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 Robert Bly

Inside the veins there are navies setting forth,
Tiny explosions at the waterlines,
And seagulls weaving in the wind of the salty blood. ...

By Theodore Roethke

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.   
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.   
I learn by going where I have to go. ...

By Stanley Moss

The piano has crawled into the quarry. Hauled   
In last night for firewood, sprawled
With frozen barrels, crates and sticks, ...

By Eavan Boland

This dry night, nothing unusual   
About the clip, clop, casual
...

By Howard Nemerov

For a saving grace, we didn't see our dead,
Who rarely bothered coming home to die
But simply stayed away out there ...

By Chris Abani

The telephone never rings. Still
you pick it up, smile into the static,
the breath of those you’ve loved; long dead....

By William Stanley Braithwaite

Two women on the lone wet strand
   (The wind's out with a will to roam)
The waves wage war on rocks and sand, ...

By Gerald Stern

I wanted to know what it was like before we
had voices and before we had bare fingers and before we
had minds to move us through our actions...

By Ha Jin

We used to like talking about grief
Our journals and letters were packed
with losses, complaints, and sorrows....

By Jill McDonough

That's why we're here, said Julio Lugo
to the Globe. Sox fans booed
poor Lugo, booed his at-bat after ...

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