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PEN Poetry Series

Once a week, the PEN Poetry Series publishes work by emerging and established writers from coast to coast. The series is edited by Danniel Schoonebeek, along with guest editors TC Tolbert, Dawn Lundy Martin, and Brian Blanchfield. Subscribe to the PEN Poetry Series mailing list and have poems delivered to your email as soon as they're published. Submissions are currently closed, but please feel free to familiarize yourself with our submission guidelines. Our current response time is about 3-6 months. Please follow up with [email protected] if you haven't heard from us after six months. 

February 10, 16

What is your provenance / where did you suffer / what is your affiliation / how are you acquainted with industry / what will you bring to our guild / what are the qualities of a good serf / what is your mission in life and could / you sell me this...Read More  »

February 3, 16

I want more silence / I want more epics / when we drive / to the ocean / we have everything / we need / we name everything / we see / scream into silos / dying barns / while the green / veins into me / then opens / like a stent Read More  »

January 27, 16

I have / a lover who has / fallen in love with / an interminable nymph // who keeps him / and his statues / in an underwater cave // I have / brought my beloved / my promising sculptor // to Rome where he does nothing but drink / himself to sleep...Read More  »

January 21, 16

Here a thousand birds dispute / the fresh blood on the sidewalk / the battle line, how it was drawn / how the sides were chosen / had there been a trial / Or any doubt and if so / how it was framed / did the shot hang in the air and who / was there...Read More  »

January 13, 16

if the other actors believe you’re the king… so I sang / alas, alas for you as “Him,” again, again at the strain of my range. / the King dies every year, again, again for you / but who seeks to save shall lose, thus encore! the merchandise...Read More  »

January 6, 16

My south dies for essential liberty. // They make the mud there. / Was always death. // The house at the end of the mind. / Our school cafeteria made from a bomb shelter. // Trees: magnolia, poplar, etc. // When my destruction stops I start, I...Read More  »

December 29, 15

The middle-aged men took me into the forest and took turns wagging their tongues at me, but I couldn’t see the snake tattoos on their backs. I just saw their faces. What kind of person will you grow up to be, tut tut. I was mopping my body when the...Read More  »

December 23, 15

I wonder what your house is like— / the path leading to your front door, / clothes drying on a balcony. / On TV I watch shows about travel / like the one on last night / with people buried up to / their knees in snow somewhere. / Then the same...Read More  »

December 17, 15

There was a slowness of heart. / There was swelling of lungs. / There were Latin terms for everything. / There was walking around in the ward. / There was a stopped procedure. / There were 1500 cc. lost. / There were Greek words w/ x’s: pharynx,...Read More  »

December 9, 15

Sarah, I want to tell you that we defeated the bid / for the building of the petroleum tank / me and the kids and Rob and Mike and hundreds from town and the county, / did the People’s Microphone to let everyone know about the hearings, / and we...Read More  »