Books Launching in October 2021

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


Redshift, Blueshift by Jordan Silversmith

Gival Press | October 1, 2021

According to Seth Brady Tucker, this debut novel is “a philosophical and metaphysical delight, a mystery that both the narrator and the reader must unpack.”




New Contexts: 2

Coverstory books | October 1, 2021

Edited by Ian Gouge, this anthology collects new prose and poetry by 47 writers from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.




The Asparagus Wars by Carol Major

Spineless Wonders | October 1, 2021

Shortlisted for the 2020 International Beverly Prize for Literature, this debut is “a deeply moving memoir about the battles waged against terminal illness and a mother’s struggle to comprehend the battlefield in its wake.”




Queer As Fiction

Spineless Wonders | October 1, 2021

Edited by Quinn Eades, this collection of contemporary stories from the queer community “is about love, sex, and identity told through diverse stories from buying a double bed, meeting neighbourhood witches, and early morning swims.”




Two Murals by Jesús Castillo

The Song Cave | October 1, 2021

In two long poems, Castillo “explores love, selfhood, and transformation in a wasteful age” and “makes a case for perseverance.”




Afterfeast by Lisa Hiton

Tupelo Press | October 1, 2021

Winner of the Dorset Prize for Poetry, this poetry collection is, according to Mary Jo Bang, “covertly grounded in metaphysical questions… Vast categories and fluid distinctions are fractured and then woven back together.”




Masquerade by Carolyne Wright

Lost Horse Press | October 1, 2021

Masquerade is “a jazz-inflected, lyric-narrative sequence of poems, a ‘memoir in poetry’ set principally in pre-Katrina New Orleans and in Seattle, involving an interracial couple, artists and writers.”




Seed Wheel by Kathryn Hunt

Lost Horse Press | October 1, 2021

The poems in Seed Wheel “are drenched in silence and wonderment, miseries and mysteries, and the stubborn cargo of our collective and individual histories.”



Apricots of Donbas by Lyuba Yakimchuk

Lost Horse Press | October 1, 2021

Translated from the Ukrainian by Oksana Maksymchuk, Max Rosochinsky, and Svetlana Lavochkina, this bilingual poetry collection ranges “from sumptuous verses about the urgency of erotic desire in a war-torn city to imitations of child-like babbling about the tools and toys of military combat.”



Eccentric Days of Hope and Sorrow by Natalka Bilotserkivets

Lost Horse Press | October 1, 2021

In this collection of poems from the last four decades translated by Ali Kinsella and Dzvinia Orlowsky, Bilotserkivets “speaks about movement and restricted movement, even symbolic movement.”




Air Raid by Polina Barskova

Ugly Duckling Presse | October 1, 2021

Translated by Valzhyna Mort, this poetry collection explores the Siege of Leningrad and “takes us through the archives of memory and literature in this city of death.”




Harm Eden by Jennifer Nelson

Ugly Duckling Presse | October 1, 2021

This poetry collection “attempts to think through and simultaneously away from this evil fantasy and the civilization it upholds by exploiting the tension between history and poetry.”




I Want Something Other Than Time by Lewis Freedman

Ugly Duckling Presse | October 1, 2021

This series of 64 poems “worries the problem of self-identicality—the distance between the self and the self that recognizes the self—into the socio-political sphere as a problem of temporality, as the work of our shared subjects in perceiving and projecting pasts, futures, presents.”




I Name Him Me: Selected Poems of Ma Yan by Ma Yan

Ugly Duckling Presse | October 1, 2021

In this English-language debut, Ma Yan “delves into questions of gender, mental health, death, desire, physicality and our personal interactions to show how they all shape the raw experience of existence.”





The Face of the Quartzes by Chus Pato

Veliz Books | October 3, 2021

In her twelfth book of poetry—and sixth to be translated from the Galician by Erín Moure—Pato “creates a manual for living that is one with birds, with animals, with peaks and trains and lighthouses, and with women who undertake journeys toward life (the improper) and spring (renewal).”




