Poems for May, selections from "You Can Be the Last Leaf," and more

May 10, 2022

Sooner or later, all leaves fall to the ground. 
You can be the last leaf. 
You can convince the universe 
that you pose no threat 
to the tree’s life. 


Spend time with poems from You Can Be the Last Leaf by Maya Abu Al-Hayyat, translated by Fady Joudah, published today through Milkweed. Purchase a copy and read a selection below: 

I Suffer a Phobia Called Hope” 
Some Microbes” 
You Can’t” 
Mothers Arrange Their Aches at Night” 
A Road for Loss” 
“Translation is to live in the mind of another person.” 

Read a short interview with Maya Abu Al-Hayyat about her work. A Beirut-born, Palestinian novelist and poet living in Jerusalem, she is the author of several books, including You Can Be the Last Leaf (Milkweed, 2022), translated by Fady Joudah, and the director of Palestine Writing Workshop, an institution that seeks to encourage reading in Palestinian communities through creative writing projects and storytelling with children and teachers.
 
Poems for May
 
Spring Song” by Paul Laurence Dunbar 
May” by Helen Hunt Jackson
Fire-Flowers” by Emily Pauline Johnson
Ode to Tired Bumblebees Who Fall Asleep Inside Flowers with Pollen on their Butts” by Luisa A. Igloria
A Blessing” by James Wright
Content for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month
 
Read contemporary and classic poems, browse book titles, essays, videos, and archival images, including this postcard from Srikanth Reddy, July 22, 2011, Illinois.
 
#PoetryNearYou Pick of the Week
 
Check out our #PoetryNearYou Pick of the Week: World Verses: An Evening of International Poetry, featuring unforgettable readings by Maori poet Tayi Tibble, Paul Tran, Greek poet Phoebe Giannisi, Japanese novelist/poet Mieko Kawakami, St. Lucia-born Ontario writer/editor Canisia Lubrin, Ukrainian poets/translators Halyna Kruk and Iya Kivaand, and Chilean poet/novelist Alejandro Zambra. Friday, May 13 at 9 p.m. ET at the NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts. ASL interpretation provided. Register here. (Sponsored)
 
Apply Now: Poetry Coalition Fellowships
 
With thanks to the Mellon Foundation, the Poetry Coalition is pleased to announce the 2022–23 Poetry Coalition Fellowships, which are paid fellowship positions hosted by founding member organizations Letras LatinasMass PoetryUrban WordWoodland Pattern, and Youth Speaks. Applications are being accepted until July 3, 2022. The positions will begin on September 5, 2022 and end on June 30, 2023. Interested individuals that are 21 or older are encouraged to apply, including those who are enrolled in or have recently graduated from an MFA program in creative writing.
 
Deadline Approaching: Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize

Established in 1975, this $25,000 award recognizes the most outstanding book of poetry published in the United States in the previous calendar year. The prize includes a ten-day residency at Glen Hollow in Naples, New York, and distribution of the winning book to hundreds of Academy of American Poets members.

Submissions for the 2022 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize will be accepted until Sunday, May 15 (11:59 p.m. ET). The judges are Matthew ShenodaDanez Smith, and Sawako Nakayasu.

brandy nalani mcdougall bio photo

Listen to Brandy Nālani McDougall discuss her curatorial approach and her own creative work. Read more about McDougall, the author of The Salt-Wind: Ka Makani Pa'Akai (Kuleana Oiwi Press, 2008), plus poems here
 

Revisit last week’s Poem-a-Day selections with us on Poets.org:

May 1: “The Moonlight” by Yvor Winters
May 2: “Message to My Sistah” by Joe Balaz
May 3: “Remembering” by Dana Naone Hall
May 4: “Love in a Time of Covid-19” by Craig Santos Perez
May 5: from “What kind of times are these?” by Penina Ava Taesali
May 6: “For Mauna a Wākea​​” by Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio
May 7: “Do/Do Not” by Nisha Atalie
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