Best new poetry collections for summer

  1. "The Essential W.S. Merwin" (Copper Canyon)
    Edited by Michael Wiegers, this concise collection contains the best of the two-time Pulitzer winner’s work, including selections from Merwin’s first book, “A Mask for Janus” (1952) as well as “The Lice” (1967) , “The Carrier of Ladders” (1970) and “The Shadow of Sirius” (2008). The book, which will be published in September, also includes translations and prose pieces that help give readers a fuller understanding of Merwin’s range and changing aesthetics.
  2. "Lessons on Expulsion," by Erika L. Sánchez (Graywolf)
    In these pages, Sánchez, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, examines the origins of misogyny, the struggles of poor women who are forced to sell their bodies, and the unfair balance of power in romantic relationships. She also confronts desire, shame and the painful choices immigrants must face, using language that varies from gritty to dreamlike.
  3. "Some Say," by Maureen N. McLane (FSG)
    As with her previous collection, “Mz N: the serial, A Poem-in-Episodes,” the writing here is breezy and inviting but also rich and far-reaching. The speaker considers both global and personal concerns, among them politics, sex, the natural world and the divine presence. Many of the poems are so lovely that one notices their phrasing and pacing first, and then their deeper layers.