American Life in Poetry Homepage

Photo of Ted Kooser, Poet Laureate of the United States 2004-2006
  • American Life in Poetry provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. The sole mission of this project is to promote poetry: American Life in Poetry seeks to create a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. There are no costs for reprinting the columns; we do require that you register your publication here and that the text of the column be reproduced without alteration.

    The poem in each column is brief and will be enjoyable and enlightening to readers of newspapers and online publications. Each week, a new column will be posted. Registered publications will receive new columns by email. Our archive of previous columns is also available for publication.

  • American Life in Poetry: Column 704

    In September of 2017 we had hundreds of thousands of Painted Lady butterflies passing through Nebraska, and at times the air was so full of them it looked as if all the leaves were falling at once. Samuel Green is the former Washington State Poet Laureate, and a very fine writer whose most recent collection of poems is All That Might Be Done, (Carnegie-Mellon University Press, 2014). He and his wife live on Waldron Island and pay close attention to the life around them. This poem is a wealth of butterflies.

    Read the column