September Books from Our Members

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

September 1

Out of Mesopotamia by Salar Abdoh

Akashic Books; September 1, 2020

Abdoh’s novel follows an Iranian journalist in an “unprecedented glimpse into ‘endless war’ from a Middle Eastern perspective.”


My Mother’s Red Ford: New and Selected Poems by Roy Bentley

Lost Horse Press; September 2020

This selection of Bentley’s poetry represents six books from 1986 to 2020 and is, according to Grant Clauser, full of “rich storytelling and family histories.”


More Stupids by Emmy Bright

3 Hole Press; September 1, 2020

According to Paula Wilson, this book is a “queer post-modern tarot-esque deck that serves up hilarious and sensual fodder for foresight and insight that comes from the often overlooked encounters in life.”


The River People by Polly Buckingham

Lost Horse Press; September 2020

Buckingham’s debut poetry collection is full of “tense lyrics, semi-biographical journeys and glittering elegies, rich with the surreal fabric of nightmare and dream.”


Index of Haunted Houses by Adam O. Davis

Sarabande Books; September 1, 2020

Winner of the 2019 Kathryn A. Morton Prize, Davis’s debut poetry collection is, according to Ilya Kaminsky, “a brilliant book about our ghosts—personal, political, mythic, lyrical, and yet very real.”


Selected Poems/Rogha Dánta by Máirtín Ó Direáin

Wake Forest University Press; September 1, 2020

Edited and translated by Frank Sewell, “Simple in style, but deep in reflection, these poems beautifully convey the dilemmas of a poet of a minority language and traditional culture in a rapidly developing era.”


Fablesque by Anna Maria Hong

Tupelo Press; September 1, 2020

Hong’s poetry collection harnesses folktale, fairy tale, and collage to embrace “the great feminist tradition of retelling old tales to imbue them with female subjectivity, speaking to the thoughts, desires, and outrage of contemporary American women.”


Clutter: An Untidy History by Jennifer Howard

Belt Publishing; September 1, 2020

Howard’s latest book is an “expansive assessment of our relationship to the things that share and shape our lives.”


The Gary Anthology

Belt Publishing; September 1, 2020 

Edited by Samuel Love, this collection of work from and about Gary, Indiana, “complicates standard narratives about steel, violence, and urban decay, and offers readers the chance to hear from those who are reshaping the city from the bottom up.” 


In the Key of New York City: A Memoir in Essays by Rebecca McClanahan

Red Hen Press; September 1, 2020

In her personal memoir about a move to New York City, McClanahan “tracks the heartbeat of New York, finding in each face she meets the cumulative loss, joy, and stubborn resilience of a city that has claimed her for its own.”


Carbon: Song of Craft by Svetlana Lavochkina

Lost Horse Press; September 2020

Told in polyphonic verse, Carbon is “a thriller, a romance, a CV, a rose of historical winds, a song of crafts, an ontology of Eastern-Ukrainian mind in one, Carbon is told in polyphonic verse—a prayer for the beloved, anguished city, Donetsk.”


Rotalever Revelator by Doug Nufer

Sagging Meniscus; September 1, 2020

Featuring art by James Siena, Rotalever Revelator is “a book made from words that spell other words backwards: a giant palindrome that contains poems about geography, dams, swamps, celebrities, eponyms, and the news.”


The Age of Discovery by Alan Michael Parker

Tupelo Press; September 1, 2020

Parker’s latest poetry collection is, according to Randall Mann, “a devastating take on the ways we stave off panic.”


Suitor by Joshua Rivkin

Red Hen Press; September 1, 2020

The poems in Rivkin’s debut collection “ask what it means to be a suitor in the fullest sense–to follow, to pursue, to chase the inexplicable hunger at the heart of desire.”


Yi Sang: Selected Works by Yi Sang

Wave Books; September 1, 2020

Edited by Don Mee Choi and translated by Jack Jung, Don Mee Choi, Sawako Nakayasu, and Joyelle McSweeney, this selection of poems, stories, and essays by “one of the great revolutionary legacies of modern Korean literature” is a “visionary and daring response to personal and national trauma.”


What Came Before by Matthew Schultz

Tupelo Press; September 1, 2020

The essays in What Came Before combine “”myth, essay, and poetry” to explore “subjects as diverse as the death of Moses, the special relationship between gay men and cats, the movie Titanic, rock collections, and the afterlife.”


You Can Keep That to Yourself by Adam Smyer

Akashic Books; September 1, 2020

This alphabetized list of things white people should avoid saying to Black people is, according to Publishers Weekly, “designed to strip away the hypocrisy and half-truths of these cultural exchanges by laughing at them.”


