National Poetry Month: Read New Work From Four Great Poets

Salman Rushdie said, "a poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep."

This seems like an art worthy of celebration to us, which is why, in honor of National Poetry Month, we'll be featuring a different poet each week on our page. Some will be traditional veterans of their craft, while others will be burgeoning experimental writers. All will offer unique perspectives on the often overlooked medium.

First up, Eileen Myles. She flourished during Manhattan's post-Allen Ginsberg queer arts scene and has since toured with a post-punk female performance group, Sister Spit. She's taught writing at University of California San Diego and Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Her work appears regularly in Believer and the Poetry Foundation's blog. She's written fiction, visual arts travel essays and libretti (text accompanying opera music). Needless to say, she's pretty unconventional. Tomorrow, we'll run a poem from her brand new collection, "Different Streets: Newer Poems" [Wave Books, $20.00].

We realize poetry seems unapproachable to some - in fact, it can pride itself in being so. But we encourage you to consider the broader definition of the word this month. Poetry isn't just Blake and Dickinson, it's R&B and your children's Language Arts homework, too.

So tell us, who is your favorite poet? T.S. Eliot? Bob Dylan? Yourself at age six? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter and Facebook, where we'll be sharing a poem a day from our spotlighted writers. And stay tuned for all the great poetry we'll be featuring!

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