Here at BOA Editions we are celebrating another successful year of poetry and short fiction! As we hit the ground running in 2024 and celebrate all it will bring, we’ve stopped to reflect on all the note-worthy titles released in 2023. We might be a little biased, but we think these twelve are pretty neat!
Read on and don’t forget to browse these titles in the BOA Bookstore!
Four in Hand by Alicia Mountain (April 4, 2023)
Emma Specter included Four in Hand on Vogue's "The Best New Poetry Collections to Read (Or Preorder) Now," saying of the collection: "The four-sonnet structure of this collection is romantic enough to read aloud in the afterglow of new love, but its subject matter (which touches on everything from Trump’s election to mental illness to the COVID-19 pandemic) provides a welcome snap of reality."
Good Grief, the Ground by Margaret Ray (April 11, 2023)
Ronnie K. Stephens from The Poetry Question says of Margaret Ray's debut collection, "Good Grief, the Ground, winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and debut full-length collection from Margaret Ray, is a stupefying brilliant collection filled with poems that echo the thunderstorms that crop up like clockwork."
Buffalo Girl by Jessica Q. Stark (April 18, 2023)
Connie Pan included Buffalo Girl on Bookriot's "10 Essential Poetry Books by AAPI Authors," saying, "“This meditation on fairy tales and flowers, Vietnamese American identity and mother-love, stealing and violence is unforgettable.” Buffalo Girl was also a finalist for the Maya Angelou Book Award in Poetry.
Nomenclatures of Invisibility by Mahtem Shiferraw (April 25, 2023)
Laura Sackton for Buzzfeed News said of Shiferraw's collection, "These beautiful poems trace complicated paths across the globe, mapping the blurry intersections of migration, language, body, belonging, and home. Shiferraw’s poems move through her own history, as well as the history of her family and her homelands, Ethiopia and Eritrea, naming these places and stories beyond colonial and imperial understandings of borders and geography. This is a lyrical, melancholic, and deeply vulnerable book."
Flare, Corona by Jeannine Hall Gailey (May 9, 2023)
Carrie Lee South for the Colorado Review said of Flare, Corona, "Flare, Corona is a life-affirming exploration of the small endings that occur every day, set against the backdrop of our world ending."
The Visibility of Things Long Submerged by George Looney (May 23, 2023)
CLMP says of George Looney's BOA Short Fiction Prize-winning collection of short fiction, "Looney’s short fiction collection “explores the essential nature of faith while plumbing the gritty secrets of the human heart.”
fox woman get out! by India Lena González (September 12, 2023)
Tiffany Troy of Tupelo Quarterly says of fox woman get out!, “In this serpentine debut, the reader is enraptured by the exuberance of the speaker’s voice, as the personas of the speaker’s multitudinous self perform for and outperform a world that seeks to define them."
Death Prefers the Minor Keys by Sean Thomas Dougherty (September 26, 2023)
Tiffany Troy of Tupelo Quarterly says of Death Prefers the Minor Keys, "Death Prefers the Minor Keys is a prose poetry collection that teaches us that “survival is more than love, it is labor.” It draws from Dougherty’s experience juggling multiple shifts–including as a caregiver and medical technician–and his intimate family life with a severely ill wife and a daughter on the autistic spectrum. What results is a tender music from a working poet who turns down the lights and coos Death to put away his Scythe in our darkest hours between dusk and dawn."
Desire Museum by Danielle Cadena Deulen (October 10, 2023)
LitHub's David Woo says of Desire Museum, "In searching, gainfully self-doubting poems, Deulen, a poet with roots in the Pacific Northwest and Mexico, reaches for “greenness, precision, a certain / grace in form,” seeking to fix history—both personal and political—even as “it keeps moving through us.”
Where Can I Take You When There's Nowhere To Go by Joe Baumann (October 24, 2023)
Chantal Corcoran of Litro Magazine says of Where Can I Take You When There's Nowhere To Go, "For Baumann’s tender consideration of the characters’ suffering within these pages, WHERE CAN I TAKE YOU WHEN THERE’S NOWHERE TO GO radiates with a heartwarming force.”
Conversation Among Stones by Willie Lin (November 7, 2023)
Rebecca Morgan Frank for Harriet Books (Poetry Foundation) says of Lin's book, "Lin’s oracular and dream-laden poems wrestle with the lucidity and occlusions of memory."
Transitory by Subhaga Crystal Bacon (November 14, 2023)
Ronnie K. Stephens from The Poetry Question says of Subhaga Crystal Bacon's Transitory, "Transitory should be essential reading for everyone, and it should be taught in every classroom – I don’t say that lightly or hyperbolically. This is not just one of the most important collections of the year, but one of the most important of our lifetime.”