Our Story

Poets Reading the News is a literary platform for original, extraordinary poetry that bridges journalism and poetry. Its mission is to enact poetry’s vital cultural function as a processor for violence, cultural complexity, and political change for a society overwhelmed by the headlines. We’re out to prove what we know is true: in times of darkness, poetry is essential reading.

We started in summer 2016, when founders Elle Aviv Newton and J Spagnolo connected over our shared love of poetics and current events. We started in the lush grounds of the Oakland’s experimental creative scene. Armed with laptops and ideas, we set out to do something different with the internet. Since then, and many thousands of hours later, this publication’s in-depth and fast-moving poetic coverage has redefined the scope and pace of poetry for the digital age. This is what breaking poetry looks like.

We have published hundreds of original poems from writers around the world tackling urgent issues from the Trump administration to gun violence, climate change to technology, white supremacy to immigrant detention. Our poet-journalists include Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, U.S. poet laureates, established poets and emergent writers.

We’ve got a unique origin story and philosophy. You can read about it in this cool interview in Ivoh Magazine. Or this write-up in the East Bay Express. Listen to us on NPR with Lois Reitzes, our hour-long radio special on KPFA, and on the No Good Poetry podcast in New Orleans.

You Make Us Possible

We’re 100% community-funded. Please consider joining our Patreon or making a tax-deductible donation.

What Else We Do

We love to teach workshops, organize community happenings, and collaborate. Send us a line!

Connecting is Caring

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