Poetry April Madness 1: Rules & Team Rosters

Conducted by Jonathan Hobratsch & Agon Haroldson


For April Poetry Month I’ve decided to play an eccentric literary game. Thirty teams of American poets, past and present, and will go head-to-head through a March Madness-style sporting system to see which poetry team is the strongest team of all.

All 30 teams will face each other in round 1. The 15 winning teams of round 1 will go on to Round 2, except for one team which will have a bye week. The 8 remaining teams from round 2 will go on to round 3. Four teams will enter round 4. The championship between the 2 remaining poetry teams will take place in round 5.

How the Teams were Created

Each team was created by random from a list of 270 American poets. Each team has 9 poets. The names for each team were taken from poetry terminology.

Rules of the Game

In each contest, the 9 poets for each team will fact one opponent from the other team. Thus, all 9 poets on each team face on single poet from the other. These one-on-one match ups will be chosen at random.

In each match between individual poets, I will google for each poet’s most popular poem, according to Google. I will then determine, which poet’s poem is the strongest poem of the two poets. Teams that advance to the second round will use their second most popular poem, and so on for each round. As such, poets that are consistently strong will be helpful later in the game.

As each team has 9 poets; therefore, the team that scores 5 wins or more in a game will move on to the next round.

The last team standing, after all the remaining 29 teams have been dispatched, will be the winner.

April Poetry Madness Team Rosters (w/ Round 1 matchups) !!!

Note: matchups, like the rosters, were generated by random. Individual match ups among the poets will be a game day decision.

Game 1: 

