University of Southern Indiana

Ruth Awad Poetry Picks

It is not my aim to name the spark that makes a poem a poem, but I can show you what is wild and wandering and wondering. I hope when you read these poems, your curiosity ignites. I hope they make you look up at the world around you and seek out its tenderness. I hope they fill you with a righteous rage or become the salve you needed on a hard day. I chose these poems for their breadth and spellwork. Let them transform you, even briefly.

Spring 2020

Book of Mild Regrets” by Mary Biddinger
& the white girl tells me i need to marry a Latino man so that my kids can be the world” by Em Dial
Immigrant Elegy for Ávila” by Mónica Gomery
all the girls standing in the line for the bathroom” by Marlin M. Jenkins
Masculine Sonnet” by Sreshtha Sen
salat during deportation proceedings” by Dulie Tahat
hearsay” by Renia White

Fall 2019

Honey” by Allison Adair
An Accommodation” by Sandra Beasley
God Letter” by CM Burroughs
Marigolds of Fire” by Ama Codjoe
Buying Back-to-School Supplies” by Matthew Guenette
Professor Marva Stewart’s Funeral Service at Gilbert-Lambuth Chapel, Paine College” by Kamilah Aisha Moon
Gather” by Jess Smith
The Most Important Word in This Language” by Analicia Sotelo

Spring 2019

Upon Meeting My Father for the First Time, My Mother Thinks—” by Bailey Cohen
Motel, Oregon” by Sophie Klahr
Something Quiet” by Rosalie Moffett
Casida of the Branches” by C. C. Reid
For the Doctor's Records” by Clint Smith

Fall 2018

Aubade in the Old Apartment” by Leila Chatti
Get Out of the Goddamn Car,” by Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley
On the Haunted Hayride with Audrey” by Keetje Kuipers
white girl interrogates her recurring dreams” by Marty McConnell
The Earth Is Rude, Silent, Incomprehensible” by Jacques J. Rancourt
December at Faribault Prison” by Michael Torres

Spring 2018

Crack” by Geoff Anderson
Sunken Place Sestina” by Ashley M. Jones
White Earth” by Erika Meitner
Fawn” by Susannah Nevison
In Praise of the Names of Things” by Chelsea Wagenaar
Ante Up” by Mark Wagenaar


Contributing editor Ruth Awad is an award-winning Lebanese-American poet whose debut poetry collection Set to Music a Wildfire (SIR Press 2017) won the 2016 Michael Waters Poetry Prize and the 2018 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. She is the recipient of a 2016 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in POETRY, Poem-a-Day, The New Republic, Pleiades, The Rumpus, The Missouri Review Poem of the Week, Sixth Finch, Crab Orchard Review, CALYX, Diode, The Adroit Journal, Vinyl Poetry, Epiphany, BOAAT Journal, and elsewhere.

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