Because We Come From Everything

In support of “Because We Come From Everything: Poetry & Migration,” the first formalized programming of the Poetry Coalition, Birds, LLC, Coffee House Press, Graywolf Press, and Milkweed Editions have partnered to curate a selection of poems on the theme of migration. Each featured poem will be released on Milkweed’s website and shared by all participating organizations on social media. A new poem will be distributed each Thursday in March and April, concluding on National Poetry Month’s Poem in Your Pocket Day, which is April 27. The poems will be made available in Pocket Poem size and distributed at several Minneapolis and St. Paul independent bookstores, including:

 

Magers & Quinn  |  Milkweed Books  |  Moon Palace Books  |  Subtext Books

 

#1: Bao Phi

EGO-TRIPPING AS SELF-DEFENSE MECHANISM FOR REFUGEE KIDS WHO GOT THEIR NAMES CLOWNED ON

My given name, Thiên-bảo, translates to
treasure from heaven.
An immediate reason for my being indecipherable

the moment it stung
unfamiliar tongue
so soon after “hello.”
I would finally like to thank my parents for what I once thought of

as an unpronounceable curse
that I’d have loved to bleach—
because everyone who has ever addressed me from bullies to crushes to haters
has had no choice
but to call me
valuable.

Bao Phi’s new collection of poems, Thousand Star Hotel, is available July 2017

Join the conversation and share your favorite poems about migration in the comments below and on social media by using #WeComeFromEverything. 

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