Find Poems & Poets

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2016-2017 competition.

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By Joan Murray

Near Ekuvukeni,
in Natal, South Africa,
a woman carries water on her head....

By Joshua Mehigan

Nothing has changed. They have a welcome sign,
a hill with cows and a white house on top,
a mall and grocery store where people shop,...

By Victor Hernández Cruz

Behold and soak like a sponge.   
I have discovered that the island of Puerto Rico   
is the ears of Saru-Saru, a poet reputed to have lived   ...

By Michael S. Harper

Soul and race
are private dominions,   
memories and modal ...

By Eleanor Wilner

To turn a stone
with its white squirming
underneath, to pry the disc ...

By Joshua Mehigan

On the crowded hill bordering the mill,
across the shallow stream, nearer than they seem,
they wait and will be waiting....

By Thomas P. Lynch

He’ll have been the last of his kind here then.
The flagstones, dry-stone walls, the slumping thatch,
out-offices and cow cabins, the patch...

By Patricia Smith

Gotta love us brown girls, munching on fat, swinging blue hips,
decked out in shells and splashes, Lawdie, bringing them woo hips.
...

By Camille Rankine

Our stone wall was built by slaves and my bones, my bones
are paid for. We have two
 ...

By Natasha Trethewey

I am four in this photograph, standing   
on a wide strip of Mississippi beach,   
my hands on the flowered hips ...

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