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Between 1939 and 1946, over 100 million people from over 30 countries were directly involved in the Second World War, and an estimated 70 million people died: over 4 times as many as in World War I. To accompany our sampler of the Poetry of World War II, we have organized a selection of poets who served as soldiers, medical staff, journalists, or volunteers. We have also added civilian poets...
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World War II Poets by The Editors

"The snakes bring me so much joy. When I draw, paint, or print them I feel more at ease. Snakes, throughout history, have had a bad reputation and I’m trying to depict them in a different light. Every time I create a new snake I think: What kind of snake is this? Is it aggressive or is it calm? Should I make its body crunchy look or soft and fluid?" – POETRY's December cover artist Janie Stamm

December Cover Artist: Janie Stamm

spare me the lecture
on the survival
of my body
& i will spare you
my body
—sam sax

On PrEP or on Prayer by sam sax

If in his image made are we, then why
the endless string of effigies?
Why so many mortal blasphemes?
Why crucify me in HD across a scrolling news ticker, tied
to a clothesline of broken necks long as Time?
Is this thing on?
—Marcus Wicker

Conjecture on the Stained Glass Image of White Christ at Ebenezer Baptist Church by Marcus Wicker

Heather Phillipson's poems have become the core of her videos and installations, read with deadpan assurance over cheesy visual effects, cartoon elements, explosions and scraps of found footage. Her work has a horrible sort of hilarity.

Jarman winner Heather Phillipson: 'My next work will be furious. Fascism is on my doorstep'

I did not expect them to stay.
I did not expect their forgiveness
when I turned away.
—Emily Pérez

Inhospitable by Emily Pérez

Nathan Gelgud illustrates a cholera quarantine that ended up being the perfect writer's retreat for Alexander Pushkin

Alexander Pushkin's 3 Months of Blissful Writing

"As a kid, I read to escape my family. These days I read to help me be with them, to grieve, hope, imagine it means something. This living. This making."
—Donna Masini, who shares several book recommendations in this month's Reading List, along with many other contributors from our November issue.

Reading List: November 2016

Patricia Spears Jones considers the dynamics of race through a 1930s Mae West film in the #PoetryNow #podcast "Belulah Peel Me a Grape"

Beulah Peel Me a Grape

"I had a model for how to mother—I was lucky that way—but I needed poet models to show me how I might write the experience....just when I needed her work the most, I rediscovered Sharon Olds." --Maggie Smith

Light & Darkness by Maggie Smith

Everything turns in the quiet leisure of disaster:
a kind of innocence
now supernatural darkness floating
—Ahren Warner

“Come Godard, come, here, Godard, here ...” by Ahren Warner

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the greatest number of children
in United States history are, now, incarcerated,
having been sentenced by law.
—Lawrence Joseph

On Peripheries of the Imperium by Lawrence Joseph

Confirming identity is a matter of belief and of love, not paperwork.
—Rebecca Hazelton on new books by Solmaz Sharif, Bernadette Mayer, and Reginald Dwayne Betts #weekendreads

Civil Affairs by Rebecca Hazelton

It seems to be up to you
to keep us
up in the air, and to make sure our paths never cross.
—Stephen Burt

Kites by Stephen Burt

No soul on site, no signal/bars,
and zilch for company except
a zillion bright disarming stars.
—Conor O'Callaghan

Trailer Park Études by Conor O'Callaghan