Exploring Indie Poets for National Poetry Month 2024

Reading Time: 7 minutes

The Rise of Indie Poets

As the world continues to evolve, so do the voices that shape it. In the world of poetry, the rise of indie poets has been nothing short of a revolution. These writers, who often publish their work independently, have been gaining widespread recognition for their unique perspectives, fresh voices, and unfiltered emotions. We will explore some of the latest indie poets of 2024 who are making waves and leaving their mark on the world of poetry. From raw and honest to experimental and unconventional, these poets are pushing the boundaries of what we thought we knew about poetry and inspiring us to see the world in new and beautiful ways.

Pushing the Boundaries of Poetry

Glitter City 

by Bonnie Jill Emanuel

isbn: 9781960329325,template: listLike glitter-tiny, precision-cut, reflective particles-the poems in Glitter City shine by reflection with flashes of light. Narrative, cinematic, and at times trance-like, the poems trace their way back in time. From Fulton Street, Brooklyn to Detroit’s Woodward Avenue, over city scaffolds and rural fields, across graveyards and weedy highways, Emanuel’s debut collection grieves and loves, glittering fiercely.





Everyone I’ve Danced With Is Dead 

by Mamie Morgan

isbn: 9781956907070,template: listIn this elegiac collection fittingly titled Everyone I’ve Danced With Is Dead, Mamie Morgan’s poems are exquisitely stitched as they offer up lamentation for, and salutation to, the dead. These are dedicatory jeremiads against loss that flame with anger, anguish, feminism, and, yes, even humor. And though they are underscored in a bladed nostalgia, they are never sentimental; instead, they are “finding new ways to feel” while “flinging every street-facing window open.” Swirling in the poetic spaces of this book, are caribou, witches, and chickens as well as cameos by Amy Poehler, Mary Oliver, and Iphigenia; but, most importantly, ascending from the book’s foundation is Morgan’s incantation for the living and the dead-the clear and sustaining phrase, “I want you alive.”

-Simone Muench

Skies of Blur 

by Elijah Burrell

isbn: 9781958094433,template: listSkies of Blur, the third and latest collection by critically acclaimed poet Elijah Burrell, navigates the depths of human connection and disconnection, love and loss, and the spaces between. Burrell breathes life into every line, crafting a world both familiar and entirely new.

While guiding us quietly between the realms of the natural and supernatural, these poems remind us of the chaos and uncertainty of modern life. Through metaphors of spinning plates and broken umbrellas, Burrell captures the delicate balance we all strive to maintain and the challenges we face in a seemingly incurable world. This blurring world demands we pay attention and stay vigilant at all costs. Burrell’s poems deal with the struggle between our past and present selves. As only miracles and poems can, Skies of Blur brings the dead back to life and awakens memories of days long gone.

The Loneliest Whale in the World 

by Tom C Hunley

isbn: 9781947896727,template: listThe very cool “My Chili Recipe: An Ars Poetica” includes an actual chili recipe as well as advice that’s excellent for chili and poetry: stir occasionally. A good poem requires a kind of mixing or churning, a change (or changes) in direction, in tone or feeling, if it’s to offer anything new or worthwhile, and imagination is always the source of the stir. What I find so pleasurable about Tom C. Hunley’s poems is the multifaceted nature of his imagination, whether conceptual, ethical, sonic, emotional, or imagistic. I had faith in this book from the first few pages, both that the poems would have something to offer, something to say, and that I wouldn’t be able to predict what that was. That’s the way it is with the best cooks-they deliver the goods, but you don’t know how.

-Bob Hicok, Water Look Away

Happy Everything 

by Caitlin Cowan

isbn: 9781960329226,template: listThe urge to create beauty and be beautiful haunts Happy Everything, Caitlin Cowan’s powerful celebration of feminine resilience. The materiality of marriage and divorce abound in the postnuptial ghost stories Cowan tells with no-nonsense, Midwestern frankness and the intimacy of an afterparty conversation in a corner booth. Happy Everything is a deranged wedding registry of various poetic forms which highlight the perverse tenacity of ancestral traumas and the paradoxes inherent to women’s relationships with men. These poems are a collage of traditions from a past that women are continually attempting to escape.




Ruined Music: poems 

by Valentina Gnup

isbn: 9798988818649,template: listIn Ruined Music, the failures that come with living are redeemed by the lyricism, tenderness, and humor of their telling. Valentina Gnup says in one poem, “I want the rain to fall like petals / every morning across the thirsty world.” The poems in this book seem to do just that.






Dirt Songs 

by Kari Gunter-Seymour

isbn: 9781958094358,template: listIn her third full-length collection, Dirt Songs, Kari Gunter-Seymour’s poems are full-throated, raw, deceptively simple, and rippling with candor, providing readers an insider’s lens into the larger questions surrounding the many aspects of Appalachian culture, including identity, the impact of poverty, generational afflictions, and the brunt of mainstream America’s skewed regard for the region. Readers will discover a musicality of language, a stoic sense of honor, a richly detailed tapestry of experiences, and an inspiring display of humility and courage. Throughout the book there is an overarching determination to endure, to be the last truth teller left standing, arm raised in solidarity with the land and its people. Dirt Songs does what journalists and mainstream media have failed to do: provide a uniquely intimate look at landscape and family generated from within Appalachia, recognizing that one story cannot accurately represent a region or its people.

