Illuminations

Expectant; or, American women are more likely to die in childbirth than women in any other developed country and black women make up fifty percent of those mortalities

by Camille Dungy

When I reached St. Peter, he was too small
to crawl. I introduced myself
as someone’s mother,
and he consulted his big Book of Roles.

Stand there, said Peter, pointing
to the line with all the other hopeless
mothers.

But, I said, I’ve been there all along.

The woman in front of me had been reading
Lamentations for hundreds of years.
I needed to hear my baby breathing, but couldn’t
over all her tears.

Give me a ribbon, said Peter,
who sucked the silk. read more »

First Year Experience
Common Read
One Book

View our
Featured Authors »

Speaker News

The Guardian


Former U.K. Poet Laureate Andrew Motion says newly appointed Simon Armitage, "knows where the heffalump traps are."

Washington Post


Review of Richard Blanco's How to Love a Country: [Blanco] wrestles with the contradictions of American history.

BBC


Newly appointed United Kingdom Poet Laureate Simon Armitage elected Oxford College honorary fellow.

Ms. Magazine


Tina Chang and Elizabeth Acevedo's latest titles included in May 2019 Reads for the Rest of Us.

Hybrida


Happy pub day to Tina Chang's latest poetry collection Hybrida, an examination of mixed-race identity rendered through the lens of motherhood.
See past news »

Featured Video

BFA @ AWP PORTLAND March 27-30, 2019

Consequences of Silence

Featured Poetry Reading with Simon Armitage, Samiya Bashir, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo & Camille Dungy

Poets love language–and fight with it. Language is one way humans can experience and express the world. True belonging is when language connects us across time, languages, cultures, and emotional divides.