PEN Poetry Series

Once a week, the PEN Poetry Series publishes work by emerging and established writers from coast to coast. The series is edited by Danniel Schoonebeek, along with guest editors TC Tolbert, Dawn Lundy Martin, and Brian Blanchfield. Subscribe to the PEN Poetry Series mailing list and have poems delivered to your email as soon as they're published. Submissions are currently closed, but please feel free to familiarize yourself with our submission guidelines. Our current response time is about 3-6 months. Please follow up with info@pen.org if you haven't heard from us after six months. 

November 30, 16

An attempt was made. I told S that we are not / the sum total of our mistakes. I said it / as I believe I am the sum total of my mistakes. / I consulted Lisa Robertson for guidance: / “The truth is, everything that isn’t poetry bores me.” / I...Read More  »

November 16, 16

I was gone and when I came back / you’d voted for the wrong politicians! So many men! / Had I slept for five minutes and found you / on the subway saying all the wrong things or / in the meadow to the starlings? Read More  »

November 10, 16

Now, I have always loved the sea. I save whom I can. A baby be damned without a mother. A mother be damned without her child. A man be damned without a country. A country be damned without a people. A nation of no one trickle north and the long arm...Read More  »

November 2, 16

Today the PEN Poetry Series busts out the noisemakers and tissues and sends up a wail of booming thanks and gratitude to poets TC Tolbert, Dawn Lundy Martin, and Brian Blanchfield. Read More  »

October 27, 16

A / saboteur is someone who drags / their feet / The word is taken from the late / eighteen hundreds, from the French / slang sabot for someone with their head / in the clouds, all thumbs / and shitty shoes. So saboteur doesn’t really / rhyme with...Read More  »

October 20, 16

I like depressive because it’s both adjective and noun, a depressive person or just a depressive. A state of being that is fixed, a relation to the world, a point to which one may return. Better than “depressed” which seems temporary, like being “...Read More  »

October 12, 16

Every day my body more angry / Waiting for some part of the mystery / To dispense itself / On the bus, buying groceries / Saying small lies / Soothing them into your narrative / If it’s no one’s fault / The lake has to hold it Read More  »

October 5, 16

Who to call when you get robbed // or hit with a bat. Who else to feed the dogs / of entropy & personal choice, the price // we pay to live decent, which / is to say, far from the stench // of the dead & the dying interlocked,...Read More  »

September 29, 16

because in those days / our boys / the boys that were a part of me / of my life / were the ones who went to the slaughter / to slaughter and be slaughter / the smallest most forgettable generation of us / or who came back from the war like Paul...Read More  »

September 22, 16

What this poet calls slippery, what I call smart. Like it matters, like I’m not / pulling rent money out of a dog’s ass. // I was wrong. I want everything. I want to be fucked like the wife who waited / for her soldier’s return, fucked: the island...Read More  »


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