REDACTED – scratchboard illustration by Bri Hermanson

Founded by Sarah Freligh and Amy Lemmon to give voice to the forbidden, The CDC Poetry Project is a curated space for poems written in response to the Trump Administration’s directive to the Centers for Disease Control on December 15, 2017, as reported in the Washington Post, that official documents being prepared for the 2018 budget were not to contain the following words:

  • vulnerable
  • entitlement
  • diversity
  • transgender
  • fetus
  • evidence-based
  • science-based

Starting on December 16, Sarah and Amy invited poets to submit poems in any form that included all seven of these words. (Click here for Submission Guidelines.Note that poems submitted as comments will not be considered for publication.

About the Editors

Sarah Freligh is the author of Sad Math, winner of the 2014 Moon City Press Poetry Prize and the 2015 Whirling Prize from the University of Indianapolis. Other books include A Brief Natural History of an American Girl, winner of the Editor’s Choice award from Accents Publishing, and Sort of Gone. Her work has appeared in Sun Magazine, Hotel Amerika, BOAAT Journal, diode, SmokeLong Quarterly, on Writer’s Almanac, and anthologized in the 2011 anthology Good Poems: American Places. Among her awards are a 2009 poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from the Constance Saltonstall Foundation in 2006.

Amy Lemmon is the author of The Miracles (C&R Press, forthcoming 2019), Saint Nobody (Red Hen Press, 2009) and the chapbook Fine Motor (Sow’s Ear Poetry Review Press, 2008). She co-authored two chapbooks with Denise Duhamel, ABBA: The Poems (Coconut Books, 2010) and Enjoy Hot or Iced: Poems in Conversation and a Conversation (Slapering Hol Press, 2011). Her poems and essays have appeared in The Best American Poetry, Rolling Stone, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, Verse, Court Green, The Journal, Marginalia, and many other magazines and anthologies.  Amy is Professor and Chairperson of English and Communication Studies at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and blogs at Saint Nobody.