CJ Evans


CJ Evans’s newest book, Lives, was selected by Victoria Chang for the 2021 Kathryn A. Morton Prize from Sarabande Books. He is also the author of A Penance (New Issues Press), which was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award and The Category of Outcast, selected by Terrance Hayes for the Poetry Society of America’s New American Poets chapbook series. Currently the editor in chief of Two Lines Press, a publisher of international literature in translation, he was previously an editor at Tin House and worked at the Academy of American Poets. He spent a year in Aix-en-provence, France on the Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship and currently lives in California. Source

Night Terrors in America

If I were to try, I’d begin with awe, with iron core, mantle, the oceans

full of secretive things. Land just a glimpse of skin, deliciously unblemished.

Then closer: ferns and fjords and sliding glaciers. But I’d end up leaning in

to trace walls, borders, touch a finger to the men practicing their sicknesses

and landmines. Scratching topsoil to lever out the hydrogen bombs and gas

chambers they’d have history’s dirty mirror forget. I still don’t want

to leave my want for this place behind. If I were to try again: whales,

white spiders in caves, and all those simple stones that carry no trace of us.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Memory & The Past

Poems of Place

Literary Devices:


the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession


written or spoken language in its ordinary form, without metrical structure