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.

Last week, we kicked off National Poetry Month with the first round of picks, as each city’s poetry ambassador took a look at the exciting work happening in their city. This week we continue as the first selected poets pick some of their local favorites.

In Boston, poetry ambassador Kristen Evans picked Sandra Lim’s “Certainty,” and this week, Lim picks a poem by Fanny Howe that offers the following token: “Loneliness feels so much like shame, it always seems to need a little more time on its own.”

read the 826 Boston poems


Chicago’s David Welch picked a poem by Hannah Gamble, who has chosen Joel Craig’s “Rational Rational,” which she calls “a stuffed-full poem that ends with an inviting beauty and calm.”

read the 826Chi poems


Kyle Dargan, of 826DC, started the chain off by picking Kenneth Carroll’s “The Haint of Washington.” This week Carroll chooses Reuben Jackson’s “Untitled,” a haunting reimagining of the night Trayvon Martin was killed.

read the 826DC poems


After last week’s “I Am Alive in Los Angeles,” by Mike “The Poet” Sonksen, chosen by 826LA’s Iris De Anda, we continue with another poem grounded in the sights and sounds of the City of Angels—“Lost in Los (Angeles)” by Marisela Norte.

read the 826LA poems


In Michigan, Catherine Calabro and Hannah Rose Neuhauser picked Casey Rocheteau’s “Two Byrds,” and this week Rocheteau picks Tarfia Faizullah's "The Interviewer Acknowledges Grief."

read the 826michigan poems


Last week, 826nyc poetry ambassador Rachel Eliza Griffits picked Nick Flynn’s “The Incomprehensibility.” This week, Flynn picks a poem by actress and author Amber Tamblyn that he calls “incantatory, yet more condemnation than praise.”

read the 826NYC poems


Finally, at 826 Valencia, Dean Rader picked Jennifer Foerster’s lyrical “Relic,” and this week, Foerster picks Cedar Sigo’s “Seriously Undressed,” which she calls “an elegant tango of rush and resistance.”

read the 826 Valencia poems

Remember to check Stanza each Wednesday this month for the new poem selections from each city.

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