Deadheading and Other Stories by Beth Gilstrap

Red Hen Press | October 3, 2021

The stories in Gilstrap’s collection “tell tales of the woebegone, their obsessions with decay, and the haunting ache of the region itself—the land of the dwindling pines, the isolation inherent in the mountains and foothills, and the loneliness of boomtowns.”




Imagine a Death by Janice Lee

Texas Review Press | October 4, 2021

Lee’s novel “examines the ways in which our pasts envelop us, the ways in which we justify horrible things in the name of survival, all of the horrible and beautiful things we are capable of when we are hurt and broken, and the animal (and plant) companions that ground us.”




Diamonds by Camille Guthrie

BOA Editions | October 5, 2021

In this poetry collection, Guthrie “writes about the trials and surprises of divorce, parenting, country life—and the difficulties and delights of being alone, looking at art, and falling in love.”




A Cluster of Noisy Planets by Charles Rafferty

BOA Editions | October 5, 2021

Rafferty’s latest collection of prose poems “captures the rhythms and patterns of life as a lover, father, and poet, distilling each moment to its essence and grounding them collectively in the wider perspective of a changing world, the constant turning of the stars and the changing seasons of the New England countryside.”




Because Venus Crossed an Alpine Violet on the Day that I Was Born by Mona Høvring

Book*hug Press | October 5, 2021

Translated from the Norwegian by Kari Dickson and Rachel Rankin—and winner of the Norwegian Critics’ Prize for Literature—this novel is, according to Aimee Wall, a “luminous tale of the ‘burdensome tenderness’ between sisters and the emotional tumult of breaking free.”




Her Kind by Cindy Veach

CavanKerry Press | October 5, 2021

Set against the historical backdrop of the Salem Witch Trials, this poetry collection is “about women who are innocent and are used and/or disregarded by the culture: women viewed as witches, women making their own choices, women fighting for freedom.”




The Original Glitch by Melanie Moyer

Lanternfish Press | October 5, 2021

Moyer’s novel follows a grad student attempting to manage a malevolent artificial intelligence “determined to escape his enclosure to wreak havoc on the outside world.”




The Gold Persimmon by Lindsay Merbaum

Creature Publishing | October 5, 2021

In this experimental novel that “explores sexuality, surveillance, and the very nature of storytelling,” two characters “find themselves trapped in dual narratives.”




Made-Up: A True Story of Beauty Culture under Late Capitalism by Daphné B. 

Coach House Books | October 5, 2021

Translated by Alex Manley, this book is a “nuanced, feminist, and deeply personal take on beauty culture and YouTube consumerism.”






All This Time by Cedar Sigo

Wave Books | October 5, 2021

The poems in Sigo’s latest collection “call attention to the experience of living as an embodiment of art, reminding the reader that poetry is like an open-air structure; it is open to all who are curious enough to welcome everything in.”




Lovers of Today by Garrett Caples

Wave Books | October 5, 2021

Lovers of Today is a collection of poetry “that pays tribute to friendships including Kevin Killian, John Ashbery, Joanne Kyger, and Bill Berkson, among others, wherein each poem is a celebration of life’s ephemerality.”




The Go the Fuck to Sleep Box Set by Adam Mansbach

Akashic Books | October 5, 2021

This collectors’ box set celebrates “a decade of profane, loving, and deeply cathartic children’s books for adult.”




Good Times Roll: A Children’s Picture Book by Ric Ocasek

Akashic Books | October 5, 2021

Ric Ocasek’s rock and roll classic “leaps off the page in this exhilarating picture book.”




Return to the Field

Wendy’s Subway | October 5, 2021

This anthology “began as an invitation to consider questions of environment, affect, and mapping emotional and physical points of contact between the human and the landscape alongside visual artist Martha Tuttle and her collaborator and co-editor, poet Gabriel Kruis.”




No Diving Allowed by Louise Marburg

Regal House Publishing | October 6, 2021

The 14 stories in this collection “are tales of regret and mercy, of bonds forged and frayed, and most of all our individual capacity to love even that which damns us.”




Underneath by Lily Hoang

Red Hen Press | October 12, 2021

This fictionalized true-crime novel “attempts to understand how feelings of powerlessness, the residue of trauma, and the need to find justice in a world that refuses to give a fat body justice finds its only respite through murder.”




