June Poetry Releases to Add to Your Shelf
A new month ushers in original and innovative poetry releases. This month, themes explore everything from female empowerment, fairy tales, and automation, to the very role of language itself. The end result? There’s a poetry collection for anyone and everyone. To get you started, Read Poetry recommends these seven up-and-comers.
The She Book v. 2 by Tanya Markul
In the same vein of her successful debut The She Book, this second collection from Markul explores many of the same topics with honesty and relatability, peering into the truths of depression, loneliness, and the process of healing. Releasing on June 30 from Andrews McMeel Universal, the creative mixture of prose, poems, and quotes transforms Markul’s inner-monologue into a bold narrative of resilience.
Order The She Book v. 2 here.
Mezzanine by Zoë Hitzig
Hitzig’s poems, which have appeared in The Paris Review and POETRY, merge creative language with Hitzig’s expertise as a Ph.D. candidate in economics. Her debut collection, Mezzanine, released on June 9, builds upon this subject matter. The collection considers robots, capitalism, and Stephen Hawking, all through the lenses of economics, politics, and law. Already, the book has received praise from former Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith.
Order Mezzanine here.
The Clearing by Allison Adair
In The Clearing, which came out in early June after winning the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize, Pushcart Prize winner Adair charts the concept of nuanced fairy tales—in both their magic and darkness—from the Civil War to now. The work ruminates on gender politics and the history of violence, juxtaposing severity and tenderness. Beloved poet Henri Cole describes the collection as “haunting and dirt caked.”
Order The Clearing here.
Unearth [The Flowers] by Thea Matthews
In Matthews’ debut collection, Unearth [The Flowers], the NYU MFA candidate and Afrofeminist boldly proclaims that the personal is political. Out on June 20 from Red Light Lit Press, the collection celebrates survival and courage in the face of terror. Reviews describe it as an “anthem.”
Order Unearth [The Flowers] here.
More Truly and More Strange: 100 Contemporary American Self-Portrait Poems by Lisa Russ Spaar
From the classic self-portrait to today’s Instagram selfie craze, this anthology investigates the intersection between poetry and the unique, personal art form of self-portraiture. Out at the end of June, it includes poets of long-standing fame—like John Ashberry and Sylvia Plath—and makes room for today’s prolific voices, like Terrance Hayes and Natasha Trethewey. Overall, the collection connects how individuals define their identities with the concept of a larger American identity.
Order More Truly and More Strange here.
The Idea of Him by Charles Flowers
Flowers, a pivotal LGBTQIA poet and the City Poet Laureate of West Hollywood, chronicles the journey from discovering his sexuality as a child to anonymous, casual sexual encounters as an adult. Despite the loneliness of this spectrum of experience, Flowers carves out a space for pride and the continued pursuit of extraordinary love in this collection that came out June 15.
Order The Idea of Him here.
In the Field Between Us by Molly McCully Brown and Susannah Nevison
This collection, a series of epistles between two award-winning poets and friends, provides honest representation for the disabled community. Despite its address of trauma, this collection, which came out June 2 from Persea Books, emphasizes and lingers in hope.
Order In the Field Between Us here.
Happy reading! Which release will you delve into first?