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And the winner is... Claudia Rankine! Her book, Citizen: An American Lyric, has transcended the poetry genre to become one of the most talked about books of 2014. Andrea Gibson, who selected her to participate in this year's Poetry Madness, wrote: "Stunning, shattering, and crucial, Citizen unpacks race relations in America, fueling a facing inward and outward, questioning constructed definitions of freedom, and interrogating the assumption that what is lived through is always survived."

Congratulations to Claudia Rankine (and Andrea Gibson!). Come back next year on April 1 for more Poetry Madness!

(Browse the Poetry Madness 2015 featured titles)

Download the full bracket: Color | Printer-Friendly Version

Every year to celebrate Poetry Month, we select 32 poets to compete for the title of Best Poet of All Time (for the year). Past winners have included Emily Dickinson and Elizabeth Bishop (okay, we haven't had any other winners... this is only our third year). This year, we decided to do something different, to revolutionize the whole thing, to throw out the script, to break all the pencils and do what no one has ever attempted: pick only poets who have been published in the last five years, future Emily Dickinsons and Elizabeth Bishops. We asked four awesome poets — Andrea Gibson, Saeed Jones, Robert Lashley, and Hajara Quinn — to each select eight of their favorite contemporaries.

Andrea Gibson

Andrea Gibson is a queer/genderqueer poet and activist whose work deconstructs the current political machine, highlighting issues such as gender, sexuality, patriarchy, white supremacy, capitalism, classism, illness, love, and spirituality. Gibson is a cofounder of Stay Here With Me, an online website and community focused on suicide prevention. Gibson has published three books of poetry, released six full-length spoken-word albums, and is the editor of We Will Be Shelter, an anthology of social justice poetry published by Write Bloody Publishing.

Saeed Jones

Saeed Jones's debut poetry collection Prelude to Bruise (Coffee House Press) was the winner of the 2015 Stonewall Book Award/Barbara Gittings Literature Award and a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award. His work has appeared in publications like Guernica, The Rumpus, Hayden's Ferry Review, and Blackbird among others. Saeed is the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem and Queer / Art / Mentors.

Robert Lashley

Robert Lashley has had poems published in such journals as Feminete, No Regrets, Nailed, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, and Your Hands, Your Mouth. His work was also featured in Many Trails to the Summit, an anthology of Northwest form and lyric poetry. His full-length book, The Homeboy Songs, was published by Small Doggies Press in April 2014.

Hajara Quinn

Hajara Quinn lives in Portland, Oregon. She is an assistant editor for Octopus Books and the author of the chapbook Unnaysayer (Flying Object, 2013). Her poems have appeared in Gulf Coast, Banango Street, The Volta, Nightblock, and Sixth Finch. She is the recipient of a 2015 Oregon Literary Fellowship.

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