The Poem-a-Day series will be guest-edited by twelve contemporary poets in 2018, the Academy of American Poets announced on December 12. Each will curate a month of the free daily poetry subscription.
The announcement on Poets.org states that the decision to appoint guest editors aims to broaden the scope of the publication. The new editors will provide more diverse expertise and perspectives.
This statement does not just refer to each poet’s unique aesthetic, however, but to the diversity of the editors themselves. Half of the 2018 Poem-a-Day guest editors are men, half women. Ten of the twelve are people of color. Several were born outside of the U.S., hailing from countries as far as South Korea.
To highlight a few, the year will begin under the direction of Iranian-American Kaveh Akbar, whose debut book Calling a Wolf a Wolf (2017) was named one of NPR’s Best Books of 2017. In April, current U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith will take over to guide the publication through National Poetry Month. The final editor of 2018 will be Rigoberto González, a contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine and author of thirteen books in total between poetry, prose, and bilingual children’s books.
Jennifer Benka, the executive director of the Academy of American Poets, is quoted as saying that all twelve poets “are model literary citizens. In their work, they have been wonderful champions of others, demonstrating a generosity of spirit we admire and appreciate working with.”
A glance at Kaveh Akbar’s Twitter confirms this spirit of literary citizenship—he regularly shares the work of other poets he admires. If one poem a day isn’t enough for you, Akbar is certainly a poet to follow on Twitter for even more recommendations. Also, look how excited he is to be participating: