The Academy of American poets has invited twelve new guest editors to each curate a month of Poem-a-Day, the original and only daily poetry series sharing previously unpublished poems by today’s poets.
The 2020 cohort of guest editors, who include the current U.S. poet laureate, are all award-winning poets who represent wide-ranging expertise and editorial perspectives, hailing from California to Texas to Minnesota to North Carolina. Learn more about them, read their poetry, and browse the poems they curated for Poem-a-Day.
Meg Day received a PhD from the University of Utah, where they were a Steffensen-Cannon Fellow and poetry editor for Quarterly West. They are the author of Last Psalm at Sea Level (Barrow Street, 2014), winner of the Publishing Triangle’s Audre Lorde Award and a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. They are also coeditor of Laura Hershey: On the Life & Work of an American Master, published in 2019 as a part of The Unsung Masters Series through Pleaides Press. Day has received awards and fellowships from the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, the Lambda Literary Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship, Hedgebrook, the International Queer Arts Festival, and others. They teach at Franklin & Marshall College and live in Pennsylvania.
Roger Reeves is the author of King Me (Copper Canyon Press, 2013), winner of the Larry Levis Reading Prize, the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award, and a John C. Zacharis First Book Award. He is the recipient of a Whiting Award and a Pushcart Prize, as well as fellowships from Cave Canem, the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and Princeton University. An associate professor of poetry in the English Department at the University of Texas, Austin, Reeves's second collection of poetry is forthcoming from W. W. Norton.
Dana Levin is the author of four collections of poetry, including Banana Palace (Copper Canyon Press, 2016) and In the Surgical Theatre (Copper Canyon Press, 1999), which received the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award and which was selected by Louise Glück as the winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize. Levin has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and the Whiting Foundation, among others. She has previously taught at the University of New Mexico, Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and the College of Santa Fe. She currently serves as a distinguished writer in residence at Maryville University and lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
April (National Poetry Month)
Joy Harjo was appointed the new United States Poet Laureate in June 2019 and is the first Native American poet in the history of the position. She is a member of the Mvskoke/Creek Nation and belongs to Oce Vpofv. Harjo is the author of several books of poetry, including An American Sunrise (W. W. Norton, 2019); The Woman Who Fell From the Sky (W. W. Norton, 1994), which received the Oklahoma Book Arts Award; and In Mad Love and War (Wesleyan University Press, 1990), which received an American Book Award and the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award. Her memoir Crazy Brave (W. W. Norton, 2012) won the 2013 PEN Center USA literary award for creative nonfiction. Also a performer, Harjo plays saxophone and flutes with the Arrow Dynamics Band and solo; she previously played with the band Poetic Justice. Her other honors include the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award, the Jackson Poetry Prize, the PEN Open Book Award, the American Indian Distinguished Achievement in the Arts Award, The Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, among many others. She has also received fellowships from the Witter Bynner Foundation, The Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2019, Harjo was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. In addition to serving as U.S. Poet Laureate, Harjo directs For Girls Becoming, an arts mentorship program for young Mvskoke women, and is a founding board member of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Monica Youn received an MPhil from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She is the author of Blackacre (Graywolf Press, 2016), winner of the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America; Ignatz (Four Way Books, 2010), a finalist for the 2010 National Book Award in poetry; and Barter (Graywolf Press, 2003). Youn is the recipient of the Levinson Prize, as well as fellowships from the Library of Congress, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and Stanford University, among others. She is also known for her work as a lawyer specializing in election law. She currently teaches at Princeton University and is a member of the Racial Imaginary Institute. Youn lives in New York City.
Ari Banias is the author of Anybody (W. W. Norton, 2016), which was named a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Center USA Literary Award, and the chapbook A Symmetry (The Song Cave, 2018). He has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, The MacDowell Colony, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Stanford University, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Brian Blanchfield is the author of A Several World (Nightboat Books, 2014), which received the 2014 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and was longlisted for the National Book Award. He is also the author of Not Even Then (University of California Press, 2004) and Proxies: Essays Near Knowing (Nightboat Books, 2016), which was named Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly. Blanchfield is the recipient of a Whiting Award and a Howard Foundation Fellowship. He was a poetry editor at Fence and is the founder and host of Speedway and Swan Poetry Radio on KXCI in Tucson. He teaches at the University of Idaho and in the Bennington Writing Seminars and lives in Moscow, Idaho.
Fatimah Asghar is a poet, filmmaker, and educator. She is the author of If They Come For Us (One World/Random House, 2018) and the chapbook After (YesYes Books, 2015). A member of the Dark Noise Collective, Asghar has received fellowships from Kundiman, the Fulbright Foundation, and the Poetry Foundation. She is the writer and cocreator of the Emmy-nominated web series Brown Girls and lives in Chicago.
David Tomas Martinez is the author of Post Traumatic Hood Disorder (Sarabande Books, 2018) and Hustle (Sarabande Books, 2014), winner of the Devil's Kitchen Poetry Reading Award. A recipient of a Pushcart Prize and the Verlaine Poetry Prize, Martinez has received fellowships from CantoMundo, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Sasha Pimentel was born in the Philippines and raised in the United States and Saudi Arabia. She is the author of For Want of Water (Beacon Press, 2017), which was selected for the National Poetry Series by Gregory Pardlo, and Insides She Swallowed (West End Press, 2010), which received an American Book Award. She is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and was the Picador Guest Professor for Literature at Universität Leipzig in Germany. Pimentel currently teaches in the Bilingual MFA Program at the University of Texas, El Paso, where she lives.
Heid E. Erdrich is a poet, educator, and interdisciplinary artist. She is Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain and the author of numerous collections including Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media (Michigan State University Press, 2017), as well as the forthcoming Little Big Bully (Penguin Editions, 2020) and Verb Animate (Tinderbox Editions, 2020). She is the editor of New Poets of Native Nations (Graywolf Press, 2018) and coeditor of Sister Nations: Native American Women Writers on Community (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2002). She has received two Minnesota Book Awards, as well as fellowships and awards from the National Poetry Series, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, Bush Foundation, Loft Literary Center, First People’s Fund, and others. Erdrich directs Wiigwaas Press, an Ojibwe language publisher; teaches in the low-residency MFA Creative Writing Program of Augsburg University; and is the 2019 Distinguished Visiting Professor in Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, Morris.
Jane Hirshfield is a poet, translator, essayist, and editor. Her books of poetry include The Beauty: Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015), which was longlisted for the National Book Award, and Given Sugar, Given Salt (HarperCollins, 2001), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her ninth collection, Ledger, is forthcoming from Knopf in March 2020. She has edited and cotranslated books with Mariko Aratani and Robert Bly. Hirshfield’s honors include the Poetry Center Book Award, the Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Prize in American Literature, the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award, Columbia University's Translation Center Award, and the Commonwealth Club of California Poetry Medal, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Her work has been selected for seven editions of Best American Poetry and, in 2004, Hirshfield was awarded the seventieth Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement by the Academy of American Poets. She served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2012 to 2017, and in 2019 was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.