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 813

    Often, for me, it’s a single image that really makes a poem, and in this poem by Jeff Worley, from his chapbook Lucky Talk, published by Broadstone Books, it’s “a man conducting an orchestra/ of bees.” How often I’ve looked exactly like that, having blundered into a spider web! Worley is the current poet laureate of Kentucky.

    Read the column