The Rumpus National Poetry Month Project 2020


Every year, The Rumpus celebrates National Poetry Month with new poems from poets we admire. We feature a different poet each day, aiming to illustrate a variety of voices and perspectives in contemporary poetry. New poems will appear on weekday afternoons and on weekend mornings. We’ll be sharing the poems on our Facebook page and Twitter feed, and we hope you’ll consider sharing the work of these thirty talented writers on your own social media feeds, too. You can follow along here.

Poetry has always mattered very much to us at The Rumpus. Under the leadership of Senior Poetry Editor Brian Spears, we’ve been celebrating National Poetry Month since 2010, just one year after The Rumpus was founded. Past years have included work from Tracy K. Smith, sam sax, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Danez Smith, Patricia Smith, Tommy Pico, t’ai freedom ford, Donika Kelly, and Kaveh Akbar, just to name a few.

I am incredibly grateful to Team Rumpus Poetry for the phenomenal work they do. From National Poetry Month to Rumpus Original Poetry to poetry book reviews to our Poetry Book Club, our poetry editors are working tirelessly to shake up the still overwhelmingly white and male poetry landscape.

Poetry editors Cortney Lamar Charleston and Carolina Ebeid have assembled an incredible lineup of poets for this year’s National Poetry Month. This year, 67% of our National Poetry Month poets are women or non-binary, 80% of our poets are writers of color, and 27% identify as LGBTQIA+.

We’ll kick off the month-long celebration tomorrow, April 1, with an urgent and beautiful poem, “When I cough during the pandemic,”  from Kenji C. Liu. Don’t miss it, and please stick with us through April, because every day we’ll deliver a new voice and vital words.

Now more than ever, we need to hear from, and listen to, our poets. Now more than ever, we need to be lifted up from despondency, and motivated to take action and to demand change. This April, be inspired, be moved, and celebrate poetry!


Rumpus original art by Dmitry Samarov.

Marisa Siegel holds an MFA from Mills College in Oakland, CA. Her essay "Inherited Anger" appears in the anthology Burn It Down and her poetry chapbook Fixed Stars is out now from Burrow Press. She is senior acquiring editor for trade at Northwestern University Press, and editor-at-large for The Rumpus. Find her online at More from this author →