Most Anticipated Poetry & Poet Essay Books 2022

Towards mid-2021 I started to think, whew, 2022 is going to be a really expensive year, but delightful.

So many people’s work I love are having new collections coming out. Here’s the list, and I’ll expand on each every couple days with a mini-interview, from next week into National Poetry Month.

  1. still: new, selected & collaborative haiku by Philomene Kocher, (Ekstasis Editions, Spring 2022) Why? I have enjoyed all the chapbooks she has made. Often in an anthology it is hers that resonate strongly with clarity, gentle wisdom, and a particular aha.
  2. Asking for Trouble by Sandra Stephenson/Czandra (Yarrow Press, Spring 2022). Why? I have read two of her chapbooks and am curious of where her mind goes next. I also write tanka but find the form elusive. More reading needed. I don’t know anything about kyōka, the ‘wild’ or ‘mad’ sub-genre of tanka. I’m also curious about production values of Yarrow Press, now an imprint of Shoreline Press, under new management.
  3. Nuclear family by Jean Van Loon (McGill-Queens University Press, 2022) Why? Beyond the gorgeous cover? Her careful attention to detail was applied in historical fiction poems in her last book. That sharp mind now gets filtered through her life experience on a focus on her father. Curious to see how that plays out and what she has to say.
  4. Book of Smaller by rob mclennan (University of Calgary, May 2022). Why? The unexpected phrasing & juxtapositions, the sampler of his world that is not overlapping with my world gives energy. Each book has something new in tone and angle. I have many of his books, having read or re-read 18 of his titles over the last dozen years. 
  5. Openwork and Limestone by Frances Boyle (Frontenac House, November, 2022). Why? I feel sisterly watching her grow in poetic skill over the last decade and see it bloom into book after book. I’m curious what she has made most recently, delving deep.
  6. lisan al’asfour by Natalie Hanna (Arbeiter Ring Publishing/ARP Books, Winnipeg, Nov 2022). Why? I have been watching her poems pop up in various magazines over time. I published her in the chocolate poems anthology some years ago. This new collection sounds powerful and compelling.
  7. The Day Breakers by Michael Fraser (Biblioasis, April, 2022). Why? Some poets can write anything and it is vital. He’s one of those. I was just re-reading To Greet Yourself After Arriving (2016) when I heard the news of the next.
  8. The Book of Grief and Hamburgers by Stuart Ross (ECW, April 5, 2022). Why? Besides the awesome cover? While not poetry is by a poet I admire and processing grief and getting any handle on that is always in season. I trust where he will go with it.
  9. Sheets: Typewriter Work by Cameron Anstee (Invisible Publishing, October 2022) Why? I’ve seen his chapbooks Ottawa Poems and Lines which play in erasure to find the essential nub and he does it well.
  10. Immune to the Sacred by Stephen Brockwell (Mansfield Press, April 2022). Why? I have all his books and almost all his chapbooks. His poems are consistently grounded in the concrete world and simultaneously transcend those specifics times to reach out of them.
  11. But the sun, and the ships, and the fish, and the waves by Conyer Clayton (Anvil Press/Feed Dog Book, April 2022). Why? We Shed Our Skin like Dynamite, her previous full book has a precision and intensity. This plays into the surreal as a bonus. And questions ones own memories. Sounds tasty.
  12. Monument by Manahil Bandukwala (Brick Books, September 15, 2022). Why? I have her three chapbooks and there’s a payoff in reading them for the dextrous worlds created on the page.
  13. (title forthcoming) by Mike Caesar (Anstruther, Spring 2022). Why? More than a decade ago I heard him win the open mic to my mind repeatedly with solid masterfully tight poems. I’ve wanted a full collection for years and look forward to seeing what he’d done lately.
  14. Solus Urger Voyager by David Groulx (Bookland, 2022). Why? I have a bunch of his books. I like his putting skin the game, and artfully. He speaks succinctly and movingly about things that matter.
  15. Straggle: Adventures in Walking While Female by Tanis MacDonald (Wolsak and Wynn Publishers, June 2022). Why? It collates up her observations doing FaunaWatch, while I am also finishing a project using my own version of FaunaWatch in a very different direction. Her essays are like walking alongside what she sees, and that’s an appealing thing to me.