Iceland Is Melting and So Are You by Talya Rubin

Book*hug Press | October 12, 2021

This poetry collection “asks us to consider what we have kept frozen and unexamined within us and—in doing so—recognize the complex grief and wonder we face in considering the end of the human epoch.”




Irredenta by Oscar Oswald

Nightboat Books | October 12, 2021

Oswald’s debut poetry collection “interrogates American civics and citizenry from its foundation in the pastoral tradition.”




Look at Us by T. L. Toma

Bellevue Literary Press | October 12, 2021

Toma’s novel is a “captivating, trenchant portrait of class and sexual dynamics” that “reveals just how fragile our social arrangements really are.”




We Imagined It Was Rain by Andrew Siegrist

Hub City Press | October 12, 2021

Siegrist’s debut short fiction collection is “a love song to Tennessee…. imbued with tenderness, seriousness, and a deep understanding of the human spirit.”




Truths We Tell: Stories From The Yarn Stage

Et Alia Press | October 12, 2021

In this collection curated by Hilary Trudell from The Yarn’s first four years of production, storytellers “share powerful truths on diverse themes including family, racism, coming out, sexual assault, mental health, failure, resilience, death, and love.”




Life Sciences by Joy Sorman

Restless Books | October 12, 2021

Translated from the French by Lara Vergnaud, this novel “boldly investigates the female condition, bodily autonomy, and the failings of modern medicine as one young woman confronts a centuries-old, matrilineal curse.”




My Love Is a Beast: Confessions by Alexander Cheves

Unbound Edition Press | October 12, 2021

In this debut memoir, one of America’s leading sex columnists “tells intimate stories of what he sees as the sacred grace of pleasure as he embraces his life as a sex writer, worker, and activist.”




Ecologia by Sophia Anfinn Tonnessen

Unbound Edition Press | October 12, 2021

This debut poetry collection, “noteworthy for its experimental forms, long poems, and intentional repetitions, explores the intersections of gender, identity, and memory across time.”




We Prefer the Damned by Carlo Matos

Unbound Edition Press | October 12, 2021

Matos “pushes toward a new grammar for intersectional identities as the poems in We Prefer the Damned weave his Portuguese-American heritage and bi+ lived experience.”




We Were There: The Third World Women’s Alliance and the Second Wave by Patricia Romney

Feminist Press | October 12, 2021

“Interweaving oral history, scholarly and archival research, and first-person memoir,” We Were There documents how the Third World Women’s Alliance “shaped and defined second wave feminism.”




Habitus by Radna Fabias

Deep Vellum/Phoneme | October 12, 2021

Translated from the Dutch by David Colmer, Habitus is “a collection full of thrilling sensory images, lines in turn grim and enchanting which move from the Caribbean island of Curaçao to the immigrant experience of the Netherlands.”




Listen by Ute Carson

Yellow Arrow Publishing | October 12, 2021

This poetry chapbook “spans the life cycle: birth, parenting (and grandparenting), aging, and dying.”




ink earl by Susan Holbrook

Coach House Books | October 12, 2021

ink earl “takes the popular subgenre of erasure poetry to its illogical conclusion… starting with ad copy that extols the iconic Pink Pearl eraser.”







Ghosts of America by Caroline Hagood

Hanging Loose Press | October 15, 2021

In Hagood’s first novel, “a sexist male novelist undergoes a peculiar transformation after being haunted by the ghosts of the women he has miswritten, Jackie Kennedy and Valerie Solanas.”




The 909 by Mark Givens and Joel Huschle

Bamboo Dart Press | October 15, 2021

The 909 is “a sci-fi script for a movie set in the near-future and taking the form of a reality documentary.”




The Ars Magna for the Manifold Dimensions of z by Neil de la Flor

JackLeg Press | October 15, 2021

“Through found (sometimes redacted text), memory, interviews and gorgeous speculation,” de la Flor offers “a lovingly hybrid picture of Meta and the Danish Underground Resistance during the Holocaust.”




