25 Lines and Fewer

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2016-2017 competition.

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By Robert Francis

The American eagle is not aware he is
the American eagle. He is never tempted
to look modest....

By George Moses Horton

I lov’d thee from the earliest dawn,
     When first I saw thy beauty’s ray,
And will, until life’s eve comes on,...

By Claudia Emerson

The word itself: prim, retired, its artifact
her portrait above the fireplace, on her face
the boredom she abhorred, then perfected, ...

By B. H. Fairchild

In his fifth year the son, deep in the backseat   
of his father’s Ford and the mysterium
of time, holds time in memory with words, ...

By Mark Strand

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry....

By Li-Young Lee

In the steamer is the trout   
seasoned with slivers of ginger,
two sprigs of green onion, and sesame oil.   ...


By Edna St. Vincent Millay

I know what my heart is like
      Since your love died:
It is like a hollow ledge ...

By Daryl Hine

Echo that loved hid within a wood
Would to herself rehearse her weary woe:
O, she cried, and all the rest unsaid ...

By Jack Collom

Surrounded by bone, surrounded by cells,
by rings, by rings of hell, by hair, surrounded by
air-is-a-thing, surrounded by silhouette, by honey-wet bees, yet...

By Judith Ortiz Cofer

It is a dangerous thing
to forget the climate of your birthplace,
to choke out the voices of dead relatives...

What People are Saying

"I was surprised that I was able to select poems that are so out of my usual spoken word preference. The Poetry Out Loud website has hundreds of poems that I have never seen before, and the fact that I found 3 and was able to make it so far with them is amazing to me. I guess I learned that stepping outside of the box is okay!"
Annabelle Emuze
2015 IL POL Champion