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Bookseller Picks: New Poetry April-June 2022

We have another wonderful three months for poetry publications coming up! We’ve picked a diverse selection of poetry books, from debuts to well-loved authors, and two very exciting new anthologies: More Fiya: A New Collection of Black British Poetry and 100 Queer Poems.

Time is a Mother by Ocean Vuong

Published: 7th Apr '22
Hardback
£14.99

In his second collection, Ocean Vuong comes to terms with the death of his mother and all the memories it brings back of their life together, processing the legacy of a childhood seeing a mother trying to build a life as an immigrant in America. Poverty, discrimination, violence, and the disastrous effect of drugs on poor communities are the backdrop of poems in which the poet eventually manages to reach some reconciliation with himself and his past, as well as finding moments marked by love, beauty, and personal achievement.

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Garden Physic by Sylvia Legris

Published: 7th Apr '22
Paperback / softback
£10.99

‘In this bright, blazing book of poems, Sylvia Legris throws language into new and revelatory relations … Garden Physic brings to the ecological poem a language lush enough to be arrested by, to be changed by, to get lost in. I adore it.’ – Seán Hewitt

Garden Physic is a meditation on the garden, botany, ecological environments and plant life, challenging some of the clichés of nature writing and searching for its own poetic language to communicate our relationship with plants.

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Music for the Dead and Resurrected by Valzhyna Mort

Published: 28th Apr '22
Paperback / softback
£9.99

Published in the US in 2020 to wide acclaim, Music for the Dead and Resurrected explores the legacy of violence in historical and familial memory, through the story of a family in Belarus, trying to find a poetics of mourning. Through her lyric forms, Valzhyna Mort creates poetry which powerfully blends pain and beauty.

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Border Zone by John Agard

Published: 28th Apr '22
Paperback / softback
£12.00

A prolific poet, playwright, and children’s author, John Agard’s newest collection will reflect on the author’s identity between his Caribbean birthplace (he was born in Guyana) and his life in Britain, a fact mirrored in the collection’s disparate composition: narrative poems will sit next to sonnet sequences.

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Orlam by PJ Harvey, Polly Jean Harvey

Published: 28th Apr '22
Hardback
£16.99

The talents of cult musician P J Harvey go well beyond music. Orlam is a strange and haunting narrative poem which follows a year in the life of nine-year-old Ira-Abel through moments of light and darkness. Drawing on the folklore of the West Country, Orlam is the first full-length book written in the Dorset dialect for many years.

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All the Flowers Kneeling by Paul Tran

Published: 5th May '22
Paperback / softback
£12.99

‘Beautiful, sensuous and plural … a vital and visceral collection. Breathtaking.’ – Joelle Taylor, author of C+nto & Othered Poems

Paul Tran’s debut poetry collection follows the rebuilding of a self and a life against the backdrop of US imperial violence and traumatic experiences of abuse in poems reaching towards survival, freedom and rebirth. Tran’s innovative poems have reach and visceral imagery and are charged with the power of resilience, desire and love.

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More Fiya: A New Collection of Black British Poetry by Kayo Chingonyi

Published: 19th May '22
Hardback
£16.99

A follow-up to the 1998 seminal collection The Fire People: A Collection of Contemporary Black British Poets, this new anthology edited by acclaimed poet Kayo Chingonyi features a wide selection of work by contemporary Black British poets. Including work from: Raymond Antrobus, Janette Ayachi, Dean Atta, Malika Booker, Inua Ellams, Anthony Joseph, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Momtaza Mehri, Roger Robinson, Warsan Shire and many more!

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Glory Hole by Archana Madhavan, Kim Hyun, Suhyun J. Ahn

Published: 20th May '22
Paperback / softback
£17.99

For readers of Limbic and A Hundred Lovers, Kim Hyun’s collection is described by the publisher, Seagull Books (an eminent conveyor of poetry in translation), as ‘a mishmash of dystopian sci-fi and pornography, storytelling and poetry, fictive references, and real figures.’ Colour us intrigued from the outset by the potentially brazen, unapologetically queer poems housed between this book’s covers.

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Outlandish by Jo Clement

Published: 26th May '22
Paperback / softback
£10.99

‘This is the word of the weathered hand and of the hard, hale youth; the tattered treasure, the grafter and the fetter-breaking wild. These intoxicating and fine-sprung poems instantly place Clement in the front rank of Traveller writers. May they also relight our wonder at the depths of all unsung Englands.’ – Damian Le Bas

Jo Clement’s first collection explores Gypsy, Roma and Traveller culture, travelling between ancient stopping places and contemporary scenes, confronting notions of otherness and trespass through historically and politically-aware poems.

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Rookie: Selected Poems by Caroline Bird

Published: 26th May '22
Paperback / softback
£12.99

Caroline Bird’s last collection, The Air Year, won the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2020. Rookie sees the publication of her selected poems, an occasion for readers to take stock of a poet’s career to date, to chart the development of their technique and repertoire of themes and subject matters.

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Quiet by Victoria Adukwei-Bulley

Published: 2nd Jun '22
Paperback / softback
£10.99

‘This book is a seismic event; its vibrations will be felt for a long time to come.’ – Kayo Chingonyi

The debut collection by a former Barbican Young Poet, Quiet has been on our radar since it was announced. The author has published work in the London Review of Books, the Chicago Review, and a beautiful essay in In The Garden. A Faber poetry debut in one of their distinctive covers is always keenly anticipated!

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100 Queer Poems by Andrew McMillan, Audre Lorde, Carol Ann Duffy, Jackie Kay, Kae Tempest, Mary Jean Chan, Mary Oliver, Ocean Vuong, Sean Hewitt, Thom Gunn

Published: 2nd Jun '22
Hardback
£12.99

With two brilliant editors, Mary Jean Chan and Andrew McMillan, this anthology celebrates the wealth of work by queer poets from the twentieth century to the present day, exploring how queer poets have inhabited the poetic landscape throughout the decades. The anthology features work from classic poets such as Elizabeth Bishop, Langston Hughes, Wilfred Owen and Charlotte Mew to contemporary figures such as Jericho Brown, Carol Ann Duffy, Kei Miller, Kae Tempest, Natalie Diaz and Ocean Vuong, Richard Scott, Harry Josephine Giles, Jay Bernard and many more.

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