Adi was created to expand and complicate what policy writing can be, and in our latest issue, we take up that task wholeheartedly. “Policy Recommendations: Poets Intervene” presents poems from writers around the world whose practices are animated by pressing social questions and the elemental forces that shape our lives. Collectively, these pieces consider how policies reverberate in intimate realms, bearing down on bodies, imaginaries. The poems also share, in the face of insidious and explicit violence, a commitment to the vitality of dreams. As Momtaza Mehri writes: “We want more than we will ever be given.”

In this issue, Evie Shockley attends to lives interrupted by gun violence, and Shafiqa Khpalwak personifies the ravages of war through a dragon. Cynthia Dewi Oka appraises reproductive labor, and Elisa Gonzalez invites us to reimagine value. Meena Kandasamy, Angélica Freitas, and Tanella Boni probe abuses of power in private and political spaces, while Irma Pineda reflects on migration and collective trauma. And Hala Alyan, Momtaza Mehri, and Wendy Xu contemplate national myths and the thresholds between real and imagined homes. 

Each poem is accompanied by original artwork from Upasana Agarwal, Sarula Bao, and Olivia Healy. The array here—eleven writers, three artists, five continents, four original translations—is at once immediate and panoramic, responsive to current political realities as well as attuned to the longitudinal nature of struggle. 

Framing poems as “policy recommendations” emerged both out of the belief that poetic language can be an intervention into the policy sphere, and the sense that the complexity of our particular moment is perhaps best articulated through experimental and abstracted forms of argumentation. Today, we are all searching for the right words. Let these poets offer you theirs. Elisa Gonzalez: “That we can hear our own voices, and far-off inside ourselves, the singing—that singing exists.”

—Meara Sharma, editor-in-chief

In this Issue

Past Issues