Mountain and Flower: Selected Poems by Mykola Vorobiov

Lost Horse Press; September 2020

Translated from the Ukrainian by Maria G. Rewakowicz, this poetry collection spans more than fifty years of Vorobiov’s poems, which “hover around the issues of existence on all possible levels—plants, animals, humans, inanimate objects, and the universe.”

September 3


Fables, Foibles & Other ‘Merican Sins by Amoja Sumler

Aquarius Press/Willow Books ; September 3, 2020

According to Matt Sedillo, this poetry collection is “revolutionary, intersectional, internationalist, insurrectionary and above all unapologetically opposed to any and all threats to Black life.”



September 8


We Were Lucky with the Rain by Susan Buttenwieser

Four Way Books; September 8, 2020

The stories in Buttenwieser’s debut collection follow characters who “stand at the margin of society, often perched on the knife’s edge of economic disaster.”


Lecture by Mary Cappello

Transit Books; September 8, 2020

The first title in Transit Books’s new narrative nonfiction series, Undelivered Lectures, is “a song for the forgotten art of the lecture.”


The Newest Employee of the Museum of Ruin by Charlie Clark

Four Way Books; September 8, 2020

Clark’s poetry collection “interrogates masculinity, the pastoral, the lasting inheritance of one’s lineage, and the mysterious every day.”


How to Carry Water by Lucille Clifton 

BOA Editions; September 8, 2020

Selected and introduced by Aracelis Girmay, this selection of Clifton’s poems “celebrates both familiar and lesser-known works by one of America’s most beloved poets, including 10 newly discovered poems that have never been collected.”


Seize by Brian Komei Dempster

Four Way Books; September 8, 2020

Dempster’s follow-up to his poetry collection Topaz explores “the highs and lows of fatherhood” and the speaker’s “struggles to care for his young and ailing child.”


Animal Wife by Lara Ehrlich

Red Hen Press; September 8, 2020

The stories in Erlich’s debut collection “are unified by girls and women who cross this threshold seeking liberation from family responsibilities, from societal expectations, from their own minds.”


Between Lakes by Jeffrey Harrison

Four Way Books; September 8, 2020

According to Jessica Greenbaum, Harrison’s sixth poetry collection “has the magic elasticity to show the wide elliptical orbit of a lifetime’s relationship between growing son and aging father.”


Haus Red Volume 4

Literaturhaus; September 8, 2020

The latest volume from Literaturehaus features interviews and essays with various contributors.


You Don’t Have to Go to Mars for Love by Yona Harvey

Four Way Books; September 8, 2020

The poems in Harvey’s collection “follow an unnamed protagonist on her multidimensional, Afro-futuristic journey”; this character’s story “stretches the boundaries normally constraining a black, female body like hers.”


Red Stilts by Ted Kooser

Copper Canyon Press; September 8, 2020

Kooser’s new poetry collection “strives to reveal the complex beauties of the ordinary, of the world that’s right under our noses.”


The Life Assignment by Ricardo Alberto Maldonado

Four Way Books; September 8, 2020

According to Emily Skillings, Maldonado’s bilingual debut poetry collection “asks us to consider how we as readers and citizens reconcile self and state, body and landscape, desire and capital, language and communication.”


New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set (Saba)

Akashic Books; July 28, 2020

An African Poetry Book Fund project edited by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani, this collection of chapbooks features Michelle Angwenyi, Afua Ansong, Adedayo Agarau, Fatima Camara, Sadia Hassan, Safia Jama, Henneh Kyereh Kwaku, Nadra Mabrouk, Nkateko Masinga, Jamila Osman, and Tryphena Yeboah.


World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Milkweed Editions; September 8, 2020

According to Kiese Laymon, Nezhukumatathil’s essay collection “lingers in a world where power, people, and the literal outside wrestle painfully, beautifully.”



September 10

Terrain by Gina Hietpas

Blue Cactus Press; September 10, 2020

According to Kim Stafford, this debut poetry collection “delivers the visceral, highly–textured terrain of experience on home ground with all the fierce affection and honesty true residence requires.”


September 15


The Farm by Max Annas 

Catalyst Press; September 15, 2020

Winner of the 2015 German Crime Writing Prize, Annas’s novel is translated by Rachel Hildebrandt Reynolds and “an explosive mixture of psychological thriller and Neo-western with a political subtext.”


