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All Souls

Saskia Hamilton (Graywolf)

Hamilton, who died this year, offers sensitive and layered meditations on memory and motherhood in this beautiful posthumous collection. The book’s lyric sequences masterfully portray the thinking mind as it ruminates on time, illness, and literature. Hamilton poses necessary existential and aesthetic questions in these unforgettable pages.

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From From: Poems

Monica Youn (Graywolf)

Weaving personal and social history, Youn’s remarkable exploration of Asian American identity and its effects on consciousness is ambitious in its execution and scope. In commanding poems, Youn exposes the West’s ideas of East Asians and deconstructs the process of deracinations to reveal the disorienting, fragmented experience that Asian Americans face as a result of racial microaggressions and hate.

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The Shared World

Vievee Francis (TriQuarterly)

Francis delivers a powerful volume of witness, probing the past while charting a path forward in poems that draw from her experience as a Black woman in the U.S. These poetic narratives are lyrical, precise, and deeply affecting, showcasing Francis’s range of poetic gifts as she wrestles with identity, history, and violence.

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Suddenly We

Evie Shockley (Wesleyan Univ.)

A collective we carries the reader through Shockley’s generous and dynamic exploration of Black identity and visual art. Shockley dives deep into the theme of connection through an invigorating mix of poetic forms, lyrically capturing the stakes of humanity’s interdependence.

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To 2040

Jorie Graham (Copper Canyon)

With a characteristically unflinching eye and formally innovative approach, Graham contemplates extinction and the apocalyptic circumstances of the climate catastrophe. These poems inventively and hauntingly conjure future landscapes, sights, and sounds, offering a gripping and urgent reminder of the future that might await humanity if more isn’t done to change course.

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