Field Guide to the Human Condition by Adrian S. Potter CW Books, November 2022
In this newest poetry collection, In Field Guide to the Human Condition, Adrian S. Potter explores how one rebuilds oneself after grief, heartbreak, and challenges. He offers poems that focus on the setbacks and struggles that have the capacity to mold a person into a different version of themselves than the one they once knew. The poems are about grappling with histories, both personal and collective. Potter uses hallmarks from modern life – pop music, discrimination, shifting identities, and toxic relationships – to construct a hall of mirrors, in which each viewpoint reflects a different possibility. Sample poems are available to read on the publisher’s website.
In Salem Revisited, Charles K. Carter examines homophobic and transphobic violence in the United States. Many of the pieces look as if they have been pulled directly from yesterday’s headlines. Carter brings an awareness to these injustices by shining a harsh spotlight on what haunts many LGBTQ+ community members and their allies. The collection experiments with a wide range of poetic forms including blank verse, free verse, ghazal, and haiku as well as unconventional structures. Charles K. Carter (he/him) is a queer poet from Iowa. He is a volunteer video curator for Button Poetry, and his poems have been featured in several literary journals. Carter is the author of four chapbooks, including Salem Revisited (WordTech Editions). His first full-length collection, Read My Lips (David Robert Books), will be released in fall 2022. Sample poems can be read here.
In this first full collection by Amy Locklin, the whirl of life and death, the rhythm of rot and rebirth, permeates these striking poems. Locklin has previously edited two print fiction anthologies, Altered States and Law and Disorder. She was a managing editor for the cross-genre anthology A Year in Ink, and her poetry chapbook, The Secondary Burial, was a finalist for the San Diego Book Awards. She earned her MFA in Poetry Writing and MA in 20th Century Literature from Indiana University Bloomington and currently teaches writing across the disciplines in online accelerated terms at Southern New Hampshire University. Sample poems are available to read here.
To Sleep With Bears Poetry by Steve Nickman Word Poetry, April 2022
Steve Nickman’s poems in his newest collection, To Sleep With Bears, are about praise and amazement, as well as connection and the loss of it. They are about food, childhood, hiding, loneliness, small and large animals, and despair. They are about losing courage and regaining it, our capacity for good and evil, and finally about knowing that we won’t live forever. Steve Nickman is an almost-retired child psychiatrist in Brookline, Massachusetts. In 2006 he joined Barbara Helfgott Hyett’s workshop and learned that much of what his patients had to say was poetry. Working with adopted children has given him insight into the feeling of lost connection. Sample poems are available to read here.
Taxonomies Poetry by Erin Murphy Word Poetry, April 2022
The demi-sonnets in Erin Murphy’s Taxonomies categorize elements of the human experience that defy simple classification. In this form of her own invention, Murphy holds a magnifying glass to issues of gender, aging, relationships, and social justice. Erin Murphy is the author or editor of thirteen books and has received numerous awards. In April 2022, she was named Poet Laureate of Blair County, Pennsylvania. She received her MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is Professor of English and creative writing at the Pennsylvania State University, Altoona College. Read sample poems here.
Buy a Ticket: New and Selected Poems Poetry by Judith R. Robinson Word Poetry, February 2022
Buy a Ticket by Judith R. Robinson is a collection of poems about life—its imperfect beauty, its poignance, and the forces that propel it forward. Toggling among life stages—from a child’s recollections of school with its “blue-lined grainy first-grade paper” to an adult’s look back through the eyes of shared reminiscence with a boon companion, these poems resonate with a sense of time’s passage, its transience, and elasticity. Grief and disappointment compete with an indomitable will to continue despite setbacks and loss. Whether through the eyes of teenage Holocaust survivor, Dora, who gleans the forest floors in her quest to live, or the “jobless-wounded-welfar-ians” who keep on dreaming of the windfall that will make it all better, the human beings in Robinson’s poems may be beaten and bruised by life’s hard knocks, but they are not down for the count. Read sample poems here.
Without Goodbyes: From Puritan Deerfield to Mohawk Kahnawake Poetry by Ginny Lowe Connors Turning Point, December 2021
Without Goodbyes by Ginny Lowe Connors is a collection of poems based on a historical event: the infamous 1704 raid on the village of Deerfield, Massachusetts. More than 100 Deerfield residents: men, women, and children, were captured. Then they began the 300-mile trek to New France, the French colony, in Quebec. The poems, which trace a narrative but are lyrical in nature, focus on Joanna Kellogg, an eleven-year-old girl, and two of her siblings. They were adopted into Mohawk families in the village of Kahnawake, a Mohawk community centered around a Jesuit mission. The physical journey Joanna and her siblings took to reach Kahnawake was grueling; of even greater interest is the journey she took to truly become a member of the Mohawk community. Read sample poems here.
American Narratives Poetry by T.P. Bird Turning Point, November 2021
In this newest collection of poems, American Narratives, T.P. Bird offers the reader narratives of America that portray the grit of the street, the noise of the crowd, and the softness of the heart in a manner as large and capacious as a myth and a country. Bird is a retired industrial drafter/designer and minister now living in Lexington, Kentucky with his spouse. He has published widely in literary journals and is the author of two previous chapbooks, Mystery and Imperfections and Scenes and Speculations. Read sample poems here.
Talking to Strangers: Poetry of Everyday Life Poetry by Peter Neil Carroll Turning Point, January 2022
In this newest collection, Talking to Strangers: Poetry of Everyday Life, Peter Neil Carroll employs a multiplicity of voices to ensure that no one is, truly, a stranger. Carroll is the author of several previous collections, including Fracking Dakota, Riverborne: A Mississippi Requiem and A Child Turns Back to Wave: Poetry of Lost Places, which won the Prize Americana in 2012. Other books include the memoir Keeping Time. His poems have appeared in many journals. He has taught creative writing at the University of San Francisco, taught history and American Studies at Stanford and Berkeley, and hosted “Booktalk” on Pacifica Radio. Read sample poems here.
In The Sustain Pedal, Carol Jennings continues the poetic journey she began in The Dead Spirits at the Piano. Her poems create a connection with the composers she listens to and plays on the piano-Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Mendelssohn-as well as with the natural world she loves and mourns for what is being lost. Retreating glaciers, volcanoes, coral reefs, viruses, the outer edge of the solar system-her poetic craft evokes both what we cannot control and what we must learn to control to survive. Read sample poems here.
Nina Carey Tassi’s intimate poems in Love’s Universe explore the myriad ways that love finds a home in human hearts, from searing first desire through the oceanic depths of marriage and family to soul-piercing faith and the uplifting joys of nature and one’s country; not least is the unexpected miracle of suffering, all suggesting that love indeed animates the universe. Read sample poems here.