Poetry for the Rest of Us 2022 – Ms. Magazine

April is National Poetry Month!

Since my dormant love of poetry was reignited, I’ve found it so refreshing and inspiring to read beautiful collections each year and share my thoughts with you.

Below are some of the most exciting and necessary collections published late last year and forthcoming in 2022. 

Last year I tried something a bit different with the poetry list: Instead of the usual blurb, I focused my thoughts about each collection into three words (okay, or phrases—this is hard!). Readers responded so well to it that I am doing it again this year! Sometimes the words are nouns, sometimes verbs, sometimes adjectives, and I may have just made up some words too. Since I find it challenging to be succinct, this is a valuable exercise in imagination, reflection and, well, restraint.  

Speaking of restraint … I have to seriously think about which titles to include on this list. Many fantastic collections are being released, but unfortunately, I couldn’t include them all. I’ve included the 66 below for a variety of reasons: because they meet my criteria (above), because they are especially unique, because I wanted to shine a light on them, they are from debut authors, indie publishers, or because they stood out to me for any other reason. The ones that are currently available are presented first in alphabetical order; forthcoming titles are then listed by on-sale date.

So I hope you enjoy and find some collections below that will have you reflecting on how poetry moves you, challenges you and represents you. 

Against Heaven: Poems 

By Kemi Alabi (@kemiaalabi). Graywolf Press. 80 pages. Out now.

Choral, righteous, regenerative. 

All the Flowers Kneeling 

By Paul Tran (@speakdeadly). Penguin Poets. 112 pages. Out now. 

Deliberate, immediate, ash.

antes que isla es volcán / before island is volcano

By Raquel Salas Rivera (@rugamarspr). Beacon Press. 160 pages. Out now.

Colonized, treated, unchained.

Beast at Every Threshold 

By Natalie Wee (@natweewriter). Arsenal Pulp Press. 80 pages. Out now. 

Form, echo, affect.

Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Poems

By Brionne Janae (@BreezyJanae). Northwestern University Press. 80 pages. Out now.

Confession, heirloom, bloom. 

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head: Poems 

By Warsan Shire (@warsan_shire). Random House. 96 pages. Out now. 

Evocative, kaleidoscopic, transcendent.


By Ebony Stewart (@ebpoetry). Button Poetry. 112 pages. Out now.

Discovery, understanding, power.

Read the rest of the list at Ms. Magazine…