Discover Literary Gems: 6 New Poetry Releases in August 2023

Fresh winds of creativity are in store this month, as August 2023 promises to be full of poetic brilliance with the release of several captivating poetry collections. From celebrated poets to emerging voices, this month’s lineup offers a diverse array of themes and styles bound to ignite the imagination of poetry enthusiasts. Whether you are a seasoned poetry lover or an eager newcomer, these new releases are poised to leave a lasting impression.


Heavy is the Head by Sumaya Enyegue

From Cape Town, South Africa, poet Sumaya Enyegue releases her debut collection this August. Taking on themes of generational trauma, sexual assault, and mental health, Heavy is the Head is an ode to girlhood and Blackness and a balm for the heaviness of the human experience. 


Time Will Tell by Courtney Peppernell

From the bestselling author of Pillow Thoughts and Watering the Soul comes another highly anticipated collection of poetry and prose. The Australia-based author offers words of hope, encouragement, and beauty for those facing hardship and change. Available Aug. 1. 


Water Look Away by Bob Hicok

This experimental and raw collection by poet Bob Hicok explores depression, anger, heartbreak, and remorse with a tender lens. The collection reads like a novella at times. At others, it becomes abstract. Through creative period placement, unconventional spelling, and vivid neologisms, readers are invited to question the author’s meaning and intention. Available Aug. 1. 


The Ferguson Report: An Erasure by Nicole Sealy 

Biased police practices come under fire in this collection. After the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed Black man, in 2014, protests and turmoil exploded in Ferguson, Missouri. Following Brown’s death, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a report detailing biased policing and court practices in the city. The document exposes the racist policies and procedures—from disproportionate arrest rates to flagrant violence—directed at the Black community. Award-winning poet Nicole Sealy uses the damning report to bring to light the flagrant violence directed at the Black community. While the full document remains visible in the background, Sealy uses the technique of erasure to reimagine and reshape the text, highlighting its disturbing contents. Available Aug. 15. 


Information Desk: An Epic by Robyn Schiff 

This fourth collection from poet Robyn Schiff is an ambitious one. This book-length collection takes place in three parts, all set behind the information desk at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where Schiff once worked. History, material, and memory crystallize in this anguished epic. Available Aug. 15. 


The Book of Light: Anniversary Edition

Enjoy the work of the prolific and widely respected Lucille Clifton with this special anniversary edition of The Book of Light. Originally published in 1993, the collection opens with thirty-nine names for light. Clifton then dives head-first into themes of bigotry, social justice, and human rights, tearing down stereotypes about Black women and artfully arguing for a more just world. Available Aug. 29. 


These forthcoming releases embrace the full spectrum of human experience. They showcase the power of language to uplift, heal, and transform. As readers immerse themselves in these poetic journeys, they will encounter a myriad of emotions, from joy to contemplation, and perhaps even find solace in the written word. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore these poetry gems, as they carve their place in the tapestry of literary brilliance.