25 Lines and Fewer

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2014-2015 Poetry Out Loud competition. More information here.

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By E. E. Cummings

Buffalo Bill ’s
defunct
               who used to...

By Rodney Koeneke

The bug’s psalm: don’t get crushed.
Afterlives feel meaningless
but spring will come,...

By Karl Shapiro

As a sloop with a sweep of immaculate wing on her delicate spine
And a keel as steel as a root that holds in the sea as she leans,
Leaning and laughing, my warm-hearted beauty, you ride, you ride,...

By Naomi Shihab Nye

Letters swallow themselves in seconds.   
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,   
transparent scarlet paper, ...

By Amy Beeder

I see you shuffle up Washington Street
whenever I am driving much too fast:
you, chub & bug-eyed, jaw like a loaf...

By Rebecca Lindenberg

The mask that burns like a violin, the mask
that sings only dead languages, that loves
the destruction of being put on. The mask...

By Jaya Savige

Dense night is a needs thing.

You were lured...

By Eve Merriam

Once upon a time
I caught a little rhyme
...

By Ben Jonson

Let it not your wonder move,
Less your laughter, that I love.
Though I now write fifty years, ...

By Kay Ryan

It seems like you could, butyou can’t go back and pull
the roots and runners and replant.
It’s all too deep for that....

What People are Saying

"I would like to thank the Poetry Out Loud Organization and everyone who made this event possible! It's such an incredible opportunity. I will cherish the memory of this experience forever!"
Austin Gage
2014 WV POL Champion