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 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