2023: Poetry's Year in Prose

A reading list of our 2023 features.
A person in a red shirt and blue pants stands in front of a large replica of the Poetry Foundation website. They are surrounded by clouds.

As another year comes to its inglorious close, we’re taking stock of the features published over the last 12 months—nearly three dozen pieces that introduce new poets, celebrate old ones, and rediscover those who’ve been awaiting fresh eyes. Below are lively explorations of poets in translation, including Homero Aridjis, Zuzanna Ginczanka, Roque Dalton, and Tomas Tranströmer; intimate reappraisals of the lives of Amy Clampitt and Jane Kenyon; provocative responses to the nonfiction of Rachel Zucker, Joshua Bennett, Roger Reeves, and Terrance Hayes; a moving tribute to Saskia Hamilton; and longform dives into Mark Hyatt, Harry Fainlight, and Calvin C. Hernton, three poets who deserve a wider readership. Also below is our first digital folio, dedicated to the startling and inimitable work of South Korean poet Kim Hyesoon. And if that’s not enough, we also published our longest feature ever: an ambitious and often surprising foray into the work of Robert Frost. We hope you’ll find much to enjoy here.

Happy holidays. And happy reading.

— The Editors 


Archaic Objects
Journeying into the underworld with A.E. Stallings.
By Andrea Brady

Magic, Friends, Loyalty, Revolution
A new collection of autobiographical pieces documents the vast scope of Anne Waldman's literary and political imagination. 
By Nick Sturm

Other Ways to Wear a Body
Transness and elegy intertwine in K. Iver’s debut collection.
By Megan Milks 

Wrong Poets Society
Rachel Zucker considers literary wrongness—from John Keats to confessional poetry—in a book that has the energy of a manifesto.
By Joyelle McSweeney

A Formal Feeling Comes
Maggie Millner’s Couplets is a story of love, sex, and betrayal in Bed-Stuy.
By Jamie Hood

A Paradise With No Country
Self-Portrait in the Zone of Silencea new collection by Homero Aridjis, is a phantasmagoria of Mexico’s ghosts, myths, and brutal landscapes.  
By André Naffis-Sahely

I Wanted the Impossible
Amy Clampitt's poetry career began late, but as a new biography attests, she was always a writer of deep ambition and erotic intensity. 
By Heather Clark

Authentic Fake
Monica Youn’s From From troubles the notion of a fixed identity.
By Mia You

Spoken Like a True Poet
In Joshua Bennett’s history of spoken word, poetry is alive and well thanks to a movement that began in living rooms and bars.
By Stephen Kearse

Icon or Manhole
With help from technology, The Wild Hunt Divinations recovers the renegade queer subtext of Shakespeare’s sonnets.
By Eric Sneathen  

Flowers of Drivel
Clare Bucknell’s The Treasuries examines how poetry anthologies have shaped national identity—and preserved some poems better left forgotten.
By Declan Ryan

Doing Poetry
A Kim Hyesoon Folio.

The Ultimate Bone
Sex meets death in Deborah Landau’s Skeletons.
By Lara Glenum 

The Mere Fact of Her
A newly reissued memoir by Emily Dickinson’s niece tries to decode the poet’s enduring mystery. 
By Rachel Vorona Cote  

Shadows Out of Color
Mark Hyatt—barely published and dead at 32—was a lost figure of queer British poetry. Two posthumous books revive his startling voice.
By David Grundy  

At a Slight Angle to the Universe
C.P. Cavafy was not a poet of his time but the bard of a lost age—or an age still to come.
By Ben Libman

Stronger Magic
Harry Fainlight was a Beat visionary overshadowed by his famous friends and sidelined by mental illness. His legacy is ripe for reassessment. 
By Nick Sturm

Echo and Break
Megan Fernandes’s I Do Everything I’m Told is a formally promiscuous enactment of distance and desire.
By Noah Warren

Riding High
With Gravity and Center, Henri Cole finds a home in the sonnet’s mix of freedom and constraint.  
By Andrew McMillan

Not Everything Dies
The young Polish-language poet Zuzanna Ginczanka was killed in the Holocaust. Two new translations offer different renditions of her startling work. 
By Lily Meyer

What Home Is Isn’t That
The young Polish-language poet Zuzanna Ginczanka was killed in the Holocaust. Two new translations offer different renditions of her startling work.
By Kimberly Alidio

Not a Game
Two new genre-bending books by Terrance Hayes find freedom in individuality. 
By Keith D. Leonard

Counter Culture
In Information Desk, Robyn Schiff recalls the beauty, boredom, and absurdities of working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  
By Rhian Sasseen

Show of Force
In The Ferguson Report: An ErasureNicole Sealey transforms a Department of Justice report into a transcendent poetic intervention.
By Tiana Reid

Safe Harbor
In Dark Days: Fugitive Essays, the poet Roger Reeves delivers an unruly examination of race, community, and history.  
By J. Howard Rosier

Not Words Alone
Stories and Poems of a Class Struggle, by the Salvadoran poet Roque Dalton, remains a tender but fiery call for revolution. 
By Esther Allen

Ordinary Unhappiness
In The Lights, Ben Lerner uses plain speech to render an unreliable world.
By Anahid Nersessian

One’s Own Evidence
On the life and work of Saskia Hamilton.
By Declan Ryan

Scrap Irons of Painful Mercy
Selected Poems of Calvin C. Hernton is a long-overdue retrospective of one of America’s most important Black poets.
By Nick Sturm

Slimed With Gravy, Ringed by Drink
Four hundred unruly, obsessive, baffling years of Shakespeare’s First Folio.
By Camille Ralphs

For the Left Hand Alone
A new edition of Tomas Tranströmer’s collected works showcases his wild associative leaps.
By Jared Marcel Pollen

A Fine Gray Seething
Brian Teare's Poem Bitten by a Man is a hybrid book that presses language into and against visual art.
By John Vincler

The Luminous Particular
A new biography of Jane Kenyon frees the poet from the shadow of her famous older husband.
By Maya C. Popa

One Screaming Weave
Christian Wiman's Zero at the Bone blends memoir and theology, criticism and poetry into a mystical commonplace book for Armageddon.
By Ed Simon

Waiting for Form
How Robert Frost made poetry modern.
By Tyler Malone

The editorial staff of the Poetry Foundation.