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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 Robert Fernandez, Heather Christle, and Cathy Park Hong.

We're Now Open for Submissions!

The PEN Poetry Series is open for submissions for the month of May. Please submit up to five poems in a single Word or PDF file. On the first page of your submission, include a bio and any other relevant information about the poems. Simultaneous submissions are welcomed and encouraged, and we are only considering previously unpublished work. 

Click here to submit »


May 20, 15

Information doesn’t need to be true / to grow itself in your body like a peach / & be given as food to whoever, much later / What the world is / is making currency / from an ever-expanding meaningfulness / that carries no weight Read More  »

May 13, 15

u daughter of geechee gods / u femme no longer loving / the butch on top of her, u queer / my nickel plated heaven: / boys with breasts / & moustache / girls with hips / & apple Read More  »

May 6, 15

something’s about to be sawed / in the narrow stone alley between / the church convent and our bordering bed / of Double Late tulips opening / now too wide to go on living. Read More  »

April 30, 15

Tearfully, we bid farewell to poetry series guest editors Robert Fernandez, Heather Christle, and Cathy Park Hong, who have worked tirelessly over the past year to feature work from some of the most thrilling poets writing today. Read More  »

April 29, 15

Not too many jokes, and even worse, / the ones that do come up won’t be so funny, more like / saltines, welcome when there’s nothing else around. / When it’s over, you won’t be any richer. / The English language will endure this poem. / Enough with...Read More  »

April 22, 15

Mother, I am darkness. / Since the morning of the old / when Adam and Eve rose from grass, / I have been the long body’s sorrow. // Children sing like birds / and bloom like flowers / on the shining street. / In the sunlight, there are shining...Read More  »

April 20, 15

I was smaller then / One road went through me / No airport / I drove him home / There had been a wreck / On the interstate / I sat in traffic / My wallet on the seat / In between my legs. Read More  »

April 8, 15

The fishermen who scale and gut their catch / discover a river in the bellies of the fish. // In the river shines a sandbar where some boys play soccer. Read More  »

April 1, 15

I waver / and fade / if you close // The door / The night could last forever / Leave the sun // Shine out / and drink a toast / To never // death runs clear / like blood like of that ghost / who lives / it’s not an error Read More  »

March 26, 15

The pirate is the child of the man. The child of the man tells a tale. The tale entails counting. Counting relies on natural numbers. Natural numbers do not include pi nor can they represent its value. The pirate does not know the value of pi. Read More  »