New and forthcoming

American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

Terrance Hayes

The black poet would love to say his century began
With Hughes or God forbid, Wheatley, but actually
It began with all the poetry weirdos & worriers, warriors,
Poetry whiners & winos falling from ship bows, sunset
Bridges & windows. In a second I'll tell you how little
Writing rescues.

So begins this astonishing, muscular sequence by one of America's best-selling and most acclaimed poets. Over seventy poems, each titled 'American Sonnet for my Past and Future Assassin' and shot through with the vernacular energy of popular culture, Terrance Hayes manoeuvres his way between touching domestic visions, stories of love, loss and creation, tributes to the fallen and blistering denunciations of the enemies of the good.

American Sonnets builds a living picture of the whole self, and the whole human, even as it opens to the view the dividing lines of race, gender and political oppression which define the early 21st century. It is compassionate, hilarious, melancholy, bewildered - and unstoppably, rhythmically compelling, as few books can hope to be.

Assurances

J. O. Morgan

A war-poem both historic and frighteningly topical, Assurances begins in the 1950s during a period of vigilance and dread in the middle of the Cold War: the long stand-off between nuclear powers, where the only defence was the threat of mutually assured destruction.

Using a mix of versed and unversed passages, Morgan places moments of calm reflection alongside the tensions inherent in guarding against such a permanent threat. A work of variations and possibilities, we hear the thoughts of those involved who are trying to understand and justify their roles. We examine the lives of civilians who are not aware of the impending danger, as well as those who are. We listen to the whirring minds of machines; to the voice of the bomb itself. We spy on enemy agents: always there, always somewhere close at hand.

Assurances is an intimate, dramatic work for many voices: lyrical, anxious, fragmentary and terrifying; a poem about the nuclear stalemate, the deterrent that is still in place today: how it works and how it might fail, and what will vanish if it does.

One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each

Peter MacMillan (and others)

A new edition of the most widely known and popular collection of Japanese poetry.

The best-loved and most widely read of all Japanese poetry collections, the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu contains 100 short poems on nature, the seasons, travel, and, above all, love. Dating back to the seventh century, these elegant, precisely observed waka poems (the precursor of haiku) express deep emotion through visual images based on a penetrating observation of the natural world. Peter MacMillan's new translation of his prize-winning original conveys even more effectively the beauty and subtlety of this magical collection.

Translated with an introduction and commentary by Peter MacMillan.

The House with Only an Attic and a Basement

Kathryn Maris

A neurotically funny collection that looks under the hood of adult life

As in life, she was a pain in the arse
in death. He could hear her roaring
all the way from the fifth circle,
'Why the hell do you get to be in a
better circle than me, I'm wrathful
because of your lust -'

Deploying a chorus of voices both ancient and modern to explore a world of sexual politics and singles cruises, dysfunctional families and psychoanalysis, awkward cohabitations and self-help guides for the would-be Dream Girl, this is the third collection from a unique poetic talent: observant, obsessive and wickedly witty.

'The funniest book I've read in years. Maris flexes her wit and wisdom to create a litany of nervous characters in a style that's mordant, sarcastic, satiric yet often compassionate . . . a poet of risk, she is dark, deep and often laugh out loud'
DALJIT NAGRA

'Her dry, droll, clinically deadpan manner is all her own; but her themes - obscure hurts, implacable dissatisfactions, hardwired propensity for victimhood and suffering - reflect the experience of humanity at large'
CHRISTOPHER REID

A Country to Call Home: An anthology on the experiences of young refugees and asylum seekers

Lucy Popescu (and others)

From the editor of A Country of Refuge comes an anthology of new writing on one of the defining issues of our time. Focusing on the fate of refugee children and young adults, it is aimed at children and adult readers alike, and features work from Michael Morpurgo, Eoin Colfer, Kit de Waal and Simon Armitage among many others.

There are tales of home, and missing it; poems about the dangerous journeys undertaken and life in the refugee camps; stories about prejudice, but also stories of children’s fortitude, their dreams and aspirations.

A Country to Call Home implores us to build bridges, not walls. It is intended as a reminder of our shared humanity, seeking to challenge the negative narratives that so often cloud our view of these vulnerable young people, and prevent us giving them the empathy they deserve.

The book will include newly commissioned stories, flash fiction, poetry and original artwork from some of our finest children’s writers: David Almond, Chris Riddell, Moniza Alvi, Sita Brahmachari, Peter Kalu, Judith Kerr, Patrice Lawrence, Anna Perera, the late Christine Pullein-Thompson, Bali Rai and S. F. Said.

The Penguin Book of Haiku

Adam L. Kern (and others)

The first Penguin anthology of Japanese haiku, in vivid new translations by Adam L. Kern.

Now a global poetry, the haiku was originally a Japanese verse form that flourished from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. Although renowned for its brevity, usually running over three lines in seventeen syllables, and by its use of natural imagery to make Zen-like observations about reality, in fact the haiku is much more: it can be erotic, funny, crude and mischievous. Presenting over a thousand exemplars in vivid and engaging translations, this anthology offers an illuminating introduction to this widely celebrated, if misunderstood, art form.

Adam L. Kern's new translations are accompanied here by the original Japanese and short commentaries on the poems, as well as an introduction and illustrations from the period.

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