June 2024 Poetry Releases You Won’t Want to Miss

Desire, joy, and hope – these themes loom large in June’s poetry releases, even as these collections also contend with tragedy, grief, and struggle. By exploring this dichotomy, the month’s new titles emphasize that joy is a radical and necessary part of resistance and everyday survival. Let these five collections reignite your desires and help you to get in touch with them. 

Even the Least of These by Anita Skeen and Laura B. Lind

Release date: June 1


Even the Least of These celebrates multimodality and the intersection of poetry with other art forms—in this instance, print-making. The inspiration for the collection came from a pandemic email chain between poet Anita Skeen and visual artist Laura B. Lind, through which the two made art in conversation with each other. The result is a stunning display of what it means to look for hope and beauty in trying times. Even The Least of These is a testament to how art can stretch across distance and bring people together. 


Pleasure Principle by Madeleine Cravens

Release date: June 4


Pleasure Principle marks Madeleine Cravens’s debut collection, and it’s already garnering praise from Maggie Milner, Aria Aber, Sam Sax, and other established voices in the genre. The stand-out release considers the political nature of desire and how our longings shape our lives. The collection is a complicated and intense lesson in getting in touch with one’s desires to then boldly claim and be led by them. 


My Body Is Paper by Gil Cuadros 

Release date: June 4 


My Body Is Paper is a collection of Gil Cuadros’s work during the AIDS epidemic. Cuadros, who passed away from AIDS at the age of 34, boldly depicts his Chicanx and queer identities, as well as evocatively illustrates the Los Angeles he knew, loved, and was continually inspired by. Through the landscape of California, Cuadros shows the contradictions of his experiences, reveling in joy and sensuality while also contending with bleakness and death. My Body Is Paper is an essential collection from a necessary, urgent voice—one that can still inform us of how to exist in the midst of struggle. 


Freak Show by Casey Killingsworth

Release date: June 4 


Casey Killingsworth considers what it means to be a “freak” in his aptly titled collection Freak Show—but more than just that, he claims and explores the nuances and power in this identity. In doing so, Killingsworth reveals how his struggles might link him to others, finding connection in moments of loneliness. In particular, Killingsworth relates this to his experiences in an array of night shift jobs, shining a spotlight on realities few ever see or more deeply examine. Killingsworth raises the question of whether we all might be freaks, all possessing traits that separate us from the banal and ordinary. 


We Alive, Beloved by Frederick Joseph

Release date: June 11


We Alive, Beloved offers a lyrical embrace and an ode to Blackness. Joseph extends the poems as an offering of sanctuary, where readers can take refuge from the traumas of the outside world and connect with the beauty and resilience that can be found in the details of daily life. The collection is an urgent call to return to oneself in the midst of outside demands, celebrating the beauty of Blackness that has and will always exist. 


Happy reading! Wanting more summer poetry content? Check out our tips for bringing poetry on vacation and enjoy some of our favorite summer-themed poems.