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Latest Playlist

Losing Miami

“Here, as elsewhere, Miami is ghosting. And if not from climatic fuckery and erosion, then by the heaving weight of The Thousands. Years? Tongues? People? Desires? Yes. ‘I designed this mystery to be heavy,’ writes Gabriel Ojeda-Sagué, whose beautifully disquieting Losing Miami swoons and sways from damp heat and Technicolor house paint. Flies, with their hundred side-eyes, twitch through these summer dreams. Meteorological phenomena swirl in the flesh and dating profiles of the collection’s coterie of Spanish, English, and Spanglish speakers. Yet, loss is the lingua franca that swallows them all. ‘I hate to admit it, but I’m not trying to make a change, I’m trying to grieve.” Even so, these tropic grotesques put me through changes.’ –Douglas Kearney

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Featured on September 9, 2019

Earth

With patience and precision, Hannah Brooks-Motl's third collec­tion of poems, Earth, explores the grand themes of love, family, economy, and home with the skill of a true craftsman. As the measured compositions of these poems shift, so do their near-sculptural forms, and a feeling both classical and contem­porary develops as a result. At times a paean to poetry, other times a critique of it, Earth is a breakthrough collection by a poet whose ceaselessly sharp intellect continues to use poetry to gain insight into not only her own wants and needs, but ours, and those of poetry itself.

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Featured on September 2, 2019

turn around BRXGHT XYXS

In turn around BRXGHT XYXS, Rosebud Ben-Oni opens by summoning Matarose—her alter-ego “muse on roller skates”—a wildly original voice that channels K-pop, hip hop, and the intersectional mestiza soul of the entire borough of Queens to create a sound-driven howling lyric paean—an ecstatic queer broken love-song that’s equal parts Bonnie Tyler and bible, Prince and prayer, and 100% pure desire. Ben-Oni’s poems conjure fierce feminist magic to create a simultaneous ode and lament of a book that reminds us we are the sum of all the parts of our selves: our roots and contradictory loves, all the things we’re born into and out of, the corporeal experiences we only sometimes choose—and she brings it all home with power, humor, grace, and lines like this: “This is my blood and this / my body this time / you won’t betray me / I am your kingdom come.” —Erika Meitner

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Featured on August 26, 2019

Articulations and Compasses

Most methods for computationally calculating similarity among texts rely on statistical models of semantics, but meaning has always seemed like a secondary feature of poetry to me. (My lowest scores on standardized tests as a kid were always in the "reading comprehension" category.) The techniques I used to write Articulations resulted from experiments in designing methods to calculate text similarity that focus instead on phonetics and syntax. The book in its final form has two sections, both computational cut-ups of lines of poetry scraped in bulk from Project Gutenberg: "Tongues," a long prose poem where lines are arranged in a way that maximizes phonetic similarity from one line to the next, and "Trees," a series of twenty-five poems composed of lines that share syntactic characteristics. Compasses, a chapbook recently published in Andreas Bülhoff's sync series, consists of poems produced with the help of a machine learning model I designed as the next step in my exploration of phonetic similarity. In addition to being able to represent the phonetics of a text and find phonetic similarities among texts, this model can generate entirely new texts based on arbitrary phonetic representations. In Compasses, I used this model to generate new imaginary words that exist in the negative phonetic spaces between the names of members of well-known quartets.

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