By Alex Crowley
The poetry oracle offered us a vision in which the all-know-
ing spirits advised us to save our money for early September
and make room on our poetry shelves, because clearly we’re
going to need it.
The Complete Poems of A.R. Ammons: Vols. 1 & 2
A.R. Ammons, edited by Robert M. West. Norton, Oct. 31
The rich, startling body of work of this American innovator is authoritatively presented as a whole
for the first time, including more than 100 previously uncollected poems.
Don’t Call Us Dead
Danez Smith. Graywolf, Sept. 5
Smith transcends elegy in this intimate, humorous, and biting collection in which he writes of
desire, mortality, white supremacy, and more.
I Know Your Kind
William Brewer. Milkweed, Sept. 12
Appalachian poverty and American opioid addiction receive empathetic treatment in Brewer’s
blistering yet beautiful debut collection.
Sam Sax. Penguin, Oct. 3
Sanity, heterosexuality, masculinity, normality, and more come under scrutiny in Sax’s debut, an
exploration of addiction, desire, and mental health.
Nicole Sealey. Ecco, Sept. 12
Sealey’s lithe, musical, and elegant debut turns particularities of race, sexuality, gender, myth,
history, and embodiment into a universal examination of the human condition.
Evie Shockley. Wesleyan Univ., Sept. 5
Insisting on the power of art, Shockley traces the various forms of violence that cross racial,
ethnic, gender, class, sexual, national, and linguistic boundaries.
Christine Kitano. BOA, Sept. 12
Using family history as a springboard, Kitano illuminates aspects of the immigrant experience and
speaks for the silenced and displaced.
Javier Zamora. Copper Canyon, Sept. 12
Zamora contends with the realities of borders and immigration, having traveled himself
unaccompanied from El Salvador to the U.S. at age nine.
We’re On: A June Jordan Reader
Edited by Christoph Keller and Jan Heller Levi. Alice James, Sept. 12
This volume of poetry, prose, letters, and more reveals the depth of Jordan’s expansive political
vision and moral witness.
While Standing in Line for Death
CAConrad. Wave, Sept. 12
Responding to the murder of his boyfriend, Conrad developed a new series of (Soma)tic poetry
rituals, detailed here along with their resulting poems.