Slow Wreckage: poems 

by Barbara Crooker

isbn: 9798988818632,template: listThe poems in this collection consider the “slow wreckage” that comes with advancing years. As well as considering the travails of an aging individual, Barbara Crooker uses a wider lens to examine the damages inflicted by society and its failings. And through it all, or despite it all, Crooker finds beauty and hope in the physical world. In Slow Wreckage, she writes with candor, irony, and ultimately, love.




Florida Man: Poems, Revisited 

by Tyler Gillespie

isbn: 9781941681312,template: listThe Florida Man meme lodged itself into the national consciousness through viral headlines like “Florida man threw live gator in Wendy’s drive-thru window.” But there’s much more to the meme than a punchline. In this innovative collection, Tyler Gillespie strips away the accepted myths of his home state and its inhabitants in poems centered on Florida’s history and culture. He uses a lyric mix of journalism, science, family lore, and lived experience to reveal complex realities of the state and a redemption that’s wondrously messy and surprising.

Since the collection’s initial publication in 2018, Florida has become even more chaotic and unsafe. In this time, too, Gillespie emerged as one of the state’s rising literary voices for his wit and style. This second edition revisits the original collection and extends its themes with 20 new poems that form the chapbook-length addition HEAT ADVISORY.

Meatballs: A memoir written in poetry & prose 

by Tracy Emm

isbn: 9798218262754,template: listMeatballs is a collection of poetry and prose. In her debut memoir, Tracy narrates her personal journey of the heartbreak that led her home. She reminds us that what we inherit from our parents is much more than traits and recipes. Meatballs is a beautifully written story highlighting themes that all readers can relate to: worthiness, trust and betrayal, love and heartache.






Moon Grammar 

by Matthew Porto

isbn: 9781639821563,template: listIn the opening poem of Matthew Porto’s dazzling debut collection, we hear the voice of the recurring angel figure for the first time, commanding us to “Get used to the light.” That light-blinding, mysterious, unsettling, but occasionally illuminating-shows up again and again in Porto’s taut, elegant poems. As he writes in another poem: “Some light, it’s true, makes it to us, but always / refractory, errant, struggling to deign downward.”

The occasions for these poems range from encounters with ancient biblical and mythological tropes to fresh translations of elegiac Anglo-Saxon verse to sojourns from Texas to Taiwan and Vermont to Venice.


The Eaters of Flowers 

by Ire’ne Lara Silva

isbn: 9798987954126,template: listIn The Eaters of Flowers, her third book of poems for Saddle Road Press, after the much-loved Blood Sugar Canto and Cuicacalli/House of Song, Ire’ne Lara Silva writes about the loss of her brother, her adopted son. In her unique canto style she sings the stunned, broken months following his death, navigating grief, loss, loneliness, and the remembrance of joy, as she begins to re-assemble her life.





Sadness of the Apex Predator 

by Dion O’Reilly

isbn: 9781960329271,template: listThe beauty and danger of an isolated family compound, the corruption that privilege can bring, an extensive burn injury that interrupts a girl’s life, and the many predators who swoop in when the scarred woman is loosed, again, into the world-all of this is woven throughout Sadness of the Apex Predator, a collection of poems that studies both the way Sapiens feed on one another and also the redemption our hungers can bring.




kiss & release 

by Anthony Dipietro

isbn: 9781956692877,template: listHave you ever noticed it? asks “Love Is Finished Again,” a poem cycle revealed in seven movements. The sequence muses on how we end up in the same place over & over in sex & love & everything. The only real change is through decay that makes ruins, noseless busts, caves of Pompeii, brothel rooms. Even language & communication decay, as a number of mashup and collaborative poems explore.

Are you ready for the beats? This book is a party and a romance. It’s a lucid dream.

This poetry accuses, brags, confesses, obsesses, panics & promises.



Each Knuckle with Sugar 

by Sarah Levine – Jerrod Schwarz

isbn: 9781949065305,template: listSarah Levine’s Each Knuckle with Sugar is a soft yet powerful deep-dive into love and grief told through multiple fascinating perspectives.

“I love this book. […] Look, some of its tanginess may leap off the page and startle your fingers. Some of its honey may stick to your knuckles. Let it.” -Chen Chen, author of Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency




by Katharine Whitcomb

isbn: 9781949166088,template: listHabitats, Katharine Whitcomb’s robust new collection, is her best yet-a field guide. To the pleasures and perils of adulthood, a reckoning with what is and what will never be. Moving through disappointment and joy, divorce and remarriage. The death of parents and a stare down with her own allotted time on Earth. Whitcomb seeks out or stumbles into rooms of reflection, landscapes that enlarge us. Gardens and clearings where “lean and stubborn devotions” take root.

These lush and rugged poems are alive to the “tug of memory / awake in everything,” those habitats of geography and mind that clarify and define what is most important-belonging to ourselves. “Not young or uncomplicated or down-to-earth,” Whitcomb is both realist and dreamer, uncovering the “mercy in each minute of the sense’s deft erasure.”

Lately: New and Selected Poems 

by Laure-Anne Bosselaar

isbn: 9798986729060,template: listLATELY, New & Selected Poems by Laure-Anne Bosselaar collects many of the poet’s most widely-taught, memorable, and timely poems. Includes selections from her previous four collections, as well as previously unpublished poems.







Interested in poetry collections? Check our poetry online at here!