Top Five Poems: 2017–2018

“Poetry is a political act because it involves telling the truth,” wrote June Jordan, and in an era of political disinformation, the act of truth telling is more vital than ever. The poets featured below all participate in this crucial undertaking, unveiling, among other worthy topics, the ubiquitous nature of paternalism, the dark irony behind our need to own weapons, the way memory, “like the sun,” can be both “destructive and sustaining.” Reading these Top Five Poems of the Week, we emerge more informed and thoughtful, more attentive. Isn’t that what all great poetry does?

The Poem of the Week series for 2018–2019 starts on October 29. If you would like to send a poem for consideration as a Poem of the Week, please see our Guidelines. Each October the top five Poems of the Week are selected for special notice.

Congratulations to the winners.