The Poetry Coalition is a national alliance of organizations dedicated to working together to promote the cultural relevance of poetry and the important contribution poets makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds. Each March, members present programming across the country on a theme of social importance, which thus far has included "Poetry and Migration" and "Poetry and the Body." The Poetry Society of America invited a group of poets to respond to this year's theme "Poetry & Democracy."

Support is provided by the Academy of American Poets through a grant from the Ford Foundation. 

Poetry & Democracy

Twice now, a man has acknowledged the general success of my work (success in terms of achievement of my poems, not the achievement of my poems in the world) before stating that he didn't feel that my poems were "written for [him]." 

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Poetics of a Post-Fact Nation

In America, a thing we like to tell ourselves of late is that we're living in a post-fact world. Between a President with an antagonistic relationship to reality, foreign operatives trolling our social media, and an ever-multiplying crop of suspect news sites, facts seem to keep falling through the cracks. 

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Scorpion

I was born into law   
like law remade

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apocalipsis / apocalypse

cierta discusión sobre el fin del mundo y el ahora,
siendo cual sea nuestro modo de defender
a los que no estamos en los trenes
para morir con el pie que aguanta el bulto,
presagiando que las yerbas
se enredarán sobre las tumbas de nuestros hijos.

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In Defense of Predictability

I read a picture book to my son about a father crossing the border with his own son titled "La Frontera."[1] My son just turned one and is too young to know what a border is, or that frontera means border in Spanish, or that there are two languages I am speaking to him, or that they are words that point to something outside of this small world made up of only us two, as he nestles himself next to me in his skinny pajamas before brushing his teeth and going to bed. 

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In Line to Vote on Our Future Climate

Years from now—
               after the ice caps
                              & the asteroid;
after the stars have died

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from Coosa

Writing from a lone corner of the nation
I no longer recognize the difference...

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A Remembrance for David Wong Louie

My dear friend the great writer David Wong Louie died on September, 19, 2018 after a long battle with throat cancer. His first book of brilliant stories called Pangs of Love, will be reissued by the University of Washington Press in 2019.  I believe that it is one of the best story collections published in the late 20th century and is an Asian American classic. I scribbled this prayer for David, some of which was read at his memorial on October, 26, 2018.

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Written After a Massacre in the Year 2018

Walk past the massacre as if nothing has happened

Ignore the corpses in the plaza

Look away from the tanks when they run over the bodies

Here come the ambulances

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Aria from the Arena

Everything was peachy in the beginning: just me and one word at a time, messing around, arguing and making up again. It was, as with all new romances, a source of excitement. 2009. Jeezy's president was Black and his Lambo was blue. I voted for the Black dude, the blue candidate the past fall: it was my first time voting for anything of consequence, a freshman in college who was hopeful as hell, certain the jobs would all be back by the time I finished school and so everybody's I-banker and consultant dreams wouldn't need deferral.

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With Friends

Even the apocalypse sounds better
       when I imagine it with friends

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Poetry and Democracy

Over the course of the history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, many writers have had files created in their name for many reasons, ranging from suspicion of being a Communist and having "anti-US sentiment" (Larry Neal); of being an anti-Vietnam protester (Susan Sontag); for publicly deciding to write a book about the FBI (James Baldwin); and supporting Black writers and entrepreneurship (J. Edgar Hoover's investigation of Black bookstores). Who determines if this small essay is flaggable for investigation, and how could said investigation possibly secure safety if it simultaneously finds suspicious an execution of the first amendment? 

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