Tiki Man by Thomas M. Atkinson

Regal House Publishing | October 15, 2021

According to Devin Murphy, this novel’s characters are “indelible among the world of gambling ships, charter boats, and the shadow of correctional facilities rendered so shimmering yet gritty.”




Body Was by Isabelle Garron

Litmus Press | October 15, 2021

Translated by Eléna Rivera, Body Was is “a book-length poem that begins with the death of a father and ends with the birth of a child.”




American Bastard by Jan Beatty

Red Hen Press | October 19, 2021

In this memoir Beatty “writes through complete erasure: loss of name and history, and a culture based on the currency of gratitude as expected payment from the adoptee.”





A Dangerous Place by Chelsea B. DesAutels

Sarabande Books | October 19, 2021

This debut poetry collection is “the story of a woman with two swellings in her belly: a nascent baby, and a cancerous tumor.”




Ground Scratchers by Gabriel Welsch

Tolsun Books | October 19, 2021

According to J. David Stevens, the characters in these stories “keep secrets, surrender to petty impulses, and too often let pride keep them from giving or receiving the compassion that could improve their lives.”




How Did Humans Go Extinct? by Johnny Marciano

Akashic Books | October 19, 2021

In this children’s book illustrated by Paul Hoppe, the young protagonist wonders what happened to humans, “those horrible, terrifying monsters who dominated the planet ten million years ago.”




Carmelina: Figures by Ronaldo V. Wilson

Wendy’s Subway | October 19, 2021

Wilson’s poetry collection “excavates the territory between memory, nation, and embodiment, exploring place as a discipline of the body and an extension of the hand.”




Surface Fugue by Ralph Sneeden

EastOver Press | October 20, 2021

According to Willie Perdomo, Sneeden explores “brilliant variations on distance and memory, distillations of history and love, a sublime mix of self-reflection and intimacy juxtaposed with a larger world view.”




High by Mary Sullivan 

Regal House Publishing | October 25, 2021

According to Vanessa Diffenbaugh, High “tells the story of fourteen-year-old Ceti’s struggle to soar even as she lives through her mother’s life-threatening addiction.”




Before I Had the Word by Brooke Sahni

Texas Review Press | October 25, 2021

Selected by Maggie Smith as 2020 Winner of the X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize, this poetry collection “attempts to conflate, even dissolve the idea that mundane experience is separate from religious, holy experience.”




Tongues: On Longing and Belonging Through Language

Book*hug Press | October 26, 2021

In this anthology of essays edited by Ayelet Tsabari, Eufemia Fantetti and Leonarda Carranza, 26 writers “explore their connection with language, accents, and vocabularies, and contend with the ways these can be used as both bridge and weapon.”




The Collected Essays by Mary Butts

McPherson & Company | October 26, 2021

Edited and introduced by Joel Hawkes, the essays and reviews in this collection range “from classical history and literature to popular fiction (historical, mystery, ghost stories), from modern history (French and English) to Eastern religion, and from the American Depression to gardening.”




The Cup by Robert Kelly

McPherson & Company | October 26, 2021

The Cup is “a lyrical narrative poem in 91 sections about two young Americans following an ancient pilgrimage route, their explorations interwoven with legends of the Holy Grail.”




Phototaxis by Olivia Tapiero

Nightboat Books | October 26, 2021

Translated from the French by Kit Schluter, Phototaxis is a fragmentary, darkly-humorous apocalyptic text from a leading young voice from Montréal.




speculation, n. by Shalya Lawz

Autumn House Press | October 28, 2021

This debut collection “brings together poetry, sound, and performance to challenge our spectatorship and the reproduction of the Black body.”




All Who Belong May Enter by Nicholas Ward

Autumn House Press | October 28, 2021

The essays in this debut collection “examine whiteness, masculinity, and a Midwest upbringing through tales of sporting events, parties, posh (and not-so-posh) restaurant jobs, and the many relationships built and lost along the way.”




Rare Encounters with Sea Beasts and Other Divine Phenomena by Nick Gregorio

Thirty West Publishing House | October 31, 2021

This collection of interconnected stories is “about loneliness and yearning and searching—sometimes for giant squid. It’s about the inability to properly understand friendships and love far too deep into a life.”