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.
Poets.org: 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.
Poets.org: If you could direct readers to one poem in our collection at Poets.org 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.
Poets.org: 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.