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 756

    Although this poem by Patrick Phillips, from American Poetry Review, is dedicated to a person we don't know, "For Paul" conveys feelings we've all experienced. We don't need to know who "Paul" is. The poem is about sadness and resignation, and all of us have felt like this. The poet's most recent collection of poems is Elegy for a Broken Machine, published by Knopf.

    Read the column