January 2022 Poetry Releases: 7 Stellar Picks

A new year has begun, ushering in lots of new poetry. This month’s releases explore the intersections between poetry and art, contemplate philosophy, and embody ancient myth. In other words, even as emerging writers and fresh forms carve out space in the poetry scene, the art form continues to harken back to universal themes, endowing our earliest, most urgent concerns with modern perspectives. These seven new collections add to the poetic tradition. 


1. The Moonflower Monologues by Tess Guinery

Release date: January 4, 2022


The inspirational Tess Guinery, author of The Apricot Memoirs, returns with another authentic and heartfelt blend of poetry, art, and reflective prose. The collection takes inspiration from the titular moonflower, which blooms even in the shadows. Following this bursting and botanical theme, the book continually explores juxtaposition: strength and gentleness, exuberance and silence, bitterness and sweetness. Throughout it all, Guinery meets her readers exactly where they’re at, with her characteristic warmth and kindness. 


2. Love Is Enough: Poetry Threaded with Love by Andrea Zanatelli 

Release date: January 11, 2022


Italian artist Andrea Zanatelli, who has previously collaborated with Florence and the Machine’s Florence Welch, is known for his unique, vintage-inspired aesthetic. His digital collages look like embroidery, and he pairs these works with classic poetry. Love Is Enough: Poetry Threaded with Love shows Zanatelli’s creations alongside works by Emily Dickinson, William Blake, Percy Shelley, and more. This unique, multimodal collection offers a luxurious and engrossing peek back in time. 


3. Constellation Route by Matthew Olzmann

Release date: January 18, 2022


Kundiman prize winner Matthew Olzmann’s poetry has been described by reviewers as “daring,” “soulful,” and “funny.” He’s also known for work that contemplates the connections between people and communities. In Constellation Route, Olzmann uses the idea of the letter to convey this—viewing the letter as a way for one individual to reach a larger society and world. The letters in Constellation Route reckon with large, all-consuming emotions, wading through grief, love, and the daily reality of violence.  


4. What Is Otherwise Infinite by Bianca Stone

Release date: January 18, 2022


Bianca Stone’s poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, and The Atlantic. Additionally, she’s published four books and collaborated with Anne Carson. Stone builds on this legacy in What Is Otherwise Infinite, deftly communing with philosophy, religion, and myth in search of meaning and answers. This collection speaks out of the void, addressing uncertainty and existentialism head-on.


5. Return Flight by Jennifer Huang

Release date: January 18, 2022


Jennifer Huang’s Return Flight, winner of the 2021 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry, was selected for the Rumpus Poetry Book Club and has been described as a “thrumming debut.” The collection is full of both range and movement, spanning Taiwan, China, and America and traveling through generational stories. Filled with poems populated by shapeshifters and spirits, Huang’s mystical and striking first collection is both an ode to the past and a map forward.


6. Revenge Body by Rachel Wiley

Release date: January 18, 2022


Rachel Wiley is a beloved, stand-out voice in the slam poetry community. Her poem “10 Honest Thoughts on Being Loved by a Skinny Boy” climbed to more than a million views. In the years since, the queer, body-positive poet and performer has continued to write about Blackness, body image, and mental health. Her three collections—including Body Image, the most recent—showcase the personal in the political, as Wiley writes from the center of her identities to inspire societal reflection and change.


7. Breath Better Spent: Living Black Girlhood by DaMaris B. Hill

Release date: January 25, 2022


DaMaris B. Hill’s work has been recognized by Booklist, Bookriot, and Publisher’s Weekly, as well as nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Hill proudly writes out of the Black feminist tradition, and Breath Better Spent marks a diaristic chapter in her career. Part memoir and part historical text, the collection contextualizes Hill’s own experiences within a broader scope of Black American girlhood. Whitney Houston, Zora Neale Hurston, and Toni Morrison all play a role in this expansive, essential release. 


Happy reading!