The Academy of American Poets Announces Twelve Guest Editors for its Poem-a-Day Series in 2018

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Dec 12 2017

New York, NY (December 12, 2017)—The Academy of American Poets is excited to announce that it has invited twelve new guest editors to each curate a month of Poem-a-Day in 2018. This new direction for the series is an opportunity to involve poets with wide-ranging expertise and editorial perspectives. Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily poetry series sharing previously unpublished poems by today's poets. Close to 160,000 readers now subscribe to the email version of the series, with a growing number signing up each week. The series reaches an additional 300,000 readers daily through, social media, and syndication making it one of the largest platforms in the United States for a poet to share new work.

Readers interested in signing up for the free series, which highlights classic poems on weekends, can do so here:

“The poets we’ve invited to help us lead Poem-a-Day in the year ahead represent some of the most exciting and interesting voices in contemporary poetry, not to mention these poets are model literary citizens. In their work, they have been wonderful champions of others, demonstrating a generosity of spirit we admire and appreciate working with. We’re grateful for their joining our Poem-a-Day team and helping to showcase the work of other poets and the breadth of American poetry today,” said Jennifer Benka, executive director of the Academy of American Poets.

The twelve guest editors are:


Kaveh Akbar is the founding editor of Divedapper. His poems have recently appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The New York Times, The Nation, and elsewhere. His first book, Calling a Wolf a Wolf (2017), was published by Alice James Books in the United States and Penguin in the United Kingdom. The recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, Akbar was born in Tehran, Iran, and teaches in the MFA program at Purdue University and in the low-residency MFA program at Randolph College.


Dawn Lundy Martin is the author of four books of poems: Good Stock Strange Blood (Coffee House Press, 2017), Life in a Box Is a Pretty Life (Nightboat Books, 2015), which won the Lambda Literary Award; A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering (University of Georgia Press, 2007), selected by Carl Phillips for the 2007 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and Discipline (Nightboat Books, 2011), selected by Fanny Howe for the 2009 Nightboat Books Poetry Prize.

A cofounder of the Third Wave Foundation in New York, a national grant making organization led by young women and transgender youth, which focuses on social justice activism, she is also a member of the Black Took Collective, a group of experimental black poets embracing critical theory about gender, race, and sexuality. She is currently a professor in the writing program at the University of Pittsburgh, where she directs the Center for African American Poetry and Politics.


Meghan O'Rourke is the author of the poetry collections Sun in Days (W. W. Norton, 2017), Once (W. W. Norton, 2011), and Halflife (W. W. Norton, 2007), which was a finalist for both the Paterson Poetry Prize and Britain’s Forward First Book Prize. She is also the author of the memoir The Long Goodbye (Riverhead Books, 2011). She began her career as one of the youngest editors in the history of The New Yorker. Since then, she has served as culture editor and literary critic for Slate as well as poetry editor and advisory editor for The Paris Review. Her essays, criticism, and poems have appeared in Slate, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, Redbook, Vogue, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, and Best American Poetry.  She lives in Brooklyn.

April (National Poetry Month)

Tracy K. Smith is the poet laureate of the United States. She is the author of four poetry collections, including Wade in the Water, forthcoming from Graywolf Press in April 2018. Her debut collection, The Body’s Question (Graywolf Press, 2003), won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize in 2002. Her second book, Duende (Graywolf Press, 2007), won the 2006 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and Life on Mars (Graywolf Press, 2011), won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.


Matthew Shenoda is the author of Tahrir Suite: Poems (TriQuarterly Books, 2014), winner of the 2015 Arab American Book Award; Seasons of Lotus, Seasons of Bone (BOA Editions, 2009), and Somewhere Else (Coffee House Press, 2005), winner of a 2006 American Book Award and named a debut book of the year by Poets & Writers Magazine. A founding editor of the African Poetry Book Fund, he is the Dean of Academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Special Advisor to the President at Columbia College Chicago where he is also professor of English and creative writing. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.


