NYPL's National Poetry Contest on Twitter
Read and share the winning poems from NYPL's 2013 National Poetry Contest on Twitter, selected by our judges from nearly 400 registrants from 224 Cities in 41 States, ranging from Alaska to Wyoming.
It rained: / telluric smell of / being forgiven, as sky / upon earth in its tears. / Give me your hand, for / I need to hold it. @nypl— Justin Robinson (@robinsonhasread) March 3, 2013
My daughter learning to read: / sounding, stretching / vocal the unspoken, unto ever-utterance / in her own voice. / Listen world. @nypl— Justin Robinson (@robinsonhasread) March 5, 2013
Sometimes I wish no one / ever went anywhere / but home. Then we could all / eternally return to / a place once called / our own. @nypl— Emma Winsor Wood (@emmawinsorwood) March 6, 2013
Breakwater rocks gleam under frost / Like carcasses of drowned oxen / I am afraid of beginning to love @nypl— Emma Winsor Wood (@emmawinsorwood) March 6, 2013
Give me the last cigarette, we’ll go / To the casino at dawn, for god’s sake / We’re not lovers, why / Read me your poetry. @nypl— Emma Winsor Wood (@emmawinsorwood) March 6, 2013
Bound | in a waiting room | under the el | each time a door closes | the collection of mysteries and tragedies | rattles and sways. @nypl— Leslie Kenna (@MommieWeirdest) March 9, 2013
Heavy words on the street | a flap over a book | after exchanging words | I lug my titles home. @nypl— Leslie Kenna (@MommieWeirdest) March 9, 2013
Reading Room | Stopped | in a tunnel | immobile | straphangers | gripping | novels | slowly | commute | a sentence. @nypl— Leslie Kenna (@MommieWeirdest) March 9, 2013
Ink-stained and arid / Lost amongst leaves / I find you hidden in a stanza. @nypl— Nicky Enriquez (@nickylibs) March 10, 2013
You asked me why flamingos / Because they unashamedly and perpetually blush all over. @nypl— Nicky Enriquez (@nickylibs) March 10, 2013
@nypl in sleep’s counterfeit/for when we’d bolted from our 3rd bar/to the 4th dive we’d fallen from/like babies, the dogwoods had been bare— Lemming Dad (@LemmingDad) March 4, 2013
@nypl vaulting the street/& froze to marvel how close we’d come/2 that pinpoint instant of spring/when time reverses to infinite/no dreams— Lemming Dad (@LemmingDad) March 4, 2013
@nypl Asleep 2night while our dogwoods bloom/I dream of those years in th city/ while in pre-dawn drunk we wove down blocks/of glow-toy buds— Lemming Dad (@LemmingDad) March 4, 2013
Petals waft, punctual & bright, to the ground as if pulled from their sturdy stems to swim amidst the wind currents by my breath. @nypl— shauna osborn (@tenaciousoz) March 3, 2013
Sleep mouth open & ocean spirits whirl in. Dream salty words that swim slow around your tongue & linger beached in carbonized air. @nypl— shauna osborn (@tenaciousoz) March 3, 2013
Our feet became staccato percussion cadence rising from the Bronx air in a mobile vertical scale, truck horns brass en crescendo. @nypl— shauna osborn (@tenaciousoz) March 3, 2013
@nyplGuardingher box of jagged glass, she explains.It's a lifetime of little hurts.She likes the way they sparkle in the light.— it's nothing, really (@thunk2much) March 3, 2013
@nyplour mismatched spoonsstir in the creamin staccato beats to matchthe clickety-clack of dogs in the kitchen— it's nothing, really (@thunk2much) March 3, 2013
@nyplShe built a house of booksadventurous roomsdraped in the finest woven words.She dines with philosophersand dragons on the moon.— it's nothing, really (@thunk2much) March 3, 2013
@nypl Mama’s fingersknow how deepbeneath the surfaceto pushwith black-lined nailsseeds— VernaAusten (@vernaausten) March 3, 2013
@nypl below red clayand the riverwith its arms wrapping aroundus like a shawlwhere it is so deep there isonly blackness— VernaAusten (@vernaausten) March 3, 2013
@nypl where her fingers move silentlyspelling out the lettersI am here waiting— VernaAusten (@vernaausten) March 3, 2013
After dad died/his belongings boxed up/I found his wallet/and took the coupons inside/used them in his honor/coffee filters, bread. @nypl— Jonathan Shipley (@shipleywriter) March 2, 2013
"Praise Song" It's a Sunday and/the atheist walks down/5th Ave up the stairs/through the Lion's Gate/He enters the library/His church @nypl— Jonathan Shipley (@shipleywriter) March 4, 2013
When our English professor died/We published him in our magazine/Just the list left on his fridge/Butter, tin foil, forever stamps @nypl— Jonathan Shipley (@shipleywriter) March 5, 2013
@nypl: 1) i was courted/in a study carrel/learned 2 love/at a table 4 groups/grew up at a service desk/taking calls/answering reference:— LaTasha R. Jones (@EyeWrite) March 2, 2013
@nypl: 2) /this is LaTasha. how may i help u?/life can be summed up in a biblioteca--/almost broke it off/overheard your new gf talking of u— LaTasha R. Jones (@EyeWrite) March 2, 2013
@nypl: 3) /became the best i'd ever be/i was courted/in a study carrel/grew up at a group table/learned to love/in the stacks— LaTasha R. Jones (@EyeWrite) March 2, 2013
Meet Our Judges
Brett Fletcher Lauer (@Poetry_Society) is the Deputy Director of the Poetry Society of America and a poetry editor at A Public Space. His poems have appeared in Boston Review, Fence, Tin House and elsewhere. His first book of poems, A Hotel in Belgium, is forthcoming from Four Way books. He lives in Brooklyn.
Jennifer Benka (@JenBenka), Executive Director at The Academy of American Poets, has served national organizations dedicated to writing and poetry for much of the past two decades. Jen is the author of the poetry collections Pinko (Hanging Loose Press) and A Box of Longing With Fifty Drawers (Soft Skull Press); the artist book Preamble, a collaboration with Mark Wagner (Booklyn); and co-author, with Carol Mirakove, of the chapbook 1,138 (Belladonna).
Karen Gisonny (@KGisonny) is the Helen Bernstein Librarian for Periodicals at the New York Public Library. She is the curator of the Library's collection of small press books; including contemporary poetry, literary magazines, alternative press publications and zines. She hosts the NYPL reading series Periodically Speaking and is a lover of poetry.
Steven G. Fullwood (@StevenGFullwood) is an archivist in the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division at Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and is the publisher of Vintage Entity Press. He has published three collections of poetry by Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, G. Winston James and Pamela Sneed. His newest work, Black Gay Genius (co-edited with Charles Stephens), is an anthology honoring black gay activist Joseph Beam and his legacy.
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