Jamaal May is a poet and editor from Detroit, MI where he taught poetry in public schools and worked as a freelance audio engineer and touring performer. His first full-length collection is Hum (Alice James Books, 2013). Individual poems have been awarded the 2013 Indiana ReviewPrize and appear in journals such as The New Republic, the Believer, Poetry, and Ploughshares. Various works have also appeared on public radio and in short films. Jamaal has earned an MFA from Warren Wilson and fellowships from Cave Canem and Bucknell University. He is founding editor of the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook Press and a visiting faculty member in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program.

Jamaal May in the New York Times

From the Times’ Learning Network Weekly Poetry Pairing: One hundred years ago, Poetry published Carl Sandburg’s famous poem, “Chicago.” Last month the magazine published Jamaal May’s poem for Detroit, “There Are Birds Here.” Jamaal May published his first book, “Hum,” in 2013. ‘There Are Birds Here’ By Jamaal May For Detroit There are birds here, so…

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Two Stanzas from Erica Dawson

“The world’s outside. I’m in.” With this final line of the poem “DrugFace”, Erica Dawson concluded her first book. “In The Small Blades Hurt, Erica Dawson picks up where her debut collection, Big-Eyed Afraid, leaves off.” The importance of places–specially American places–is bound to Dawson’s second book, as, “She moves from her border state Maryland…

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Some Leading Lines from May’s Collection

“Pomegranate Means Grenade” Hold a pomegranate in your palm. Imagine ways to split it. Think of the breaking skin as shrapnel. Remember granada means pomegranate and granada means grenade because grenade takes its name from the fruit… “Macrophobia” I love too many women is not the best lead-in for a conversation that will end with…


Jennifer Key

Jennifer (Franny) Key, Visiting Assistant Professor of English (2008-2011) Returns to SMU to read from her new collection of poetry. Jennifer reads Saturday, March 22 at 2:00. Stop by and welcome her home!