Now in Color by Jacqueline Balderrama

Perugia Press; September 15, 2020

Balderrama’s debut poetry collection “explores the multigenerational immigrant experience of Mexican-Americans who have escaped violence, faced pressures to assimilate, and now seek to reconnect to a fragmented past. “


The Nancy Reagan Collection by Maxe Crandall

Futurepoem Books; September 15, 2020

Miguel Gutierrez calls this performance novel “a virtuosic experiment where the all too harrowing reality of the Reagan era and its discontents (AIDS, Iran-Contra, the beginning of the end of the progressive American dream) meets a phantasmagorical interlocution with its strangest protagonist—Nancy Reagan.”


ASEROË by François Dominique

Bellevue Literary Press; September 15, 2020

Translated from the French by Richard Sieburth and Howard Limoli, this novel portrays “the aesthetic adventures of a mad mycologist.”


Collected Ghazals by Jim Harrison

Copper Canyon Press; September 15, 2020

This posthumous collection “gathers all of Harrisons’s published ghazals into a single volume, accompanied by an afterword by poet and noted ghazal writer Denver Butson.”


A World Between by Emily Hashimoto

Feminist Press; September 15, 2020

Hashimoto’s debut novel “follows two strikingly different but interconnected women as they navigate family, female friendship, and their own fraught history.”


Polar Vortex by Shani Mootoo

Akashic Books; September 15, 2020

Mootoo’s new book is “a seductive and tension-filled novel about Priya and Alex, a lesbian couple who left the big city to relocate to a bucolic countryside community.”


The Nicotine Chronicles

Akashic Books; September 15, 2020

Edited by Lee Child, this collection of stories about smoking features new work from Joyce Carol Oates, Hannah Tinti, Christopher Sorrentino, and more.



We Need to Talk: A Memoir About Wealth by Jennifer Risher

Red Hen Press; September 15, 2020

Risher’s debut memoir “explores the hidden impact of wealth on identity, relationships, and sense of place in the world.”


Raising King by Joseph Ross

Aquarius Press/Willow Books; September 15, 2020

According to poet and literary activist E. Ethelbert Miller, this poetic biography—which is endorsed by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Estate—“has given us words that capture the thunder and sounds of protest.”


Hotel Almighty by Sarah J. Sloat

Sarabande Books; September 15, 2020

Sloat’s debut poetry collection, “visually arresting and utterly one-of-a-kind,” is a mixed-media book-length erasure of pages from Misery by Stephen King.


Wild Peach by S*an D. Henry-Smith

Futurepoem Books; September 15, 2020

This poetry- and photography-based project is “a multisensory roaming of landscape and interior, often (but not always) in near stillness and varying light.”


Pretzel, Houdini & Olive by Deborah Thompson

Red Hen Press; September 15, 2020

The eleven interconnected essays in this memoir are “told from the perspective of a self-identified ‘crazy dog lady’” and follow Thompson’s life with five dogs.



Caw by Michael Waters

BOA Editions; September 15, 2020

Waters’s new poetry collection features “passionate poems about sin, obsession, and mortality.”



September 17


under the aegis of a winged mind by makalani bandele 

Autumn House Press; September 17, 2020

Selected by Cornelius Eady as winner of the 2019 Autumn House Poetry Prize, this debut poetry collection is “inspired by the life and times of the jazz composer and pianist Earl ‘Bud’ Powell.”


His Feathers Were Chains by Denise K. Lajimodiere

North Dakota State University Press; September 17, 2020

The third volume in the Contemporary Voices of Indigenous Peoples Series, this poetry collection is an “is overt criticism of settler society… subtle, approachable, and grounded in Ojibwe knowledge and customs.”


Circle / Square by T. J. McLemore

Autumn House Press; September 17, 2020

In this chapbook, McLemore “renders the language of physics and theoretical science into poetry to illuminate the mysterious ways we experience reality.”


Hallelujah Station and Other Stories by M. Randal O’Wain 

Autumn House Press; September 17, 2020

O’Wain’s debut short story collection “introduces readers to a wide and diverse cast of characters struggling with and responding to changes and loss.”


Grimoire by Cherene Sherrard

Autumn House Press; September 17, 2020

This poetry collection is “centered on the recovery and preservation of ancestral knowledge and on the exploration of black motherhood.”


Further News of Defeat: Stories by Michael X. Wang 

Autumn House Press; September 17, 2020

Winner of the 2019 Fiction Prize, selected by Aimee Bender, Wang’s debut short story collection “interrogates personal and political events set against the backdrop of China that are both real and perceived, imagined and speculative.”


Skull Cathedral: A Vestigial Anatomy by Melissa Wiley 

Autumn House Press; September 17, 2020

Winner of the 2019 Nonfiction Prize, selected by Paul Lisicky, Wiley’s essay collection uses “the slow evolution and odd disintegration of vestigial organs to enter the braided stories of the lives we establish for ourselves.”



