America, We Call Your Name: Poems of Resistance and Resilience, born in response to the 2016 Presidential election, combines the voices of poets from across America—from red states and blue states, high schools and nursing homes, big cities and small towns—with the voices of poets from other countries and other times. From Virgil and Dante to Claudia Rankine and Mai Der Vang, from Milton to Merwin, from Po-Chü-i to Robin Coste Lewis, these voices—now raucous, now muted, now lyric, now plain—join together here in dissent and in praise, in grief and alarm, in vision and hope. The 126 poems in this book call out to America in resistance to threats to our democracy and in the resilient belief that this fragile, imperfect form of government can and must be preserved. “These poets have an urgent message to share with you,” writes Camille T. Dungy in the foreword. “This message is brand new, and it is also eternal. Read carefully. What you learn here might just save your life.”

“Poetry is one of the oldest forms of resistance. Entering not only our minds but our hearts, poems can swim under the highest walls erected by the powerful, subverting the most staggering onslaughts of distortion and outright lies, undermining threats, answering despair, rescuing the simplest and yet most profound ways that we know, reviving our courage, inviting action. Tyrants, despots, fascists of all kinds, beware this book. It may bring even you to your senses!” —Susan Griffin, author of A Chorus of Stones

 “ ‘The master’s tools,’ writes Audre Lorde, ‘will never dismantle the master’s house.’ Poems are one of humanity’s most important tools because they operate outside of policy, outside of the system. They are the instruments of the people not of the palace. This timely, urgent, and vital collection reminds us of the civic work poems do. They deliver a different kind of knowing—a deeper wisdom—than conventional news or posts or feeds. The resistance and resilience of these poems comfort and connect us, but they also catalyze our voices and our collective rage. Wallace Stevens once wrote, ‘Poetry is a response to the daily necessity of getting the world right.’ America, We Call Your Name gives me hope in our work as poets and as citizens.”—Dean Rader, author of Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry