Find Poems & Poets

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2017-2018 competition.

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By Marilyn Nelson

It was like soul-kissing, the way the words
filled my mouth as Mrs. Purdy read from her desk.
All the other kids zoned an hour ahead to 3:15, ...

By Oliver de la Paz

I spied everything. The North Dakota license,

the “Baby on Board” signs, dead raccoons, and deer carcasses....

By Emily Dickinson

How many times these low feet staggered -
Only the soldered mouth can tell -
Try - can you stir the awful rivet -...

By Eavan Boland

A famous battle happened in this valley.   
                     You never understood the nature poem.   
Till now. Till this moment—if these statements   ...

By Chase Twichell

Sometimes I long to be the woodpile,
cut-apart trees soon to be smoke,
or even the smoke itself, ...

By Jane Cooper

The last full moon of Februarystalks the fields; barbed wire casts a shadow.
Rising slowly, a beam moved toward the west
stealthily changing position...

By David St. John

The way a tired Chippewa woman
Who’s lost a child gathers up black feathers,
Black quills & leaves ...

By John Donne

Since I am coming to that holy room,
         Where, with thy choir of saints for evermore,
I shall be made thy music; as I come ...

By John Donne

Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun,
         Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive that sin, through which I run, ...

By Dionisio D. Martínez

It only takes one night with the wind on its knees
to imagine Carl Sandburg unfolding
a map of Chicago, puzzled, then walking the wrong way....

What People are Saying

"Though I have always had an immense love and appreciation for poetry, particularly spoken word poetry, it was not until I was given the opportunity to go on stage and actually deliver the words of others that I was able to comprehend the real impact of this art."
Iman Dancy
2017 NC POL Champion