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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 29, 14

Today I pumped in the Atlanta airport women’s restroom / At the sink while ppl walked past / And I wore one of those bras for hands free pumping / Which also meant I wore a tinge of shame I knew I shouldn’t feel Read More  »

October 23, 14

He "died" "in the" battle, then fear / "And" sadness infected my milk / "My" baby "died," "on" "the" boardwalk / I "died" when "you" / Turned "your" car into "the" crowd, "I / Died" "in" a cage Read More  »

October 15, 14

First an army destroys a temple, the limbs of men and statues are demolished, their names disappear, the soldiers become a hero, then a number, then a statue is re-erected to pay homage to all the fallen, a parade drums by. Fireworks deafen our...Read More  »

October 8, 14

He knew that a planet, too, wanders, open, in a field of asters. And watched / the terror vanish, falling with the trees into darkness. You walk the dark to recall // a specific point in an argument in which you saw something delicate / fall apart...Read More  »

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  »

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