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 Ed Roberson

i must be careful about such things as these.
the thin-grained oak.    the quiet grizzlies scared
into the hills by the constant tracks squeezing...

By Kenneth Patchen

Be music, night,
That her sleep may go
Where angels have their pale tall choirs ...

By W.D. Ehrhart

What if I didn’t shoot the old lady
running away from our patrol,
or the old man in the back of the head,...

By James Wright

The moon drops one or two feathers into the field.   
The dark wheat listens.
Be still. ...

By William Lisle Bowles

Whose was that gentle voice, that, whispering sweet,
      Promised methought long days of bliss sincere!
      Soothing it stole on my deluded ear, ...

By Melvin B. Tolson

The night John Henry is born an ax
            of lightning splits the sky,
and a hammer of thunder pounds the earth, ...

By Christina Rossetti

My heart is like a singing bird
                  Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree ...

By Toi Derricotte

The most popular “act” in
Penn Station
is the three black kids in ratty ...

By Seamus Heaney

Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot...

By Carmen Giménez Smith

My heart is bleeding. It bleeds upward and fills
my mouth up with salt. It bleeds because of a city in ruins,
the chair still warm from sister's body,...

What People are Saying

"I did not expect to like Poetry Out Loud, truthfully. My first year, I did not want to compete at all.Somewhere along the line, I fell in love with the program and have learned so much about poetry, performing, and expression throughout the last three years."
Gabrielle Hunt
2017 NV POL Champion