Michael Simms


Michael Simms is a poet, writer, editor, publisher, and teacher. Three full-length collections of his poetry, four novels, and two widely adopted poetry textbooks have been published or are under contract with publishers. He has also been the lead editor of over 100 published books, including the bestselling Autumn House Anthology of Poetry, now in its third edition. Simms, who identifies as having Asperger's syndrome, has taught at a number of universities, including Chatham University’s MFA program from 2005-2013. Source 

Who Will Tell Them

It turns out you can kill the earth,

Crack it open like an egg.

It turns out you can murder the sea,

Poison your own children

Without even thinking about it.


Goodbye passenger pigeon, once

So numerous men threw nets over trees

And fed you to pigs. Goodbye

Cuckoo bird who lays eggs

In the nests of strangers.


Goodbye elephant bird

Who frightened Sinbad.

Goodbye wigeon,

Curlew, lapwing, crake.

Goodbye Mascarene coot.

Sorry we never had a chance to meet.


Who knew you could wipe out

Everything? Who knew

You could crack the earth open

Like an egg? Who knew

The endless ocean

Was so small?


Right now, there are children playing on the shore.

There are children lying in hospital beds.

There are children trusting us.

Who will tell them what we’ve done?





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:




Science & Climate

Literary Devices:


a recurrence of the same word or phrase two or more times

Rhetorical Question

a question asked for effect, not necessarily to be answered


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