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Booksellers Picks: New Poetry January-March 2022

Whether one of your new year goals is to start reading poetry and you’re looking for recommendations, or you’re a regular poetry reader looking forward to checking out this year’s releases, we’ve curated a varied list of some of the poetry titles we’re most excited about for the beginning of 2022!

We’ve found some poetry in translation, poetry from the UK and beyond, experimental poetry, new collections from poets we love, like Emily Berry, Denise Riley and Kaveh Akbar, and debut collections from poets we can’t wait to get more familiar with, like Padraig Regan and Andrés Ordorica.

Refractive Africa: Ballet of the Forgotten by Will Alexander

Published: 6th Jan '22
Paperback / softback
£10.99

A new collection from Granta’s poetry list is always great news here at the bookshop. Refractive Africa presents three poem sequences exploring the political realities of colonialism, diasporic experience and ecological exploitation, centred around the geography of the Congo river.

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Lobsters by Wayne Holloway-Smith

Published: 13th Jan '22
Paperback / softback
£9.00


Euan

The blurb of award-winning poet Wayne Holloway-Smith’s new work, Lobsters, describes it as ‘part songbook, part elastic melodrama’. I can’t think of a better way to sum up the form of its exploration of life and loss.

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Some Integrity by Padraig Regan

Published: 27th Jan '22
Paperback / softback
£11.99


Helena

I’ve loved the poems of Padraig Regan I’ve read in magazines and journals, and I really can’t wait to read their debut collection. Their poems always find a way to surprise me, to bend the lyric mode in original ways, and to shape feeling and thought with unsettling and fun combinations of words.

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At Least This I Know by Andres Ordorica

Published: 27th Jan '22
Paperback / softback
£9.99


Kira

A bold debut from Andrés N. Ordorica. At Least This I Know is a poetry collection that explores one’s sense of belonging through diaspora, queer identity, loss, love, and so much more. Piercing, sincere and unapologetic.

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Pilgrim Bell: Poems by Kaveh Akbar

Published: 27th Jan '22
Paperback / softback
£12.99

If Akbar’s debut Calling a Wolf a Wolf is any indication, Pilgrim Bell will be equal parts spiritual and of the body, with a rigorous confessional tendency.

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Deltas by Leonie Rushforth

Published: 8th Feb '22
Paperback / softback
£12.00

Prototype delight us with each new addition to their well curated poetry list and their wonderful interdisciplinary anthologies. We can’t wait to read Deltas, by Leonie Rushforth.

Deltas is a delicate and subtle collection, but one that also contains a potent, muscular undertow of intense and sometimes violent emotion. Rushforth’s voice is fresh and startling – making you see the detail of the world anew, illuminated by her brilliantly precise and dazzling language. A rich, deeply rewarding poetic experience.’ – Rebecca Tamás

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Hundred Lovers, A by Richie Hofmann

Published: 8th Feb '22
Hardback
£22.50


Marc

The sensual queer love lyric is in good hands with Richie Hofmann, whose elegantly designed poems delight in the announcement and exploration of their desires.

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Ephemeron by Fiona Benson

Published: 10th Feb '22
Paperback / softback
£12.00

In Ephemeron, as the title suggest, Fiona Benson focuses on the transitory things in life. The collection’s central section is a re-telling of the myth of the Minotaur from the perspective of the creature’s Mother.

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Why I No Longer Write Poems by Diana Anphimiadi, Jean Sprackland, Natalia Bukia-Peters

Published: 24th Feb '22
Paperback / softback
£12.99

Bloodaxe have an eye for choosing great poetry from around the world published in translation. This book presents collaborative translations of poems by award-winning Georgian poet Diana Anphimiadi. Her playful poems move from ancient myths to surreal images, touching on a wide variety of subjects in between.

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Unexhausted Time by Emily Berry

Published: 3rd Mar '22
Paperback / softback
£10.99


Marc

“The time eventually comes, in a good poet’s career, when readers actively wait for [their] books”. That’s Helen Vendler writing about James Merrill, but the sentiment springs to mind about Emily Berry, whose third collection, Unexhausted Time, arrives in March. Berry’s previous book, Stranger, Baby, is superlative: an askew glance at the workings of grief, its language refutes the well meaning bromides offered to those in mourning, opting instead to sit with unresolved feelings, to dwell in the most uncertain states of mind. Hers is a voice that admits to the brokenness of things, and it’s one to follow wherever it may lead.

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Lurex by Denise Riley

Published: 3rd Mar '22
Paperback / softback
£10.99


Helena

Denise Riley is a master of experimental lyric. I regularly revisit her last collection, Say Something Back, whose touching and disorienting poems of grief haunt you after reading (“’They died’ is not an utterance in the syntax of life / where they belonged, no belong – reanimate them / not minding if the still living turn away, casually.” from Listening for Lost People). I can’t wait to get hold of a copy of Lurex.

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Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head by Warsan Shire

Published: 10th Mar '22
Hardback
£12.99


Euan

The highly-anticipated full-length collection from Warsan Shire, whose collaborations with Beyoncé earn the superstar a thank you in the acknowledgments, is a personal inquiry into migration, growth and the art of resilience. Shire paints such a vivid portrait of her life and those around her. I loved it.

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Panic Response by John McCullough

Published: 15th Mar '22
Paperback / softback
£9.99

This year we have a new collection from John McCullough, following his last, Reckless Paper Birds (2019), winner of the prestigious Hawthornden Prize. In the poet’s words, these new poems are ‘darker and more experimental’, exploring queerness and mental health, as well as reaching towards nature.

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