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 Patricia Smith

I was birthed restless and elsewhere
gut dragging and bulging with ball lightning, slush,...

By Mark Strand

In a field
I am the absence
of field....

By Robert Graves

Are you shaken, are you stirred
    By a whisper of love,
Spellbound to a word...

By Eleanor Ross Taylor

The fork lived with the knife
     and found it hard — for years
took nicks and scratches,...

By Gwendolyn Brooks

We are things of dry hours and the involuntary plan,
Grayed in, and gray. “Dream” makes a giddy sound, not strong
Like “rent,” “feeding a wife,” “satisfying a man.”...

What People are Saying

"I do Poetry Out Loud because the everyday me is very shy and easily stumbles over words, mangling meaning and botching simple conversations. Yet, when I recite poetry it is an opportunity for me to become someone else––an embodiment of the poem. Slowly, step by step, I think Poetry Out Loud is helping me to become a braver, more confident person, even if I still tremble when I get on stage."
Rose Horowitz
2016 ME POL Champion