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 Dorothea Tanning

Be perfect, make it otherwise.
Yesterday is torn in shreds.
Lightning’s thousand sulfur eyes...

By Mary Karr

The Devil’s tour of hell did not include   
a factory line where molten lead   
spilled into mouths held wide, ...

By Stephen Dunn

This time I came to the starting place
with my best running shoes, and pure speed
held back for the finish, came with only love...

By Claude McKay

Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess...

By Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

America, I sing back. Sing back what sung you in.
Sing back the moment you cherished breath.
Sing you home into yourself and back to reason....

By Rita Dove

We were dancing—it must have
been a foxtrot or a waltz,
something romantic but...

By Philip Freneau

Deep in a vale, a stranger now to arms,
Too poor to shine in courts, too proud to beg,
He, who once warred on Saratoga’s plains,...

By Grace Schulman

Hopper never painted this, but here   
on a snaky path his vision lingers:
...

By Christina Rossetti

“Oh where are you going with your love-locks flowing
   On the west wind blowing along this valley track?”
“The downhill path is easy, come with me an it please ye, ...

By May Swenson

It’s about                    Ball fits
the ball,                      mitt, but
the bat,                       not all                  ...

What People are Saying

"What really makes a poem dynamic is not the use of grand gestures. Rather, it is the tones and expressions of the voice that help listeners connect and understand the meaning of a poem."
Angelica Sterling
2017 USVI POL Champ