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 683

    In thirteen years of publishing this column we've never selected a poem about mental illness, but neither have I come upon one that feels so true. I am especially taken by the third stanza, which remarks upon how differently each of us imagines the world. Leland James lives in Michigan and this poem appeared in Rattle, a very good literary journal.

    Read the column