Poets for Living Waters is a poetry action in response to the BP Gulf oil disaster of April 20, 2010, one of the most profound man-made ecological catastrophes in history. Former US poet laureate Robert Pinsky describes the popularity of poetry after 9/11 as a turn away from the disaster’s overwhelming enormity to a more manageable individual scale. As we confront the magnitude of this recent tragedy, such a return may well aid us.

The first law of ecology states that everything is connected to everything else. An appreciation of this systemic connectivity suggests a wide range of poetry will offer a meaningful response to the current crisis, including work that harkens back to Hurricane Katrina and the ongoing regional effects.

This online periodical is the first in a planned series of actions. Further actions will include a print anthology and a public reading in Washington DC.

Editors: Amy King & Heidi Lynn Staples


Amy King’s most recent book is Slaves to Do These Things (Blazevox), and forthcoming, I Want to Make You Safe (Litmus Press). She is currently preparing a book of interviews with the poet Ron Padgett. She also teaches English and Creative Writing at SUNY Nassau Community College. With Ana Bozicevic, King co-curates the Brooklyn-based reading series, The Stain of Poetry. For more information, please visit http://amyking.org/

Heidi Lynn Staples is the author of two published poetry collections, Guess Can Gallop (New Issues, 2004) and Dog Girl (Ahsahta, 2007). Her forthcoming collection, The Prettiest Name (Ahsahta), is rooted in the ecology of her native Gulf Coast. Her poems are included or forthcoming in numerous journals including Best American Poetry 2004, Caketrain, Chicago Review, Denver Quarterly, Green Mountains Review, Ploughshares, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and elsewhere.

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