6 Stunning April Poetry Releases

It’s a new month, a new season, and now it’s time for new poetry collections. April promises gorgeous and pivotal collections that explore everything from trans identity to Black womanhood. Discover Read Poetry’s recommendations for timely, fresh collections to read next.


1. Pine by Julia Koets

Releases April 5, 2021


Winner of the Michael Waters Poetry Prize, Pine depicts queer desire in the South. It marks Koets’ third collection—and new territory for the impressive, widely published poet and professor. “The poems in Pine are poems I was afraid to write when I wrote my first collection,” said Koets. “I wrote this book because I was no longer afraid of going home.” By becoming reunited with the concept of home, however complicated, Koets roots her poems in a rich, natural landscape. 


2. The Gravity Inside Us by Chloë Frayne 

Releases April 6, 2021


“No matter what country I am in / There is someone missing from me,” Chloë Frayne writes in her second collection, which delves into topics like hope, heartbreak, and long-distance relationships. If you’re feeling wanderlust, this adventure-packed collection offers a way to travel with Frayne through many different countries and newfound experiences. 


4. All the Rage by Rosamond S. King

Releases April 6, 2021


Rosamond S. King previously won a Lambda Award, placing her work in a queer, political context. With All the Rage, King once again embraces poetry as protest, addressing sexuality, Blackness in America, and systemic violence. By looking back at the past and confronting the deep issues and anxieties of the present, King’s collection propels readers toward a better future. 


4. Ghost In a Black Girl’s Throat by Khalisa Rae

Releases April 13, 2021


As the title suggests, Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat is about the ghosts that Black women live with each day. The latest from Khalisa Rae, a Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize finalist, Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat builds on an important lineage of Black female writing. It chronicles the speaker’s journey from the Midwest to a new home in the South, as well as the resulting reckoning with the area’s history of racial prejudice and violence. 


5. How To Be Better By Being Worse by Justin Jannise

Releases April 13, 2021


A creative take on the self-help genre, How to Be Better By Being Worse showcases its speaker’s complex relationship with themself, as they grapple with personal wrongdoings and regrets while still striving toward self-love. The book realistically illustrates themes like forgiveness, complicated family dynamics, and self-awareness against a vibrant and unabashed queer backdrop. 


6. Water I Won’t Touch by Kayleb Rae Candrilli

Releases April 20, 2021


Written after Whiting Award Winner Kayleb Rae Candrilli underwent a double mastectomy, this powerful collection questions what it means to live in an evolving and healing body, and interrogates how to heal the dangerous landscapes in which trans people often live. Water I Won’t Touch has been described as a “life raft,” a book that considers today’s most volatile storms and how to best move through them toward security and hope. 


Still catching up on your reading? Check out our past recommendations from March and February.