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 Anthony Lawrence

My darling turns to poetry at night.
What began as flirtation, an aside
Between abstract expression and first light...

By Lorine Niedecker

My mother saw the green tree toad
on the window sill
her first one ...

By Theodore Roethke

The whiskey on your breath   
Could make a small boy dizzy;   
But I hung on like death:   ...

By Chidiock Tichborne

My prime of youth is but a frost of cares,
My feast of joy is but a dish of pain,
My crop of corn is but a field of tares, ...

By Thom Gunn

One by one they appear in
the darkness: a few friends, and   
a few with historical...

By Rafael Campo

To cure myself of wanting Cuban songs,
I wrote a Cuban song about the need
For people to suppress their fantasies,...

By Michael McClure

It’s the mystery of the hunt that intrigues me,
                   That drives us like lemmings, but cautiously—
The search for a bright square cloud—the scent of lemon verbena—...

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