Exceptional Poetry From Around the Web

Here’s a short collection of some of the best new poems hitting online journals. Enjoy!

“What Use Is Knowing Anything If No One Is Around”

by Kaveh Akbar in The New Yorker

“There has always been a swarm/ of hungry ghosts orbiting my body—even now,/ I can feel them plotting in their luminous diamonds/ of fog, each eying a rib or a thighbone.”

Kaveh Akbar’s latest poem meets the high expectations his previous work has set and The New Yorker is lucky to have him. With “What Use”, we’re beginning to get the feeling that Akbar is quickly turning into the Walt Whitman of this generation, and just may leave an equally affective legacy. (@KavehAkbar, @NewYorker)

“The Glass Door”

by Max Ritvo in Guernica

“The door is crying drops of water/ that knew my face once—/ press your face against my face/ in the glass.”

This poem by Max Ritvo pulls close to the plain experience of living, and twists deeper in with its dark imagery. The normal human moment is laced with deeper emotions and significance than you’d be right to expect. (@MaxRitvo, @GuernicaMag)


by Carol Ann Duffy in The Guardian

“In which her body was a question-mark/ querying her lies; her mouth a ballot-box that bit the hand that fed.”

Written in response to the recent U.K. elections, “Campaign” is an excellent example of how poetry is rising on the back of political angst. (@guardian)


by Leslie Williams in Image Journal

“With more persistent stitchery/ I might breach the red intelligence of berries”

This poem turns so much on narrow image of stitchery—dragons and passions and birds and God. Williams has accomplished the difficult feat of writing about faith without writing about faith. (@Image_Journal)

“In Whose Image?” and “Invisible Architecture”

by Alison C. Rollins in The Offing

“You should never trust a poem that ends with a/ question Never trust a daughter/ waiting at the window/ for her father to come home”

Alison C. Rollins writes beautifully of the body, of fathers, of colors and language and the sea. No wonder she’s on of the 2016 recipients of the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship. (@theOffingMag)

“Ive Got God Watching Under Me”

by Nkosi Nkululeko in Winter Tangerine

“but it’s just me waiting, above the gelid body,/ patient for the streetlight to tell me death/ will not follow me”

Nkosi Nkululeko delivers a solid poem that does it’s work clearly, simply—neither vulgar or pedantic. By way of effortless bodytalk, the poem invites us to peer into darker, more suggestive truths. (@musicman_nkosi, @WTangerine)

“I dream of walking through crowds of men and wake up relieved I’m still alive”

by Prairie Faul in Apogee

“A clavicle/ Is often mistaken/ For a shelf”

With sparing language, an elaborate title, and trisyllabic lines, Prairie Faul crafts an incredibly dense sense of tension. There are no violent images, yet violence is as present as the blank space surrounding the words. (@MotsduPrairie, @ApogeeJournal)

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