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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.

October 1, 14

Red sky on bad TV tonight / on furniture, on skin, / I’ll remember this like it was / yesterday somewhere else, / like I was another woman / who’d done time in a park / where pink repeating flowers were / birthed at the crowd... Read More  »

September 25, 14

I was immortal in my ability to be knocked down / and spread myself out to take the punch again. / In this sense I am still a mother. / I am forever taking the punch in the gut. / No one asked for my consent. Read More  »

September 17, 14

Unrested we said to others to leave / us pleased, not far along our track, still much // we want, half the slower good death / of cities too off your bristling map. Read More  »

September 10, 14

Blood moon whoever / calls you this lived stupidly / forgets god yearning Read More  »

September 3, 14

I don’t mean that vocabulary is arbitrary, but rather that artistic intent can manifest itself—can thrive, even—in the absence of an infinitude of possibilities, in the absence of total control. Read More  »

August 27, 14

I'll want to die first so you / can do this for me, though you'll / want to die first too. It's not / selfish to want to be said goodbye / to. Let's not argue. Let's both die / first together Read More  »

August 20, 14

No one refrains from repeating the gesture forever. / New York as seen from a plane / Writing its name in the sky. / What once appeared to be litter is revealed / As a series of glacial deposits / Artists have doctored Read More  »

August 13, 14

All die, I’ll die / of breathing if I don’t die of holding someone / else’s breath, the downy vultures know; sunbathing // poor in Alexandrian authority offering / to do anything, give anything, Read More  »

August 6, 14

His mother passed away, / cold errant, / in the cardboard container, / going begging / with a good shiny pen. / See what was so good about it. Read More  »

July 30, 14

Words for the wind were filled with trees // I was filled with a feeling I couldn’t name /I knew I would never be seeing her again: the girl with the shy tuck to her head, in the folkloric / embroidered dress Read More  »