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 785

    I'm writing this column on a summer day when a hungry crowd of Monarch butterfly caterpillars are eating the upper leaves of the milkweed just outside my door in Nebraska, and my wife and I are joyful that they're getting a good start at life. The following poem is from Stuart Kestenbaum's new book, How to Start Over, from Deerbrook Editions. He lives in Maine and is the state's Poet Laureate.

    Read the column