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

“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.” 

“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

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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


Maureen N. McLane

Women Own a Violence Too

Amy King


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


Carmen Giménez Smith

from Atopia

Sandra Simonds


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


Andrew Zawacki


Jorie Graham


Jericho Brown


Dorothea Lasky

Poem of Hope, Almost at Equinox

Brenda Hillman

To Classes

Geoffrey G. O’Brien

the experiment

Juan Felipe Herrera