Books Launching in May 2021

Support small presses and indie bookstores by picking a read from the list below, which features dozens of new books forthcoming in May 2021 from CLMP members. (Take a look at last month’s releases as well.)


Proof Something Happened by Tony Trigilio

Marsh Hawk Press | May 1, 2021

Winner of the 2020 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize, Trigilio’s latest poetry collection is based on a legendary UFO encounter.




The Pact by Jennifer Militello

Tupelo Press | May 1, 2021

In her newest collection, Militello “confronts obsession, intimacy, and abuse” and “offers an indictment against affection and a portent against zeal.”




Where We Arrive by Thomas Mitchell

Lost Horse Press | May 1, 2021

According to Don Schofield, “Mitchell shows us in these hard earned poems that, in the face of aging, despair, and loss, and in a time when our whole existence has been turned upside down by a microscopic organism, we can still find moments of grace and harmony.”




I Will Not Name It Except To Say by Lee Sharkey

Tupelo Press | May 1, 2021

According to Janice Harrington, the poems in Sharkey’s latest collection range “from the pleasures of old love to improvisations on German Expressionism, family memory, a provocative spiritualism, and difficult history.”



Source Notes: Seventh Decade by Heather Tosteson

Wising Up Press | May 1, 2021

The poems in Tosteson’s collection, which also includes photographs, “move from public events to highly personal ones, both past and present.”




forget thee by Ian Dreiblatt

Ugly Duckling Presse | May 1, 2021

In Dreiblatt’s debut book of poetry, “an anonymous narrator ruminates on the end of the world, while conversing with various historic and literary figures from the ancient Mediterranean and Mesopotamian worlds.”




Hashtag Good Guy With a Gun by Jeff Chon

Sagging Meniscus Press | May 1, 2021

“A black-hearted satire of our new reality,” Chon’s debut novel explores “how we convince ourselves of horrible absurdities, rather than face something even more disturbing: our own essential truth.”




Upper Volta by Yanko González

Ugly Duckling Presse | May 1, 2021

Originally published in Chile and translated by Stephen Rosenshein, this poetry collection “gives voice to the voiceless, and exposes the underbelly of our own biases—the ways in which they manifest in everyday language and collective consciousness.”



M/W: An Essay on Jean Eustache’s La maman et la putain by Matt Longabucco

Ugly Duckling Presse | May 1, 2021

This book-length essay reckons with director Jean Eustache’s “document of political bitterness and romantic catastrophe from the standpoint of our own vexed present in which the unfulfilled legacies of the Left and the sexual revolution still haunt our hopes and darken our horizons.”




Even Shorn by Isabel Duarte-Gray

Sarabande Books | May 1, 2021

Duarte-Gray’s debut poetry collection “mines local orature, family history, and folklore for the music of Western Kentucky, creating the sparse line breaks and the harsh syntax of the present.”




They Better Call Me Sugar: My Journey from the Hood to the Hardwood by Sugar Rodgers

Akashic Books | May 4, 2021

In this memoir, Sugar Rodgers “shares her inspiring story of overcoming tremendous odds to become an all-star in the WNBA.”





Giant Moth Perishes by Geoffrey Nutter

Wave Books | May 4, 2021

The poems in Nutter’s sixth poetry collection offer “myriad delights in language and the imagination” and “teach us how to live in the world with curious attention.”




Hoarders by Kate Durbin

Wave Books | May 4, 2021

In this poetry collection, Durbin “deftly traces the associations between hoarding and collective US traumas rooted in consumerism and the environment.”




Honor Among Thieves: The Cinema of Jean-Pierre Melville by Andrew Dickos

Contra Mundum Press | May 5, 2021

In this book, Dickos profiles the life and influence of filmmaker Jean-Pierre Melville and “discusses his cinema as an essential body of work in our reckoning of postwar European cinema.”




AHAB (Sequels) by Pierre Senges

Contra Mundum Press | May 6, 2021

Translated by Jacob Siefring and Tegan Raleigh, this novel is “the true continuation of the adventures of Ahab, self-described captain, survivor of his last fight against a giant fish.”




Etude for Belonging: Poems for Practicing Courage and Hope by Bethany Lee

Fernwood Press | May 7, 2021

This inspirational poetry collection contains “musings on galaxies and trillium, shipwrecks and spinning wheels, here where there is room for broken hearts, for healing, and for hope.”




The Stranger I Become: On Walking, Looking, and Writing by Katharine Coles

Turtle Point Press | May 11, 2021

This collection of lyric essays “probes the permeable boundary between inner life and outer, thought and action, science and experience.”




Alien Stories by E.C. Osondu

BOA Editions | May 11, 2021

Winner of the BOA Short Fiction Prize, this collection of eighteen short stories, “each centered around an encounter with the unexpected,” explores “what it means to be an alien.”




Wait for God to Notice by Sari Fordham

Etruscan Press | May 11, 2021

According to Phillip Lopate, “This gripping, astutely written memoir of adventures and misadventures is also a very moving story of a mother-daughter relationship.”




You’re a Star, Lolo by Niki Daly

Catalyst Press | May 11, 2021

In the third book in the Lolo series for beginning readers, Lolo is “back for a whole new set of adventures.”





Ross Sings Cheree & the Animated Dark by Ross Farrar

Deep Vellum Publishing | May 11, 2021

In his debut book of poetry, singer-songwriter Farrar “conjures a narrative voice that evokes Alan Vega of the band Suicide and other New York school artists as he contemplates life outside of music.”




