Poetry News

New Poetry Initiative Takes Aim at the Trump Administration's Directive to the CDC

By Harriet Staff
Center for Disease and Prevention logo

Over the weekend, news outlets reported that the Department of Health and Human Services has barred the Center for Disease Control and Prevention from using seven words or phrases in its reporting. Those banned words include "fetus," "transgender," "vulnerable," and "evidence-based." In place of the latter phrase, HHS suggests the ever-elegant and concise sentence: "C.D.C. bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes." Hm. In response, Sarah Freligh and Amy Lemmon have created the CDC Poetry Project as a new space where poets are encouraged to submit poetry that incorporates words and phrases that the Trump administration has banned from use. Freligh and Lemmon's site aims to "give voice to the forbidden." More info, starting there:

A collection of poems written in response to the Trump Administration’s directive to the Centers for Disease Control on December 15, 2017, as reported in the Washington Post, that official documents being prepared for the 2018 budget were not to contain the following words:

vulnerable

entitlement

diversity

transgender

fetus

evidence-based

science-based

Starting on December 16, Sarah and Amy invited poets to submit poems in any form that included all seven of these words, preferably in repetition, to CDCpoetry@gmail.com, for publication on the blog. Note that poems submitted as comments will not be published.

Read more about their initiative at CDC Poetry Project.

Originally Published: December 18th, 2017