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

The Nail

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 into their skulls. . . .

A narrow fellow in the grass (1096)

By Emily Dickinson

A narrow fellow in the grass
Occasionally rides;
You may have met him—did you not . . .

The Natural Child

By Helen Leigh

Let not the title of my verse offend,
   Nor let the pride contract her rigid brow;
That helpless Innocence demands a friend, . . .

Nature, That Washed Her Hands in Milk

By Sir Walter Ralegh

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

Negative

By Kevin Young

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

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

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.
. . .

The New Colossus

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 . . .

The New Decalogue

By Ambrose Bierce

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

New Folk

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 . . .

The New World

By Amiri Baraka

The sun is folding, cars stall and rise
beyond the window. The workmen leave
the street to the bums and painters’ wives . . .

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