The Academy of American Poets invited twelve guest editors to each curate a month of poems in 2019. Read a short Q&A with Maggie Smith, listen to an interview on WNYC, and browse the curation for March 2019 below. How did you approach curating Poem-a-Day for March?

Maggie Smith: I started by soliciting poets whose work excites me, some of whom have one book and some of whom have many. Even though I approached writers I already know and admire, writers whose books are on my shelves, I was not prepared for the poems I’d receive—formally varied, challenging, resonant, and deeply human. I can’t wait for readers to receive them. If you could direct readers to one poem in our collection at that you haven’t curated, what would it be and why?

MS: Readers should spend some time with “OBIT” by Victoria Chang, a poem from her current project inspired by the death of her mother. In this poem, as in the others—all titled “OBIT”—what’s mourned isn’t only a person, but the trappings of the life of the speaker. I love how these poems show how when a person dies, they take a whole world with them. I can’t wait to read them all together in book form. What are you working on now in your writing, teaching, or publishing life?

MS: I’m pulling together a collection of poetry—what will be my fourth book. I’m also working on a new nonfiction project that I’m too superstitious to talk about just yet.

Read more about Maggie Smith, plus poems.

Listen to an interview with Maggie on WNYC's All of It with Alison Stewart: