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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
Juan Felipe Herrera
The Ingenuity of Animal Survival
In November We Inched Closer
Mary Jo Bang
America (after Allen Ginsberg)
Craig Santos Perez
In Which Rising Inequality Eventually Triggers Countervailing Social Dislocations
In the Event of an Apocalypse, Be Ready to Die
The American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act
We’ll Go No More a Roving
English as a Second Language
Nathan Xavier Osorio
Letter to a City under Siege
You the Recoil
Maureen N. McLane
Women Own a Violence Too
Watch Us Elocute
Corey Van Landingham
A Guide to Usage: Mine
I Want to Read at the White House
Carmen Giménez Smith
We Lived Happily During the War
Days of 2016
Sat Down and Wept by Lake and Cloud Gear
Filibuster to Delay Them All
Poem of Hope, Almost at Equinox
Geoffrey G. O’Brien
Juan Felipe Herrera
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Both regulators and employers have embraced new technologies for on-the-job monitoring, turning a blind eye to unjust working conditions.
But I do miss the hymns, / the small, hard apples with their dimpled skin. I do miss / things.
The vast hinterlands of the Global South’s cities are generating new solidarities and ideas of what counts as a life worth living.