7 Stunning April 2023 Poetry Releases

April is here, ushering in spring time and new poetry releases. This month’s forthcoming titles showcase big names asking even bigger questions. Beloved New York School poet Eileen Myles contends with the relationship between climate change and capitalism, Ursula K. Le Guin’s collected works examine the inherent strength and vulnerability of humanity, and the widely published Katie Farris reconciles a personal health crisis with a world that’s in crisis. These thought-provoking, eagerly anticipated collections will journey with you to the end of the world and back to our complex, tumultuous present. 


1. HER III by Pierre Alex Jeanty

Release date: April 4


The final collection in Pierre Alex Jeanty’s HER trilogy, HER III flourishes with the vibrant imagery of femininity, celebrating women’s strength, resilience, and capacity to love. In this illustrated, book-length ode, Jeanty depicts an arc many women will relate to—one that shows women transcending co-dependence and insecurity in their well-traveled search for independence and confidence. 


2. Ursula K. Le Guin: Collected Poems by Ursula K. Le Guin

Release date: April 4 


Though late writer Ursula K. Le Guin was best known for her imaginative, allegorical works of fantasy and science fiction, the National Book Award winner also took to poetry to explore themes of anarchy, revolution, gender and sexuality, and ecology. Informed by science, research, and an activist’s unrelenting push for a better world, Le Guin’s poems take readers to both the past and future in an urgent call for us to remember our shared anthropological roots. 


3. Standing in the Forest of Being Alive by Katie Farris

Release date: April 4 


The cover of Katie Farris’s Standing in the Forest of Being Alive features a long, severed braid held in the speaker’s outstretched hand. This stark image could serve as a metaphor for the whole collection, which considers the physical self and who we are when elements of it are stripped away. As the speaker undergoes breast cancer at the age of 36, this memoir-in-poems tunnels into this internal horror and its connections with the horrors of the outside world, fraught with a pandemic, police brutality, and political strife. This deeply physical and visceral book considers the body as both a site of suffering and a site of resilient and glimmering, erotic joy. 


4. Aisle 228 by Sandra Marchetti

Release date: April 14


Aisle 228 continues a long literary tradition of poetry about sports and athletes, illuminating the way writing about these topics can entangle them with deeper themes of family, coming-of-age, and identity. The book is a portal back in time and back to childhood, showing the enduring impact baseball has had on American society. Marchetti reminisces on time spent listening to Cubs games on the radio with her father, with the collection culminating in the iconic 2016 World Series. 


5. The Shared World by Vievee Francis

Release date: April 17


Vievee Francis’s powerful collection The Shared World illustrates the life, struggles, and emotions of a Black woman in her own exacting, undeniable words. The speaker considers her life and experiences as part of a larger lineage and larger systems, ones she continues to push against and redefine. While Francis resists how those in the outside world view Black womanhood, she also questions how people close to Black women uphold these perceptions—reexamining Black marriage, Black motherhood, and more. The Shared World stands out as one of the most compelling literary arguments that the personal is political. 


6. Heirloom by Ashia Ajani

Release date: April 18


Ashia Ajani’s collection Heirloom can best be desc see ribed as sprawling. Ajani considers the intertwined history of nature and history of Blackness, seeing them both as narratives of beauty, oppression, struggle, and freedom. The poet’s knowledge and reverence for abolition ties into their love for the Earth—Ajani calls upon ancestors like W.E.B Dubois and Black jazz musicians who have fought colonialism and injustice and triumphed, as they chart a roadmap for a revived, more liberated world. 


7. A Working Life by Eileen Myles

Release date: April 18


The incomparable Eileen Myles has always lived closely alongside danger—personal danger and larger societal dangers. A Working Life is yet another testament to Myles’s courage and ability to organize others through genuine, loving community. The collection shows Myles finding metaphors for mortality in small, personal moments—at the grocery store or in moments with a lover—as well in a country that increasingly values profit over people and the planet. In the face of death, however, Myles continues to choose life, showing us how much we have to live for and how perilously close we are to losing it.