Since 2018, 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new guest editors to each curate a month of Poem-a-Day, the original and only daily poetry series sharing previously unpublished poems by today’s poets.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 2021 cohort of guest editors are all award-winning poets who represent wide-ranging expertise and editorial perspectives, hailing from California to Texas to Michigan to Georgia. Learn more about them below.
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.
Rachel Eliza Griffiths is a poet, visual artist, and novelist. Her hybrid collection of poetry and photography, Seeing the Body (W.W. Norton), was published in 2020. Other poetry collections by Griffiths include Lighting the Shadow (Four Way Books, 2015), The Requited Distance (Sheep Meadow Press, 2011), Mule & Pear (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2011), and Miracle Arrhythmia (Willow Books, 2010). Also a visual artist, Griffiths is the creator of Poets on Poetry (P.O.P), an intimate series of interviews, which gathers more than fifty contemporary poets together in conversation to discuss poetry in relation to individual human experience and culture. Griffiths is a recipient of fellowships including Cave Canem, Kimbilio, Millay Colony, Vermont Studio Center, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and Yaddo. Her forthcoming debut novel, Promise, will be published by Random House. She lives in New York City.
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.
April (National Poetry Month)
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.
Sumita Chakraborty is a poet, essayist, and scholar. She is the author of Arrow (Alice James Books, 2020) and the in-progress academic monograph Grave Dangers, a study of poetics, ethics, and death in the Anthropocene. The recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation and Kundiman, Chakraborty was shortlisted for a Forward Prize for Best Single Poem by the Forward Arts Foundation. She is the Helen Zell Visiting Professor in Poetry at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she teaches in literary studies and in creative writing.
Anaïs Duplan is a trans* poet, curator, and artist. He is the author of the book of essays Blackspace: On the Poetics of an Afrofuture (Black Ocean, 2020), the poetry collection Take This Stallion (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2016), and the chapbook Mount Carmel and the Blood of Parnassus (Monster House Press, 2017). His video works have been exhibited by Flux Factory, Daata Editions, the 13th Baltic Triennial in Lithuania, and will be exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art in L.A in 2021. As an independent curator, he has facilitated curatorial projects in Chicago, Boston, Santa Fe, and Reykjavík. He was a 2017-2019 joint Public Programs fellow at the Museum of Modern Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem. In 2016, he founded the Center for Afrofuturist Studies, an artist residency program for artists of color, based at Iowa City’s artist-run organization Public Space One.
R. Erica Doyle is the author of proxy (Belladonna Books, 2013), winner of the Poetry Society of America’s 2014 Norma Farber First Book Award. A Cave Canem fellow, Doyle has received grants and awards from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Hurston/Wright Foundation, and the New York Foundation for the Arts, among others. She lives in Brooklyn.
Kazim Ali is the author of numerous collections poetry and prose, most recently The Voice of Sheila Chandra (Alice James Books, 2020) and a memoir of his Canadian childhood, Northern Light: Power, Land, and the Memory of Water (Milkweed Editions, 2021). His books encompass multiple genres, including Sky Ward (Wesleyan University Press, 2013), winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry and The Far Mosque (Alice James Books, 2005), winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award, as well as the cross-genre texts Bright Felon (Wesleyan University Press, 2009) and Wind Instrument (Spork Press, 2014). He is also a translator of Marguerite Duras, Sohrab Sepehri, Ananda Devi, Mahmoud Chokrollahi and others, and an editor of several anthologies and books of criticism. After a career in public policy and organizing, Ali taught at various colleges and universities, including Oberlin College, Davidson College, St. Mary's College of California, and Naropa University. He is currently a Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego.
Rosa Alcalá is the author of the poetry collections MyOTHER TONGUE (Futurepoem, 2017), The Lust of Unsentimental Waters (Shearsman Books, 2012), and Undocumentaries (Shearsman Books, 2010). The recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, and runner-up for a PEN Translation Award, she is the editor and co-translator of New & Selected Poems of Cecilia Vicuña (Kelsey Street Press, 2018). Her poems have been translated into Spanish and Portuguese, with Montenegrin translations forthcoming. She is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Texas at El Paso, where she teaches in its Bilingual MFA Program.
Safiya Sinclair is the author of Cannibal (University of Nebraska Press, 2016), winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award. Sinclair’s other honours include a Pushcart Prize, fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Elizabeth George Foundation, MacDowell, Yaddo, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Literary Arts Department at Brown University. Her memoir, How to Say Babylon, is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster.
Kimberly Blaeser is the author of five collections of poetry, including Résister en dansant/Ikwe-niimi: Dancing Resistance (ED Lisieres, 2020); Copper Yearning (Holy Cow! Press, 2019), winner of the Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award from the Council of Wisconsin Writers and one of Tribal College Journal's best Native Books in 2019; and Trailing You (Greenfield Review Press, 1994), winner of the Diane Decorah First Book Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas. She also edited Traces in Blood, Bone, and Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry, and her monograph Gerald Vizenor: Writing in the Oral Tradition was the first native-authored book-length study of an Indigenous author. Blaeser has received awards and fellowships from Wisconsin Arts Board, Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas, Wisconsin Humanities Council, Indian Community School Foundation, and Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters among others. The former Wisconsin poet laureate, Blaeser is an MFA faculty member for Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and a professor of English and Indigenous studies at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. In 2020, Blaeser founded the literary organization In-Na-Po—Indigenous Nations Poets. She is an editorial board member for the “American Indian Lives” series of the University of Nebraska Press and for the “Native American Series” of Michigan State University Press and serves on the boards of directors for the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters, and the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission. She lives in rural Wisconsin; and, for portions of each year, in a water-access cabin near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota.
Ilya Kaminsky is the author of Deaf Republic (Graywolf Press, 2019), winner of the Anisfield-Wolf and LA Times Book Awards and finalist for the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and TS Eliot Prize; Dancing in Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004), which received multiple awards including the Dorset Prize and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Metcalf Award; and Musica Humana (Chapiteau Press, 2002). Kaminsky’s awards and honors include the Lannan Literary Fellowship, the Whiting Writers’ Award, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship, the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award in Poetry, and a 2019 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2019, he received the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, which recognizes distinguished poetic achievement. In addition to his writing, Kaminsky is also an editor and translator of many other books, including Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva (Alice James Books, 2012) and The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry (Harper Collins, 2010). In the late 1990s, he co-founded Poets For Peace, an organization that sponsors poetry readings in the United States and abroad. He has also taught at San Diego State University and worked as a Law Clerk at the National Immigration Law Center and at Bay Area Legal Aid, helping the poor and homeless to overcome their legal difficulties. He holds the Margaret T. and Henry C. Bourne Jr Chair in Poetry and directs the [email protected] Program at Georgia Tech.