8 March 2022 Poetry Releases to Read This Spring

March ushers in a new season, as well as promising new poetry releases. This month harkens back to poetry’s origins, with a fresh translation of classic poet Ovid, as well as amplifies emerging voices, with a wide range of debut works and recent prize-winning titles. These eight collections provide an introduction to the month’s best offerings.  


1. Door to Remain by Austin Segrest

Release date: March 7 


Austin Segrest builds on his impressive poetry career—spanning publications in POETRY, The Yale Review, and Ploughshares—with the publication of his debut collection. The book delves into the chaotic, profoundly personal, and simultaneously communal experience of grief. Segrest’s elegies, devoted to his mother who died suddenly, take inspiration from deep-rooted familial bonds and the cultural landscape of the South. 


2. Escaping the Body by Chloe N. Clark

Release date: March 7


Escaping the Body marks Chloe N. Clark’s fifth book. In addition to her own writing, Clark is a founder and editor of the online literary journal Cotton Xenomorph, which focuses on underrepresented voices and social issues. This mission also characterizes Escaping the Body, a collection that considers what’s beyond our physical identities and what makes up our souls. The surrealist-inspired book balances the serious and the whimsical, evoking the imagery of forests, monsters, spells, and magic tricks to bridge this world and the next. 


3. Unraveling by Brandon Leake

Release date: March 8


As the first spoken word poet to compete on America’s Got Talent—and eventually win the competition—Brandon Leake brought poetry and slam performance to a wider, national stage. Leake’s debut collection, Unraveling, incorporates the aspects of slam poetry that audiences love, such as rhythm, sound, and a strong sense of voice, into the written word. Above all, Leake’s collection is a testament to self-love and to finding time for reflection. 


4. Gold by Rumi, translated by Haleh Liza Gafori

Release date: March 8


Renowned Persian poet and scholar Rumi died in 1273, yet his words continue to inspire and enchant modern audiences. In fact, his messages of anti-discrimination, universal love, and spiritual connection are perhaps needed now more than ever before. Haleh Liza Gafori, a Persian translator, poet, and spoken word performer, presents a new translation of his vibrant and timeless poetry. Poet Marilyn Hacker has called Gafori a “dedicated miner of context and backstory,” making this translation of Rumi a sweeping and vivid work fans of the classics shouldn’t miss. 


5. Real Phonies and Genuine Fakes by Nicky Beer

Release date: March 8


Nicky Beer has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. While her work has garnered prestige, it’s also an example of accessible, engaging, and fun poetry for everyone—with poems speaking to popular culture and trends as a way to poignantly reflect human experiences. Through references to Dolly Parton, Batman, and Law & Order, Beer interrogates the ideas of truth and deception, making larger points about both personal and national histories. 


6. Unlock Your Storybook Heart by Amanda Lovelace

Release date: March 15


Fans of Amanda Lovelace’s bestselling “you are your own fairytale” series will enjoy this third and final installment, which once again embraces the trilogy’s central themes of magic, self-love, and empowerment. Through her trademark fairytale imagery, which weaves together rich, otherworldly myths and lovably whimsical characters, Lovelace encourages her readers to resist competition, imposter syndrome, and perfectionism. Instead, she asserts the importance of slowing down, taking in the magic of your surroundings, and unabashedly doing what’s right for you—no matter what society has to say. 


7. Spooks by Stella Yin-Yin Wong

Release date: March 15


Stella Yin-Yin Wong’s Spooks is the poet’s first full-length collection and the 2020 winner of the Saturnalia Books Editors Prize, putting her in the company of previous winners like Kayleb Rae Candrelli, Libby Burton, and Diamond Forde. In Spooks, Stella Yin-Yin Wong writes about the Asian American experience with unexpected candor, humor, and outspokenness, doing away with niceties in favor of blunt confrontation of common stereotypes. Beloved poet Danez Smith has praised the book as “funny as hell and delightfully strange.”


8. Starry Night, Blurry Dreams by Henn Kim

Release date: March 15


Starry Night, Blurry Dreams is a striking example of visual poetry, pairing sparse yet powerful writing with evocative, black-and-white illustrations. As the title suggests, Henn Kim’s artwork takes us to intricate, starlit galaxies and surreal fantasy lands, while also granting beauty and significance to simple, everyday experiences. Its universal themes, including trauma, mental health, loneliness, and loss, make this release both cathartic and relatable. 


Happy reading!