Skip to main content

A Pageant of America in 52 Poems

Jerry Dyer Portside
Each state appears here in alphabetical order. With a poem for the District of Columbia, and a poem serving as Preface, 52 poems. But This Land invites (and even demands) that its organization and its meanings be constructed by each reader.


A Group of Rats Is Referred to as a Mischief

Joseph Zaccardi Salt Poetry Journal
For poet Joseph Zaccardi, the Vietnam war lingers in memory for the fear it wrought among soldiers, but also the loss of camaraderie “after all these/years scattered across American towns and cities…”


In Ukraine

Beau Beausoleil
San Francisco poet Beau Beausoleil reminds us that the war in Ukraine goes on, people are dying, all obscured by political shadows and dubious communications.


The Legacy of a Caged Bird

On Gene Andrew Jarrett’s “Paul Laurence Dunbar” Los Angeles Review of Books
During his lifetime, Paul Laurence Dunbar, an African American, was among the most famous poets in the United States. It is one of the great paradoxes of the early Jim Crow era. This biography sheds new light on the writer's life and work.


A New Kind of Anthem

Gerry Sloan
On Veterans Day, we honor Gerald Sloan’s poem, commissioned by a local symphony to be recited at a choral performance of Wilfred Owen's famous sonnet (see below).


Behind the Wall

Cory Lambing Rattle
“The debts we make are never paid, for us behind the wall,” write the incarcerated poet Cory Lambing, offering a glimpse of what it’s like to be inside.


The Democracy Walt Whitman Wanted

Ian Beacock The New Republic
A new book argues that Whitman’s celebration of fellow feeling could unite America today.

Talking to Strangers by Peter Neill Carroll

Lee Rossi Big City Lit
Carroll is drawn to the eccentric and the oddball. In sinuous free verse, he limns a series of arresting anecdotes, few longer than a page, as he searches for Homo Americanus.


Being Roommates With a Stripper

Jennifer Elise Wang
Poet Jennifer Elise Wang gives the inside scoop about sex workers and other exploited workers.


Before Roe

Peter Neil Carroll
They say you can’t go home again, but the Supreme Court says otherwise. Peter Neil Carroll’s Before Roe offers a glimpse of “normal” from the bad old days.
Subscribe to Poetry