8th Annual Found Poem Contest

Due May 8th, 2018

Every April since 2010 we've celebrated the joys of spring and of National Poetry Month with our Found Poem Contest.

Participating is easy: Just “find” some poetry in a Times article — any Times article, published at any point in our 165-year history.

Q. What’s a found poem?

A. A good nutshell description would be “poems that are composed from words and phrases found in another text.” A New York Times found poem, then, uses words and phrases taken from one or more Times articles, past or present — and since the paper has been publishing since 1851, choosing whichTimes article(s) to use is often the hardest part.

You can mix and combine these words and phrases into a new piece, or you might simply “find” some Times writing that you think is already poetic, as Alan Feuer has done with Craigslist and its “Missed Connections” posts.

For more detail about found poetry and its history and classroom uses, we suggest an article from English Journal, “Found Poems and Headline Poems.” (PDF)

. – Each poem must be 14 or fewer lines.

– You may give it your own original title if you like. The title does not count as one of the lines.

– Your sole source material must be Times pieces. You can use up to two articles.

– The poem itself should use no more than two of your own words. The rest of the words and phrases can be mixed up any way you like, but should all come from The Times. (You may repeat words from the articles as many times as you like.)

– You might choose to write in a traditional poetic form, or not.

– Poems may be submitted by groups or by individuals. Only one poem per person is allowed, however.

– You must be from 13 to 19 years old but can be from anywhere in the world.

– You must post your poem as a comment on this page by 7 a.m. Eastern time on May 9.

– At the bottom of your found-poem post, please provide us with the URL(s) of the article(s) you used.

– Though The Learning Network often publishes excerpts from literary and historical works on our blog via our Text to Text and Poetry Pairing features, those are off limits for this contest. The Times articles they are paired with are, of course, fair game

Note: Our commenting system doesn’t recognize fancy spacing, so using words to create interesting shapes is, unfortunately, not an option.

More information:


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