Featured Poetry

2017 Award for New Poets: Love poem with a knife by Kara Jackson

By Kara Jackson | January 19, 2018

When we envision emerging poets to support, Kara Jackson is it—”Love poem with a knife” was selected by guest judge Tyehimba Jess as second place and winner of the $300 prize. The power of language is so comfortably displayed in…

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Poetry: Two Poems by Stacy Boe Miller

By Stacy Boe Miller | January 12, 2018

These two poems make secrets feel familiar. Stacy Boe Miller archives moments here, in “Hollow” and “Boil Down”—small, intimate moments of childhood, of death and love and the body, knocking together like pearls on a string you’d wear to a…

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2017 Award for New Poets: deciduous qween, IV by Matty Layne Glasgow

By Matty Layne Glasgow | January 5, 2018

Selected by Tyehimba Jess as the second runner up for the Award for New Poets, Matty Layne Glasgow’s poem playfully bristles between fragility and loving violence. Simple in conceit, complex in execution, “deciduous qween, IV” is a treat for lovers,…

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2017 Award for New Poets: Souvenir by Todd Smith

By Todd Smith | December 29, 2017

We are so pleased to share with you the winning poem of the 2017 Award for New Poets—”Souvenir,” selected by guest judge Tyehimba Jess, explores with trembling sincerity the fragility of family, and love, and self. Todd Smith has won…

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Poetry: Two Poems by Momtaza Mehri

By Momtaza Mehri | December 13, 2017

When poems carry as much raw energy as these two by Momtaza Mehri, we feel the joy of riding language like a wild horse—all instinct and reaction and emotion on the edge, one joy to the next, with hardly a…

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Poetry: The Monsters Are Due— by Jennifer Givhan

By Jennifer Givhan | December 8, 2017

Here, Jennifer Givhan lays bare a particular American anxiety, in all it’s ambiguity, in all its banal suburbanness. “The Monsters Are Due” is about motherhood and childhood and Americanhood—a reminder that once eyes are open, we have to fight to…

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Poetry: The Whale by Cassandra Farrin

By Cassandra Farrin | December 1, 2017

Cassandra Farrin’s poem rustles with the sound of waves and devils. “The Whale” is exactly how you make surprising a literary figure so well known as to be automatically cliche in lesser hands. Let the lines fill your mouth with…

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Poetry: Hiroshima, Japan, 1945 by Katie Bickham

By Katie Bickham | November 24, 2017

Katie Bickham’s “Hiroshima, Japan, 1945” is a masterclass in characterization within a poem. Yoshiko lives and breathes with real, genuine depth across the 36 lines—and when a poem works this hard to give us a character so delightful, wisdom is…

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Poetry: I Guess We’ll Have to Be Secretly in Love by Rosebud Ben-oni

By Rosebud Ben-Oni | November 17, 2017

Rosebud Ben-Oni’s love poem curls into itself, thematically and visually—put the anaphoric “to” on your tongue and let her generosity of language and image carry you into equine affection. There’s so much given here, and where a lesser poem would…

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Poetry: Prayer by Carolyn Oliver

By Carolyn Oliver | November 10, 2017

Some poems evoke an old voice inside—maybe manufactured by school, by history, by Dickinson—that leaps from word to word with unexpected vitality and novelty. Carolyn Oliver’s “Prayer”—a Golden Shovel, the form invented by Terrance Hayes—presses “the long lush dark” into…

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