The Academy of American Poets invited twelve guest editors to each curate a month of poems in 2020. In this short Q&A, Meg Day, the Poem-a-Day Guest Editor for January 2020, discusses their curatorial approach and their own creative work. How did you approach curating Poem-a-Day?

Meg Day: With joy and restraint. In most instances, I pursued poets whose work keeps me curious: what next? In others, I asked poets who make me greedy: more, please, more. For a few, both are the case. I really trust these poems to launch us, one day at a time, into this new year. I couldn’t have known, at the beginning, that it would end up being so much fun. If you could direct readers to one poem in our collection at that you haven’t curated, what would it be and why?

MD: If I had to direct folks to a single poem, it would be “Invisible Woman, Dancing” by Constance Merritt. We are, however, collectively sleeping on the uprising of contemporary Deaf and disabled poets. has Merritt, Camisha JonesDanez Smith, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Ilya Kaminsky, Jillian Weise, John Lee Clark, Khadijah Queen, L. Lamar Wilson, Laura Hershey, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Raymond Luczak, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Sheila Black, and Sandra Beasley, but who else is out there? There are others, we just don’t yet know who you are.

Who are you reading these days?

For the first time in my life, I’m trying to read what other people are reading. I’m usually a few years behind (this is a generous estimation), so it’s exciting to read what’s new as it’s coming out. Another thing I’m trying is reading books in tandem with other poets. Are you reading Carmen Maria Machado’s In the Dream House? Me, too. It’s absolutely wrecking me. Oliver Bendorf’s Advantages of Being Evergreen? I’m halfway through and loving it. What are you working on now in your writing, teaching, or publishing life?

MD: I’m finally writing poems again. It’s the best feeling in the world.


Read Poem-a-Day.

Back to Guest Editors for 2020.