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 Louis Jenkins

I take the snap from the center, fake to the right, fade back...
I've got protection. I've got a receiver open downfield...
What the hell is this? This isn't a football, it's a shoe, a man's...

By X J Kennedy

Ginsberg, Ginsberg, burning bright,   
Taunter of the ultra right,   
What blink of the Buddha’s eye   ...

By J. V. Cunningham

How time reverses
The proud in heart!
I now make verses ...

By Weldon Kees

Looking into my daughter’s eyes I read   
Beneath the innocence of morning flesh   
Concealed, hintings of death she does not heed. ...

By Kevin Craft

Among the many lives you’ll never lead,
consider that of the wolverine, for whom avalanche
is opportunity, who makes a festival...

By Wendy Xu

Distrust this season breeds
in me whole
blue worlds, am second...

By Thomas Carlyle

The wind blows east, the wind blows west,
And the frost falls and the rain:
A weary heart went thankful to rest, ...

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

After the fierce midsummer all ablaze
    Has burned itself to ashes, and expires
    In the intensity of its own fires, ...

By Li-Young Lee

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy ...

By Carolyn M. Rodgers

on a day when
we were dark
and not so full of...

What People are Saying

"I did not expect to fall in love with poetry. I just expected to recite and be done with it. After just sitting there and analyzing my poems, I realized that the stories told through these few words mean so much. I had to step out of myself and step into the author's shoes, and with that comes great work."
Kyla Rose Bates
2016 LA POL Champion