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Chapbook

Poems for Political Disaster

“In time of crisis, we summon up our strength,” wrote poet Muriel Rukeyser. This collection gathers poems—from the eve of the twenty-first century to the month following Trump’s election—to mark a moment of political rupture, summoning the collective strength found in the languages of resistance and memory, subversion and declamation, struggle and hope. Poetry is a counterforce. We offer these poems to readers as Rukeyser did—“not walls, but human things, human faces.”

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Chapbook is a Boston Review publication that reflects on and responds to our contemporary moment. The very first in the series, Poems for Political Disaster emerged as a response to Donald Trump's election.
 

“When freedom is in danger, when you are asked, in one faked way or another, a shabby admonition, to leave your own humanity which includes the humanity of all, the alarm is extra-ordinary, America. Don’t you think so? You must respond, America. You must speak out, you must write.”

 

— U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, from the Foreword
 
CONTENTS
 
Foreword
Juan Felipe Herrera
 
The Ingenuity of Animal Survival
Peter Gizzi
 
In November We Inched Closer
Mary Jo Bang
 
America (after Allen Ginsberg)
Craig Santos Perez
 
In Which Rising Inequality Eventually Triggers Countervailing Social Dislocations
Dara Wier
 
In the Event of an Apocalypse, Be Ready to Die
Khadijah Queen
 
The American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act
Lucie Brock-Broido
 
We’ll Go No More a Roving
Shane McCrae
 
English as a Second Language
Nathan Xavier Osorio
 
Letter to a City under Siege
Carolyn Forché
 
Inauguration Poem
Lynn Melnick
 
Concord Grapes
Stephen Burt
 
You the Recoil
Susan Briante
 
#WTF
Maureen N. McLane
 
Women Own a Violence Too
Amy King
 
December
Matthew Zapruder
 
Watch Us Elocute
Marcus Wicker
 
Bad Intelligence
Corey Van Landingham
 
Safe House
Solmaz Sharif
 
America! America!
Ricardo Maldonado
 
A Guide to Usage: Mine
Monica Youn
 
I Want to Read at the White House
Joshua Clover
 
Excuses
Carmen Giménez Smith
 
from Atopia
Sandra Simonds
 
Ferguson
Major Jackson
 
We Lived Happily During the War
Ilya Kaminsky
 
Linear Travel
Wendy Xu
 
Days of 2016
Ange Mlinko
 
Sat Down and Wept by Lake and Cloud Gear
Calvin Bedient
 
Filibuster to Delay Them All
Katie Peterson
 
Credo
Andrew Zawacki
 
Guantánamo
Jorie Graham
 
Riddle
Jericho Brown
 
Disaster
Dorothea Lasky
 
Poem of Hope, Almost at Equinox
Brenda Hillman
 
To Classes
Geoffrey G. O’Brien
 
the experiment
Juan Felipe Herrera

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