American Life in Poetry Homepage

Photo of Ted Kooser, Poet Laureate of the United States 2004-2006
  • American Life in Poetry provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. The sole mission of this project is to promote poetry: American Life in Poetry seeks to create a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. There are no costs for reprinting the columns; we do require that you register your publication here and that the text of the column be reproduced without alteration.

    The poem in each column is brief and will be enjoyable and enlightening to readers of newspapers and online publications. Each week, a new column will be posted. Registered publications will receive new columns by email. Our archive of previous columns is also available for publication.

  • American Life in Poetry: Column 640

    "You can't go home again," said Thomas Wolfe, and you can't put your hand in the same river twice. Change is relentless. But we can still, in memory, go back to where we were. This poem is by P. Ivan Young, who lives in Omaha. It was first published in The Cortland Review. His most recent book is Smell of Salt, Ghost of Rain, from Brick House Books.

    Read the column