September Poetry Books

7 September 2021 Poetry Releases

As the summer winds down and fall gets closer, this shift also signals a new season in poetry. September poetry releases include nods to the past—with anthologies and new translations reviving older works—as well as a look at the future as debut poets arrive on the literary scene. No matter what age you are, embrace a back-to-school mindset and restock your reading list.


Mutiny by Philip B. Williams

Release date: Sept. 7

As its title suggests, Philip B. Williams’s Mutiny is a testament to revolt. The Lambda Literary Award winner’s second collection considers the role of anger, its intersections with Blackness, and how oppressed people can use anger to fuel a reimagined future. 


Latitude by Natasha Rao

Release date: Sept. 7

Chosen for the Honickman First Book Prize in part because of its abounding imagery, Natasha Rao’s Latitude promises to enchant readers with rich sensory imagery. As it sizzles with both sound and flavor, Latitude also gives way to a weightier vibrancy, evoking culture, the role of family, and coming-of-age.


Passion by June Jordan

Release date: Sept. 14

June Jordan’s Passion—previously out-of-print for several decades—reemerges with a new foreword from Nicole Sealey. Readers will find Jordan’s career-defining themes and most pivotal lessons in this aptly titled collection: reflections on Black identity, womanhood, and queerness, with an emphasis on the fight for everyone to be free. 


Gumbo Ya Ya by Aurielle Marie

Release date: Sept. 21

Gumbo Ya Ya chronicles Black girlhood in the South, letting this setting lead the collection. This Cave Canem award-winning debut blends deeply personal storytelling with overarching cultural commentary, expertly interweaving the fierce pain of violence with tender, unabashed hope. 


Stones by Kevin Young

Release date: Sept. 28

Kevin Young continues his unparalleled poetic legacy with Stones, the 15th collection from The New Yorker poetry editor. Like in his previous works, Young takes his primary inspiration from his youth and his boyhood home in the South. In holding these images, Young asks a bold question: Can poetry salvage homes, memories, or people themselves?


America by Fernando Valverde, translated by Carolyn Forché

Release date: Sept. 28

America is a collection from one of the most promising Spanish poets alive today, now available in an English translation from writer and activist Carolyn Forché. The bilingual volume—which brings Valverde’s poems together in both Spanish and English—provides a sweeping, mournful view of America, one characterized by both violence and greed. 


The Best American Poetry 2021, edited by David Lehman and Tracy K. Smith

Release date: Sept. 28

Once again, The Best American Poetry collection crystallizes the year’s most memorable poems, giving avid poetry fans the most encompassing view of the state of poetry today. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith serves as editor of the latest installment. 


Happy reading!