25 Lines and Fewer

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2017-2018 competition.

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By Jake Adam York

Perhaps, this morning, we’re there,
normal and soon forgotten, as news is
when it’s passed over breakfast, like love,...

By Frank Bidart

the remnant of a vast, oceanic
bruise (wound delivered early and long ago)
...

By Meredith Holmes

At last I can be with you!
The grinding hours
since I left your side!...

By Heather McHugh

A brilliance takes up residence in flaws—
a brilliance all the unchipped faces of design
refuse. The wine collects its starlets...

By Stephen Crane

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground, ...

By Kathryn Simmonds

The baby sleeps.
Sunlight plays upon my lap, through doily leaves a black lab comes,
a scotty goes, the day wears on, the baby wakes....

By Louise Erdrich

Home’s the place we head for in our sleep.   
Boxcars stumbling north in dreams
don’t wait for us. We catch them on the run.   ...

By Annie Finch

That hour-glass-backed,
orchard-legged,
heavy-headed will,...

By Diane Wakoski

I walk the purple carpet into your eye
carrying the silver butter server
but a truck rumbles by,...

By Dana Gioia

Now you hear what the house has to say.  
Pipes clanking, water running in the dark,   
the mortgaged walls shifting in discomfort,   ...

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2017 AL POL Champion