D. A. Powell is the author of five books, including Chronic (Graywolf Press, 2009) and Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys (Graywolf, 2012) recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. His honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America and the Kingsley Tufts Prize. He teaches at the University of San Francisco.


Adrian Matejka’s most recent poetry collection is Map to the Stars (Penguin Press, 2017). His book The Big Smoke (Penguin Press, 2013) won the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He is also the author of  Mixology (Penguin, 2009), which was a winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series, and The Devil’s Garden (Alice James Books, 2003), which received the 2002 New York/New England Book Award. He will be the Indiana State Poet Laureate starting in 2018 and lives in Bloomington, Indiana.


Evie Shockley is the author of four books: semiautomatic (Wesleyan University Press, 2017); the new black (Wesleyan University Press, 2011), which received the 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry; a half-red sea (Carolina Wren Press, 2006); and the critical study Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (University of Iowa Press, 2011). She was coeditor of the poetry journal jubilat from 2004 to 2007. Currently, she is creative writing editor for Feminist Studies and teaches African American literature and creative writing at Rutgers University–New Brunswick in New Jersey.


Carmen Giménez Smith is the author of a memoir and six poetry collections, including Milk and Filth (University of Arizona Press, 2013), a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry. She was awarded an American Book Award for her memoir, Bring Down the Little Birds (University of Arizona Press, 2010), and the Juniper Prize for Poetry for her collection Goodbye, Flicker (University of Massachusetts Press, 2012). She also coedited Angels of the Americlypse: New [email protected] Writing (Counterpath Press, 2014), an anthology of contemporary Latinx writing. She now serves on the planning committee for CantoMundo and as the publisher of Noemi Press. Her next collection of poems, Cruel Futures, will be issued by the City Lights Spotlight Series in 2018. Be Recorder will be published by Graywolf Press in 2019. She is professor of English at Virginia Tech and with Stephanie Burt, poetry editor of The Nation.


Ross Gay is the author of Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kingsley Tufts Award; Bringing the Shovel Down (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011); and Against Which (Cavankerry Press, 2006). A founding editor, with Karissa Chen and Patrick Rosal, of the online sports magazine Some Call it Ballin,’ and an editor of the chapbook presses Q Avenue and Ledge Mule Press, he teaches at Indiana University and in Drew University’s low-residency MFA program in poetry and poetry in translation. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana.


Don Mee Choi was born in Seoul and came to the United States via Hong Kong. She is the author of Hardly War (Wave Books, 2016), The Morning News Is Exciting (Action Books, 2010), a chapbook, Petite Manifesto (Vagabond, 2014), and the pamphlet, Freely Frayed (Wave Books, 2014). She has received a Whiting Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, and the Lucien Stryk Translation Prize. Her most recent translations of Kim Hyesoon, a contemporary South Korean poet, are Poor Love Machine (Action Books, 2016) and Autobiography of Death (forthcoming from New Directions). She is currently coediting with Joshua Beckman a book of Yi Sang’s poems and prose for Wave Books.


Rigoberto González is the author of four poetry collections: Unpeopled Eden (Four Way Books, 2013), winner of the Lambda Literary Award and the 2014 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets; Black Blossoms (Four Way Books, 2011); Other Fugitives and Other Strangers (Tupelo Press, 2006); and So Often the Pitcher Goes to Water Until It Breaks (University of Illinois Press, 1999), which was chosen by the poet Ai for the National Poetry Series. González is also the author of nine books of prose, including two bilingual children’s books. He is the editor of Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing (University of Arizona Press, 2010). A contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine, he is professor of English at Rutgers–Newark in New Jersey. He lives in New York City.

About the Academy of American Poets

The Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. The organization produces, the world’s largest publicly funded website for poets and poetry; National Poetry Month; the popular Poem-a-Day series; American Poets magazine; Teach This Poem and other resources for K-12 educators; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events.

The Academy of American Poets is part of a national poetry coalition working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds.