Bettering Books

Bettering Books was founded in 2017, with the publication of the first of the Bettering American Poetry anthology series. Bettering Books may expand in other directions as a publisher in the years to come, but for now our focus is on curating the anthology series. Our only goal is to allow this series to morph & dazzle in ways that we cannot anticipate. 

If you are an educator who wants to teach any of these books, if you are a bookseller buying in bulk, or if the prices make these books inaccessible to you: please email us at to inquire about discounted rates. 

-Sarah & Amy & Héctor


Bettering American Poetry 2015

Soaring and raw, these poems 'better' American Poetry by battering down racial pieties of our white neoliberal nation. This anthology is an explosive Cri de Coeur of these times.

- Cathy Park Hong, author of Engine Empire and poetry editor of The New Republic

Resistance and action have always been key elements of progress, and I'm so encouraged that Bettering American Poetry exists and super humbled to be a part of it. We need this poetry, these voices, this perspective—and the poems are just really freaking good! 

- Tommy Pico, author of Nature Poem and the forthcoming Junk (2018)

Bettering American Poetry is verse of the most urgent kind. In this moment of rising fear and resentment these poets write with a deep regard for all peoples. This is the kind of work that will take us through the next 4 years and the next 100. 

- Nate Marshall, author of Blood Percussion and co-editor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop


Bettering American Poetry, Volume 2

This anthology and its squad of editors better American poetry by gathering a diverse formation of poets who inspire us to read across difference, speak against power, and breathe through struggle.

-Craig Santos Perez, author of from unincorporated territory [lukao]

Bettering American Poetry is an explosive revelation of the arriving generation of American poets—arriving from every part of the landscape, bringing energies, gifts, and ways of seeing and saying of every kind. Plunge into its pages. See/hear the news of who we are.

-Jane Hirshfield, author of The Beauty and Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World

Thank you, editors, thank you, authors for utterly rearranging my cells. This is the only anthology with the word "American" I want to be a part of. A series I will return to, giddy. How desperately I need to experience how big a poem can be—what a gift you've given us—I'm beaming at you, poets—brutal and honey, whiplash and cry.

-TC Tolbert, author of Gephyromania and co-editor of Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics

Some anthologies are important. Some are important and necessary. Resistance on every level to what is considered normal and acceptable is both important and necessary. It is the only way to breathe. This gathering helps us breathe. We need all the help we can get.

-John Yau, author of The Wild Children of William Bake (2017) and the forthcoming Bijoux in the Dark (2018)

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More Projects Coming Soon!