September 20


The Last Orgasm by Nin Andrews

Etruscan Press; September 20, 2020

Andrews’s poetry collection “presents a fresh and often humorous look at the themes of sexuality, womanhood, and beauty by giving the orgasm its own platform to speak for itself.”


September 21


The Louisville Anthology

Belt Publishing; September 21, 2020

This collection of essays and poems “offers locals and visitors a closer look at compelling private and public spaces in an attempt to articulate what defines Louisville beyond—but also inclusive of—its most recognized cultural exports.”



September 22


Perfidia by Sky Hopinka

Wendy’s Subway & CCS Bard; September 22, 2020

Edited by Julie Niemi, Perfidia is a collection of poetic writings by filmmaker Sky Hopinka; “each brief text swirls together to form an image of multiple landscapes that bid us remember: the past has come and gone, and the future is told through traces of nostalgic lore.”


The Disappearing Ox by Lewis Hyde

Copper Canyon Press; September 22, 2020

Created in collaboration with painter Max Gimblett, this poetry collection is “a modern American version of the twelfth-century Chinese ‘Oxherding Series’ that combines Chinese text, visual art, and multiple English translations.”


David Tung Can’t Have A Girlfriend Until He Gets Into An Ivy League College by Ed Lin

Kaya Press; September 22, 2020

Lin’s first novel written for young adults is “a heartfelt and hilarious look into the complexities of being Asian American.”


The Nightgown & Other Poems by Taisia Kitaiskaia

Deep Vellum; September 22, 2020

Kitaiskaia’s debut poetry collection is ripe with mythic awareness and dark, fairytale-turned-feminist humor.


The Horse Who Bears Me Away by Jim Peterson

Red Hen Press; September 22, 2020

Peterson’s latest poetry collection “challenges readers to consciously embrace the dark side of their American psyche and to reach past it to a new way of being at peace with both the known and the unknown, which is called freedom.”


Letters to a Young Brown Girl by Barbara Jane Reyes

BOA Editions; September 22, 2020

Reyes’s latest poetry collection “answers the questions of Filipino American girls and young women of color with bold affirmations of hard-won empathy, fierce intelligence, and a fine-tuned B.S. detector.”


Fauna by Christiane Vadnais

Coach House Books; September 22, 2020

Translated by Pablo Strauss and winner of the Horizons Imaginaires speculative fiction award and the City of Quebec book award, this collection of “lush and bracing linked climate fictions depict a world gorgeous and terrifying in its likeness to our own.”


September 29


Black Power Afterlives: The Enduring Significance of the Black Panther Party

Haymarket Books; September 29, 2020

Edited by Diane Fujino and Matef Harmachis, Black Power Afterlives is “the first book to comprehensively examine how the Black Panther Party has directly shaped the practices and ideas that have animated grassroots activism in the decades since its decline.”


The Brother You Choose by Susie Day

Haymarket Books; September 29, 2020

In this book with an afterword by Ta-Nehisi Coates, former Black Panthers Paul Coates and Eddie Conway “discuss lives, politics, and their friendship that helped Eddie survive decades in prison.”


Can’t Pay Won’t Pay

Haymarket Books; September 29, 2020

By the Debt Collective and with a foreword by Astra Taylor, this book is, according to Rep. Rashida Tlaib, “an important campaign to help build the mass movement we need to resist and abolish student debt.”


Emporium by Aditi Machado

Nightboat Books; September 29, 2020

Winner of the 2019 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, Machado’s second poetry collection interrogates “our entanglement in the irresistible threads of language, history, and money.”


Stranger Faces by Namwali Serpell

Transit Books; September 29, 2020

In this essay collection—the second installment of the Undelivered Lectures series—Serpell “probes our contemporary mythology of the face.”


Unseen City by Amy Shearn

Red Hen Press; September 29, 2020

This novel is “an exploration of what home is, how we live with loss, who belongs in the city and to whom the city belongs, and the possibilities and power of love.”


The Essential Ruth Stone by Ruth Stone

Copper Canyon Press; September 29, 2020

Edited by Bianca Stone, this selection of Ruth Stone’s poetry “bears witness to a vivid fifty-year career of one of America’s most influential and pioneering poets.”


The Post-Pandemic Liberal Arts College: A Manifesto for Reinvention by Steven Volk and Beth Benedix

Belt Publishing; September 29, 2020

This timely book considers “what a new, transformative culture would look like, from how students are admitted and faculty hired, to the economics that would permit all these college to admit students without regard to financial need.”