In honor of National Poetry Month, the Academy of American Poets has teamed up with 826 National to highlight and celebrate the work of poets in cities with 826 chapters: Ann Arbor/Detroit, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Each chapter selected a poetry ambassador, who selected a poem written by a local poet and wrote a short essay about it. That poet picked another, and the chain goes on. Every Wednesday in April, we will reveal the next round of selected poems.
Today kicks off week four of the project, following last week’s featured picks, from poets Julian Talamantez Brolaski, Sam Cornish, Olivia Cronk, Ramón García, Rachel McKibbens, and Lisa Pegram. This week we continue as those poets pick some of their own local favorites.
826CHI’s Olivia Cronk, picked last week with an excerpt from her book Skin Horse, chooses an excerpt from Ladan Osman’s The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony. Osman looks through the eyes of an eavesdropping child who attempts to find a simple solution to a complex problem in “The Key.”
In Washington, D.C., Lisa Pegram picks Melanie Henderson’s “His Corpse Was Beautiful,” a short, tragic poem with darkly evocative imagery that, Pegram says, “has haunted me since the first time I heard her read it.”
Ramón García, last week’s pick from 826LA, picks Terry Wolverton, who moves away from LA to present a poem on violence in Detroit in “Poem to the Detroit River.”
This week, from 826michigan, Tarfia Faizullah selects Diane Seuss’s “Song in My Heart,” about which she writes, "It is not obligation that drives the speaker in Diane’s poem, but the necessity of responsibility to the self."
In New York City, Rachel McKibbens picks “Killing the Form” by Camonghe Felix, which she says “challenges the reader to follow the speaker through the emotional and physical spirals sexual violence survivors, and more, specifically, women of color, experience regularly.”
Julian Talamantez Brolaski, who was picked last week by Cedar Sigo, continues 826 Valencia’s chain with a poem by Zoe Tuck, from her recent book Terror Matrix.
Remember to check Stanza next Wednesday for the final poem selections from each city.