Poets Respond to the 9/11 Attacks

9.11 Tribute in Light over Manhattan
Stanley K. Patz/Photolibrary/Getty Images

In the years since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on America, poets and readers continue to turn to poetry in an effort to make sense of the devastation and the horror of that day. As Don Delillo wrote in "Falling Man: A Novel:"

"People read poems. People I know, they read poetry to ease the shock and pain, give them a kind of space, something beautiful in language . . . to bring comfort or composure."

This collection comes to you accompanied by our hope that in your grief, anger, fear, confusion, or resolve these poems offer you grace.

  • Daniel Moore (Abd al-Hayy), “A Little Ramshackle Shack”
  • Matthew Abuelo, “Upon 9/11”
  • Adam, “If Only”
  • Ken Adams aka Dudley Appleton, “911”
  • Joe Aimone, “The W After”
  • Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz, “WTC 9/11”
  • Paula Bardell, “Silence (over Manhattan)”
  • Tony Beyer, “In the Wake of America”
  • Michael Brett, “Tomorrow”
  • Tony Brown, “Dispatch from the Home Front: Halloween 2001”
  • Penny Cagan, “September Eleventh”
  • Lorna Dee Cervantes, “Palestine”
  • David Cochrane, “Firefighter's Prayer”
  • Jim Cohn, “Ghost Dance”
  • Julie Craig, “Before and After”
  • Peter Desmond, “Good Morning, Uzbekistan!”
  • Jesse Glass, “down”
  • JD Goetz, “9/11/02”
  • jj goss, “Aftermath of 9-11”
  • Dorothea Grossman, “Ruins”
  • Marj Hahne, “Remembrance” and “A New York Winter”
  • Mary Hamrick, “An American Soldier”
  • Elizabeth Harrington, “Normally”
  • Judyth Hill, “Wage Peace”
  • Michael Hillmer, “The Lights That Have Vanished”
  • Bob Holman, “Cement Cloud”
  • Larry Jaffe, “Will It Be Heard” and “5000 Souls Leaving”
  • Karen Karpowich, “In Central Park”
  • Eliot Katz, “When the Skyline Crumbles”
  • John Kissingford, “September 12” and “Image”
  • Doug McClellan, “Day One”
  • Poet Laureate Billy Collins’ commemorative poem “The Names” in The New York Times
  • Former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky’s poem “9/11” in The Washington Post
  • “Poetry and Sept. 11: A Guided Anthology” by Robert Pinsky in Slate
  • “The Language of War and Peace,” special issue of Big Bridge
  • “Words To Comfort,” a selection of poems and photographs from the NYC benefit readings October 17, 2001 in Jacket 15
  • “Poems for the Time,” anthology collected by Alicia Ostriker in Moby Lives
  • “Poetry and Tragedy,” reactions and poems from the recent Laureates in USA Today
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Your Citation
Snyder, Bob Holman & Margery. "Poets Respond to the 9/11 Attacks." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, thoughtco.com/poems-after-the-attack-2725478. Snyder, Bob Holman & Margery. (2020, August 26). Poets Respond to the 9/11 Attacks. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/poems-after-the-attack-2725478 Snyder, Bob Holman & Margery. "Poets Respond to the 9/11 Attacks." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/poems-after-the-attack-2725478 (accessed March 23, 2023).