'you are your own fairytale' book laid open

7 January 2023 Poetry Collections to Start Off the Year

As the new year starts, it’s the perfect time for both reflection and reinvention. January’s poetry releases fall on both sides of that spectrum, with anthologies celebrating historic forms and legendary presses, as well as modern, risk-taking collections speaking to new experiences and perspectives. Overall, our January 2023 roundup offers an opportunity for poetry lovers to get back in touch with the history of the genre, then consider its bold, expansive future. 


1. you are your own fairytale by Amanda Lovelace

Release date: Jan. 3


If you’re a fan of bestselling poet Amanda Lovelace’s you are your own fairytale series—which spotlights empowering, feminist themes through fairytale tropes and storytelling—then you need this beautiful, bound collector’s edition on your shelf. The illustrated and ornate collection returns to classic motifs like tiaras, glass slippers, and fairy godmothers, but subverts them, praising women’s strength and independence as the dream we’ve been aspiring to all along. 


2. These Are My Big Girl Pants by Amber Vittoria

Release date: Jan. 3 


Both young adulthood and womanhood are nuanced, challenging, and continually inspiring. Artist and poet Amber Vittoria boldly illustrates this in These Are My Big Girl Pants, her multimodal poetic debut. Colorful, abstract drawings stand out alongside vulnerable poems about growing up, grappling with uncertainty and stereotypes, and stepping into empowerment. Packed full of personality, humor, and encouragement, These Are My Big Girl Pants is like a collection of poetic notes and sketches from your most authentic friend. 


3. The American Sonnet: An Anthology of Poems and Essays, edited by Dora Malech and Laura T. Smith

Release date: Jan. 12


The sonnet is a time-honored poetic form, spanning multiple countries and harkening back to early poetic figures like Shakespeare. However, modern-day readers might consider the sonnet outdated or dry—an argument that The American Sonnet defies. The anthology reexamines the sonnets in our literary canon, presenting a more diverse history of the form that includes voices like Lucille Clifton and Claude McKay. It’s also an insistent and powerful reminder that the sonnet isn’t dead, featuring contemporary masters of the form like Jericho Brown and Diane Seuss. 


4. A House Called Tomorrow: 50 Years of Poetry from Copper Canyon Press, edited by Michael Wiegers 

Release date: Jan. 17


Copper Canyon Press is one of the leading and most well-regarded poetry presses today, publishing incomparable poets like Jorie Graham, Taneum Bambrick, and Victoria Chang, just to name a few. Their prizes are some of the most prestigious in the genre, and each Copper Canyon manuscript redefines what’s possible in poetry. The highly anticipated A House Called Tomorrow traces the press from its inception in 1972 to now, highlighting its most pivotal authors. 


5. As Is by Julia Spicher Kasdorf 

Release date: Jan. 17


Julia Spicher Kasdorf’s As Is, part of the revered Pitt Poetry Series, is a breathtaking exercise in confronting reality through poetry. Kasdorf stares honestly into the turmoil of her life, establishing this uncertainty and messiness as both deeply individual and profoundly universal. Family dynamics and personal grief play out alongside more societal issues like ecological devastation, racial injustice, and more. It’s a poetry collection for our times—and in spite of so many complex, overlapping events occurring, Kasdorf has managed to sharply and heartrendingly capture them.


6. The Anxiety Workbook by Christina Olson

Release date: Jan. 17


Anxiety is an increasingly common part of many people’s daily realities, with an estimated third of the population experiencing the disorder at some point in their lives according to the National Institute for Mental Health. Christina Olson, who has previously won the Rattle Chapbook Contest, examines this phenomenon and its many contributing factors in The Anxiety Workbook. Olson considers both grief and complicated relationship dynamics in her own life, as well as larger, more societal causes of anxiety, like violence, racism, and the environment.


7. Judas Goat by Gabrielle Bates

Release date: Jan. 24


A poetic debut from Tin House Books and one of Vulture’s Most Anticipated Books of Winter, Gabrielle Bates’s Judas Goat already has reader’s expectations set sky-high. The collection delivers on all the buzz surrounding it, beginning with the image of a goat leading unsuspecting sheep to slaughter. This jolting imagery plants the reader in both biblical scripture and the Deep South, as the author grapples with violence, trauma, and forbidden desire.


Happy reading!