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 C. K. Williams

Some dictator or other had gone into exile, and now reports were coming about his regime,
the usual crimes, torture, false imprisonment, cruelty and corruption, but then a detail:
that the way his henchmen had disposed of enemies was by hammering nails......

By Emily Dickinson

A narrow Fellow in the Grass
Occasionally rides -
You may have met him? Did you not...

By Sir Walter Ralegh

Nature, that washed her hands in milk,
And had forgot to dry them,
Instead of earth took snow and silk, ...

By Kevin Young

Wake to find everything black
what was white, all the vice
versa—white maids on TV, black...

By Langston Hughes

I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.
...

By Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand...

By Ambrose Bierce

Have but one God: thy knees were sore
If bent in prayer to three or four.
...

By Terrance Hayes

I said Folk was dressed in Blues but hairier and hemped.
After "We acoustic banjo disciples!" Jebediah said, "When
and whereforth shall the bucolic blacks with good tempers ...

By Lorna Dee Cervantes

Night Magic (Blue Jester), 1988, by Carlos Almaraz
 After Federico García Lorca
...

By Michael Earl Craig

This night nurse is different.
She walks into my room and does not turn the light on.
She thinks I am sleeping....

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