Find Poems & Poets

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2015-2016 competition.

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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,...

By James Wright

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies ...

By Simon J. Ortiz

You could drive blind
for those two seconds
and they would be forever. ...

By Stanley Moss

I teach my friend, a fisherman gone blind, to cast
true left, right or center and how far
between lily pads and the fallen cedar....

By Nikki Giovanni

If Black History Month is not
viable then wind does not
carry the seeds and drop them...

By Robinson Jeffers

It is not bad.  Let them play.
Let the guns bark and the bombing-plane
Speak his prodigious blasphemies. ...

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