Anthony Cody, Poetry


Whiting Awards 2022

Anthony Cody. Photograph by Beowulf Sheehan.

Anthony Cody is the author of Borderland Apocrypha, winner of the 2018 Omnidawn Open Book Contest and the 2021 American Book Award. The book was a finalist for the National Book Award, the L.A. Times Book Award in Poetry, and the PEN America / Jean Stein Book Award, and was longlisted for the Believer Magazine Editor’s Award. A CantoMundo fellow from Fresno, California, he has lineage in the Bracero Program and the Dust Bowl. He collaborates with Juan Felipe Herrera and the Laureate Lab Visual Wordist Studio, and serves as an associate poetry editor for Noemi Press and as a poetry editor for Omnidawn.


From Borderland Apocrypha:

El Arpa, a Mexican Lynching, No. 53

“The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement. We must never erode this historic office.”

—Jeff Sessions, former U.S. Attorney General, February 12, 2018 to the National Sheriffs’ Association


1. The inheritance of the heir is never a dandelion disbursal. Scattershot. Floating beyond fences. Growing elsewhere.


2. The inheritance of the elsewhere is a cave of collapse.


3. The cave of collapse is work.


4. The work is never inheritance of the heir’s or of the heir’s heir, as well as the heir’s heir’s heir.


5. The inheritance of repetition is a soundless gavel buried in a shallow grave.


6. The shallow grave is the redness of the bouquet a florist selects.


7. The bouquet is a leaning into the quiet of a funeral.


8. The quiet of a funeral is the Americas.


9. The Americas is a platform, built by the settlers, sheriffs, and miners, for the lynching of the other.


10. The lynching is in a vigilance committee of NAFTA, Operation Wetback, Maquiladoras, ICE, silences, the agricultural prison industrial complex, and US presidents.


11. The silences is a gerrymandering of census data.


12. The census data is learning about the word incarceration through the storytelling project playing on public radio.


13. The incarceration is an ombligo of shirts in a forest of screams.


14. The ombligo is feeding again and never hungry.


15. The feeding is a church of excommunications inside a cage of teeth.


16. The cage of teeth is elected into office.


17. The elected are voting to eliminate whatever and everything.


18. The voting are no longer asking permission.


19. The permission is trafficking.


20. The trafficking is now asked to self-report.


21. The self-report is now asked to fill out a binary form in ink, online.


22. The binary is seeking a fourth option during the election.


23. The election is a wall.


24. The wall is a type of silence.


25. The silence is a type of America.


26. The type of America is in the arrest.


27. The arrest is defined as the cessation or stoppage of motion.


28. The cessation or stoppage of motion is the fabric veiling the artifice.


29. The fabric veiling the artifice is a factory of harps.


30. The factory of harps is a maker of a stringless harp.


31. The stringless harp is the mute progeny.


32. The mute progeny is now the inheritance of the heir.