John Keene


Poet and novelist John Keene grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He earned a BA at Harvard University and an MFA at New York University. He is the author of the novella and story collection Counternarratives (2015), the poetry collection Seismosis (2006, with art by Christopher Stackhouse), and the novel Annotations (1995). A member of the Dark Room Collective, Keene’s honors include a Whiting Award and fellowships from Cave Canem, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the New York Times Foundation, Yaddo, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Pan-African Literary Forum. He has taught at Northwestern University and served as the managing editor of Callaloo. He is an associate professor of English, African American Studies, and African Studies at Rutgers University–Newark. Source

Ten Things I Do Every Day

         after Ted Berrigan


Floss my throat

wash my feet then glower

kiss Curtis at 7:30

to shake him

feed Kitty

philosophical tenders

stroll the valley

of dearth to Journal Square

keep the faith like a Benedictine

under the Hudson


Work like a yo-yo

nap like a bear

address endless emails

to forgotten writers

jack the meter

to stand tall

drink lust as if

it were spring water

walk through the Mews

when the coast is near

leave my friends and shadows

generous margins for error





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Poems of the Everyday

Poetic Form

Literary Devices:

After Poems

A poem where the form, theme, subject, style, or line(s) is inspired by the work another poet.


an instruction or a command

List Poem

A list poem features an inventory of people, places, things, or ideas organized in a particular way, usually numbered.


a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”

Slant Rhyme

A rhyme where the words have similar sounds in their stressed syllables.

Visual Poetry

Poetry written on the page with intentional form to add meaning to the poem.