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PEN American Center

PEN Poetry Series

Once a week, the PEN Poetry Series publishes work by emerging and established writers from coast to coast. Subscribe to the Poetry Series mailing list and have poems delivered to your e-mail as soon as they’re published. The series is edited by Danniel Schoonebeek, along with guest editors Shane McCrae, Maggie Nelson, and C.D. Wright.

April 10, 14

I do not censor my work though I do feel intruded on, and it’s an issue both of privacy and of freedom of expression. Self-censoring and self-surveillance are power’s goons, and the more you have to lose (or think you have to lose) the more afraid...Read More  »

April 9, 14

Having felt the world tremble / And having known // Ruth / In alien corn, / Exposed and at the mercy / Of masters— // Having seen / And having stood / Where history / Clutches our necks, // Having seen / This, / What then / Is next? Read More  »

April 2, 14

The chained man was moaning about how he had gone from office to office to see what the Lord had to offer. / And all I have now, he sang, is a chain and a basket full of fingernails. Read More  »

March 26, 14

Wanted to tell you of the psychic witch who found my life with one eye / though we weren’t speaking then and here you’re dead. / I’ve put a period to end each thought that won’t end. Read More  »

March 21, 14

Soren Stockman reads three poems, "Lustral," "Afternoon in Wyoming," and "Doctor," which appeared in the PEN Poetry Series in March 2014. Read More  »

March 19, 14

My lust comes home. Two skeletons / that cannot possibly speak, and don’t, / do not, as I comfort her. The silver buttons on her dress / mellifluous. My fingers in her mouth. Read More  »

March 12, 14

Whereas it could take as long as 16 seconds between / the trigger pulled in Las Vegas and the Hellfire missile / landing in Mazar-e-Sharif, after which they will ask / Did we hit a child? No. A dog. they will answer themselves; Read More  »

March 5, 14

Cold spring and a redwing blackbird. / Norway maple in a litter of seed keys. / Inconvenient, the needs of the soul. // Cold spring. Fresh paint on a fence. / Siberian elm in its first-year’s growth. / Both are degenerate: felon and cop. Read More  »

February 26, 14

Like everyone, I’ll watch indefinitely while / the meant-to-be lovers stay a lip’s width apart / or a war zone, their shadows overlapping / like animals around a dried-up watering hole. Read More  »