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 Paul Laurence Dunbar

I am the mother of sorrows,
   I am the ender of grief;
I am the bud and the blossom, ...

By Robert Francis

When others run to windows or out of doors
To catch the sunset whole, he is content
With any segment anywhere he sits....

By Toi Derricotte

A professor invites me to his “Black Lit” class; they’re
reading Larson’s Passing. One of the black
students says, “Sometimes light-skinned blacks ...

By Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields, ...

By Charles Simic

They explained to me the bloody bandages
On the floor in the maternity ward in Rochester, N.Y.,   
Cured the backache I acquired bowing to my old master,   ...

By Anne Killigrew

Remember when you love, from that same hour
Your peace you put into your lover’s power;
From that same hour from him you laws receive, ...

By Cathy Smith Bowers

I collect them now, it seems. Like
sea-shells or old
thimbles. One for ...

By Jennifer Tonge

Come here’s
a peach he said
and held it out just far...

By Stuart Dybek

Fire ran horrified
from its ashes.
...

By Campbell McGrath

Today is a trumpet to set the hounds baying.
The past is a fox the hunters are flaying.
Nothing unspoken goes without saying....

What People are Saying

"I actually enjoy poetry! When I started participating in the Poetry Out Loud competition in the 9th grade I hated poetry, but as I continued to participate over the years I grew a love and appreciation for the art form, and poetry is now a part of my identity."
Irvin Mason, Jr.
2016 USVI POL Champion