25 Lines and Fewer

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2018-2019 competition.

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By Mark Turcotte

Back when I used to be Indian
I am standing outside the
pool hall with my sister....

By Ed Roberson

i must be careful about such things as these.
the thin-grained oak.    the quiet grizzlies scared
into the hills by the constant tracks squeezing...

By Kenneth Patchen

Be music, night,
That her sleep may go
Where angels have their pale tall choirs...

By W.D. Ehrhart

What if I didn’t shoot the old lady
running away from our patrol,
or the old man in the back of the head,...

By TC Tolbert

Because the only view we have is the one
that looks down on the knees. Praise perspective.
Praise shared disdain. Praise space made by connective...

By James Wright

The moon drops one or two feathers into the field.   
The dark wheat listens.
Be still....

By William Lisle Bowles

Whose was that gentle voice, that, whispering sweet,
      Promised methought long days of bliss sincere!
      Soothing it stole on my deluded ear, ...

By Christina Rossetti

My heart is like a singing bird
                  Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree ...

By Toi Derricotte

The most popular “act” in
Penn Station
is the three black kids in ratty...

By Seamus Heaney

Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot...

What People are Saying

"I was initially very surprised by how unique each performer can make a poem. Even if twenty different kids are reciting the same poem, they will each make it their own and interpret it the way that they want to. "
Vera Escaja-Heiss
2018 VT Champ