A year ago, PEN Poetry Series editor Danniel Schoonebeek asked three poets to come aboard and help guest-edit the series. There names were Shane McCrae, Maggie Nelson, and C.D. Wright, and over the past year they helped PEN America feature work from some of the most thrilling poets writing today. They were PEN America’s second team of guest editors, carrying on a tradition that was first started by Ben Mirov, Amy King, and Ana Božičević, and below you can find a roundup of the work everyone featured over the last year, with links to the poems and each guest editor’s introduction of the work.

With a hanky in the air and mist in our eyes, we want to extend a huge and booming thanks to each of these editors. Without their dedication to poetry and the literary community, the PEN Poetry Series would not and could not be what it is today. 

Stay tuned for announcements about our new guest editors, whose work we’ll begin featuring in April 2014, along with short interviews with each editor.

Shane McCrae
Read three questions with Shane and his poem “Nursing the Master’s Children.”

McCrae’s picks:

Rank” – Aaron McCuolough
Three Poems – Dora Malech
Two Poems – Derek Gromadzki
Three Poems – Aracelis Girmay
Three Poems – Ryan Collins
Three Poems – Kiki Petrosino
Three Poems – Mary Hickman
Three Poems – Jennifer Kronovet
Three Poems – Montreaux Rotholtz
Four Poems – Marc Rahe
Four Poems – Jamaal May
Three Poems – Simone Kearney


Maggie Nelson
Read three questions with Maggie and an excerpt from Bluets.

Nelson’s picks:

Two Poems – Kirsty Singer
I Loved Earth Years Ago” – CA Conrad
Two Poems – Hoa Nguyen
Six Poems – Fred Moten
Two Poems – Cody-Rose Clevidence
Six Poems – Lily Mazzarella
Two Poems – Frances Richard
Spill Split” – T Fleischmann
from “Whereas” – Layli Long Soldier
Four Poems – Brian Blanchfield
A Kentucky of Mothers” – Dana Ward
from Cunt Norton – Dodie Bellamy

C.D. Wright
Read three questions with C.D. and her poem “Obscurity & Shelter.”

Wright’s picks:

Six Poems – Michael Keenan
Four Poems – Wong May
from “Dick” – Sam Truitt
from “The Waters” – Sampson Starkweather
Five Poems – Susan Scarlata
Seven Poems – Valerie Hsiung
from “Poses” – Genine Lentine
from “Vivarium” – Natasha 
A Song Called Shudder” – Joshua Marie Wilkinson
Agnes the Elephant” – Zachary Schomburg
Five Poems – Lisa Olstein

PEN America

Schoonebeek’s picks:

from Red Doc – Anne Carson
“Those Nights” and “History” – Frank Bidart
from “Agnes the Elephant” – Zachary Schomburg
Red Storm Days” – Joshua Edwards
from MW: A Field Guide to the Midwest – Dot Devota
Millennial” – Allyson Paty
Another Door” – Nick Sturm
One Way of Doing Battle” – Lisa Ciccarello
The Shaman of Ice Cream” – Sherman Alexie
Dawn, Third Shift” – Joe Hall
from “A is for Addis” – Anna Moschovakis
Elegy with Crop Duster” – Paul Hlava
Five Poems – Liu Xia
from “L’Heure Bleue” – Elisa Gabbert