In Concrete by Anne Garréta

Deep Vellum Publishing | May 11, 2021

Translated by Emma Ramadan, Garréta’s newest novel is “a feminist inversion of a domestic drama crossed with Oulipian nursery rhyme.”





The Beginning of Water by Tran Le Khanh

White Pine Press | May 15, 2021

According to Nguyen Quang Thieu, this poetry collection—translated by Bruce Weigl—”captures a universal essence, like a seed, evident in the poet’s attention to form, his precise use of images, his simplification of diction, and his powerfully compressed emotions.”




Parenting 4 Social Justice by Angela Berkfield

Green Writers Press | May 15, 2021

Written with cowriters Chrissy Colón Bradt, Leila Raven, Rowan Parker, Jaimie Lynn Kessell, and Abigail Healey, this book “discusses race, class, gender, disability, healing justice, and collective liberation, initiating age-appropriate and engaging conversations with kids about social justice issues.”




Under the Capsized Boat We Fly: New & Selected Poems by Gail Wronsky

White Pine Press | May 15, 2021

The poems in this collection of over four decades of Wronsky’s work “explore feminism, environmentalism, and mortality in language that is both multi-layered and musical.”




I Never Understood Religion Until I Learned Your Name by Hunter Hazelton

Tolsun Books | May 18, 2021

In this debut poetry collection, Hazelton “unravels a semi-autobiographical exploration of first queer love, the intensity of desire, and the existence of God in a heteronormative world.”




World Gone Zoom: Notes from the American Epicenter by David Belmont

The Poetry Box | May 18, 2021

Belmont’s latest book “takes us on a poetic journey through life under lockdown in New York City during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the few months following, replete with political commentary, philosophical musings and musical references.”




Erase and Rewind by Meghan Bell

Book*hug Press | May 18, 2021

“Told from the perspective of various female protagonists,” the stories in this collection address “rape culture, sexism in the workplace, uneven romantic and platonic relationships, and the impact of trauma under late-stage capitalism.”




Do Something for Nothing: Seeing Beneath the Surface of Homelessness through the Simple Act of a Haircut by Joshua Coombes

Akashic Books | May 18, 2021

In Coombe’s debut book, “readers are taken on a geographical and emotional journey into the lives of humans experiencing homelessness in different cities across the world.”




Permanent Volta by Rosie Stockton

Nightboat Books | May 18, 2021

The poems in this collection are “love poems about how queer intimacies invent political and poetic forms, how gender deviance imagines post-sovereign presents and futures.”




One Kind Favor by Kevin McIlvoy

WTAW Press | May 18, 2021

According to Karen E. Bender, McIlvoy’s latest book “looks at the brutality of racial injustice in a North Carolina town with a powerful sense of place and clarity and insight.”




Turmeric & Sugar: Stories by Anna Vangala Jones

Thirty West Publishing House | May 18, 2021

According to Tananarive Due, this debut short fiction collection “twines the mundane with the magical, heartache with hope, loss with love.”




Ticker by Mark Neely

Lost Horse Press | May 20, 2021

Neely’s third poetry collection “follows the life of its main character, Bruce, as he navigates marriage, children, aging parents, politics, race, religion, global catastrophe, and the irrelevance of middle age.”




Sufficient Emptiness by Marjorie Power

Deerbrook Editions | May 20, 2021

According to Amy Miller, the poems in Power’s latest collection “are not just about what we see and remember, but how we see and remember.”




A Looking-Glass for Traytors by Edward Foster

Marsh Hawk Press | May 21, 2021

According to the Brooklyn Rail, Foster’s poems “suspend themselves just above language, connotative of some understanding—perhaps common to all of us—that recedes at the brink of words.”


On the Origin of Species and Other Stories by Bo-Young Kim

Kaya Press | May 25, 2021

This debut English-language collection “makes available for the first time in English some of Kim’s most acclaimed stories, as well as an essay on science fiction.”




Permanent Revolution by Gail Scott

Book*hug Press | May 25, 2021

These new essays, alongside a recreation of Scott’s text Spaces Like Stairs, “provide an evolutionary snapshot of Scott’s ongoing prose experiment that hinges the matter of writing to ongoing social upheaval.”




Ere the Cock Crows by Jens Bjørneboe

Frayed Edge Press | May 25, 2021

Translated by Esther Greenleaf Mürer, this novel “follows the ethical quandaries–or not–of Germans involved in Nazi concentration camps and human medical experiments in World War II.”




Winter in Bellapalma by Jens Bjørneboe 

Frayed Edge Press | May 25, 2021

This comic novel, translated by Esther Greenleaf Mürer, “follows the exploits of a community of expatriates living off-season in a small Italian fishing village.”




Imagine Us, The Swarm by Muriel Leung

Nightboat Books | May 25, 2021

This collection of essays in verse “contemplates vengeance, eschews forgiveness, and cultivates a desire for healing beyond the reaches of this present life.”



Eruptions of Inanna: Justice, Gender, and Erotic Power by Judy Grahn

Nightboat Books | May 25, 2021

In her latest book, Grahn “illuminates eight dramatic stories exploring the Mesopotamian goddess Inanna’s power and relevance for contemporary queer feminist audiences.”




Between Us, Not Half a Saint by Rushi Vyas and Rajiv Mohabir

Gasher Press | May 30, 2021

The poems in this conversation between Vyas and Mohabir “call for an end to Islamophobia, caste violence, gender violence, and nationalist rhetoric.”