerational racial trauma and emphasizes the importance of cultivating self-love in the face of it. Daughter is a celebration of its author, but also a moving, diaristic look back at the family that shaped her. 


Octobers by Sahar Muradi

Release date: Oct. 10


Sahar Muradi’s Octobers, winner of the 2022 Donald Hall Poetry Prize, centers itself around four major events in the author’s life: the United States invasion of Afghanistan, her father’s death, a sudden and heartbreaking end to a relationship, and the birth of her daughter. This interweaving of large political events and personal cataclysms provides a lens through which to consider big themes across all elements of life – Muradi evaluates the role of language, the nature of violence, and the meaning of home.


Words of a Goat Princess by Jessie Reyez

Release date: Oct. 17


Singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez is best known for soul-baring songs like “Figures” and “Love in the Dark.” In Words of a Goat Princess, Reyez explores new levels of this vulnerability and continues the tradition of musicians gravitating toward poetry. The Grammy-nominated artist takes readers on a journey through some of the most memorable and private moments in her life, from a car crash at Topanga Canyon to the beginning of a romance at Lollapalooza. Through these personal specifics, Reyez arrives at truths of the human condition. 


Happy reading!