The Enjambments (Robert Hayden, Vachel Lindsay, Donald Justice, Muriel Rukeyser, Charles Reznikoff, Archibald MacLeish, Jack Gilbert, Alfred Corn, Terrance Hayes)
The Spondees (John Ashbery, John Hollander, Carl Phillips, TR Hummer, Michael Dickman, Alice Walker, BP Kelly, Brenda Shaughnessy, Amy Lowell)
Game 2: 
The Terza Rimas (Wendell Berry, Richard Howard, Ezra Pound, Ben Mazer, Stephen Dunn, Anne Waldman, Dorothea Lasky, Ron Silliman, Laura Riding)
The Metonymys (Louise Bogan, Linda Gregorson, Frank O’Hara, Jericho Brown, Erin Belieu, James Wright, Albert Goldbarth, JD McClatchy, Jerome Rothenberg)
Game 3:
The Ballades (Rae Armantrout, Laura Kasischke, Ishmael Reed, Elinor Wylie, Carolyn Forche, Ruth Stone, Aurdre Lorde, Gerald Stern, Robert Lowell)
The Epithalamions (Li-Young Lee, David Lehman, May Swenson, Robert Pinsky, Richard Wilbur, Mark Bibbins, Ai, Delmore Schwartz, Alice Fulton)
Game 4:
The Strophes (Greg Corso, Bob Holman, Sylvia Plath, John Gallaher, Alan Dugan, Rosanna Warren, Jane Kenyon, Philip Schultz, Campbell McGrath)
The Rondeaus (Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Hass, Ron Padgett, Timothy Donnelly, Kazim Ali, John Greenleaf Whittier, August Kleinzhaler, Lorine Neidecker, James Schuyler)
Game 5: 
The Sonnets (Robert Creeley, Bob Hicock, Lucia Perillo, William Logan, Matthew Dickman, Phillis Wheatley, Weldon Kees, Anne Sexton, Allen Tate)
The Pantoums (John Berryman, Jupiter Hammon, Charles Olson, Emily Skillings, Sherman Alexie, CD Wright, Carolyn Kizer, Ogden Nash, Carl Sandburg)
Game 6:
The Voltas (Billy Collins, Langston Hughes, Kenneth Rexroth, Kevin Young, RW Emerson, James Tate, Dorianne Laux, WD Snodgrass, Howard Neverov)
The Palinodes (Hart Crane, Kamiko Hahn, Roger Jones, Matthea Harvey, David Biespiel, Charles Wright, James Galvin, Marianne Moore, Kay Ryan)
Games 7:
The Cantos (Tao Lin, CK Williams, Edward Hirsch, Elizabeth Bishop, James Whitcomb Riley, William Carlos Williams, Ada Limon, Richard Siken, James Merrill)
The Sestinas (Robert Bly, Lyn Hejinian, Dorothy Parker, Nick Courtright, Emily Dickinson, James Brooks Wheelwright, Stanley Kunitz, Tom Healy, Trumbull Stickney)
Game 8: 
The Odes (Leonie Adams, Barbara Guest, Mary Oliver, Nicolas Hundley, Cyrus Cassells, Franz Wright, Eduardo C Corrall, Claude McKay, Mary Ruefle)
The Georgics (Sidney Lanier, Frank Stanford, Rita Dove, Hayden Carruth, Kenneth Koch, Jones Very, David Shapiro, Richard Eberhart, Celia Thaxter)
Game 9: 
The Synechdoches (Amiri Baracka, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Edgar Allan Poe, James Richardson, Robert Duncan, Robert Penn Warren, Wayne Koestenbaum, Gjertrud Schnackenberg, Thylias Moss)
The Madrigals (William Cullen Bryant, Jorie Graham, Alice Notley, Chis Hosea, Maxine Chernoff, Jay Wright, Louise Gluck, James Russell Lowell, Lucas de Lima)
Game 10: 
Dactyls (Claudia Emerson, Kathleen Peirce, Mina Loy, Hannah Rebecca Gamble, Gary Soto, Natasha Trethewey, Forrest Gander, Martin Espada, CA Conrad)
The Triolets (Lucille Clifton, Fanny Howe, Marie Ponsot, Adam Fitzgerald, Cornelius Eady, Mona Van Duyn, Paul L. Dunbar, Charles Simic, Wallace Stevens)
Game 11:
The Abecedarians (Matt Hart, William Meredith, Marilyn Hacker, Robinson Jeffers, Heather McHugh, Yusef Komunyakaa, BH Fairchild, Seth Abramson, Ted Kooser)
The Alexandrines (Wanda Coleman, Randall Jarrell, Adrienne Rich, Dean Young, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Arthur Sze, Ben Lerner, Gertrude Stein, Edna St. Vincent Millay)
Game 12: 
The Villanelles (Joseph Brodsky, John Crowe Ransom, Matthew Zapruder, Lynn Emanuel, Susan Howe, Frederick Goddard Tuckerman, Philip Levine, William Jay Smith, Theodore Roethke)
The Anapests (Henri Cole, Lisel Mueller, Khaled Mattawa, Denise Levertov, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Nathaniel Mackey, Jack Spicer, Sharon Olds)
Game 13: 
The Dirges (C. Dale Young, Landis Everson, Albert Rios, Edward Taylor, Jane Hirschfield, Conrad Aiken, Mark Doty, Henry David Thoreau, Galway Kinnell)
The Trochees (Marie Howe, Claudia Rankine, Louis Zukofsky, TS Eliot, Jean Valentine, James Laughlin, Louis Simpson, Mark Strand, Carl Dennis)
Game 14:
The Rondels (AR Ammons, Anthony Hecht, Michael Palmer, Paul Legault, Anselm Berrigan, Walt Whitman, Maxine Kumin, EA Robinson, Frederick Seidel)
The Double Dactyls (Fitz Greene Halleck, Frank Bidart, Amy Clampitt, Tarfia Faizullah, Hilda Doolittle (H.D.), Donald Hall, Charles Bernstein, Tony Hoagland, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
Game 15:
The Eclogues (Naomi Shihab Nye, George Oppen, Thomas M. Disch, Robert Frost, Anne Bradstreet, Amy Gerstler, Edgar Lee Masters, William Stafford, WS Merwin)
The Iambs (Pattiann Rogers, Tracy K. Smith, Amy Newman, James Dickey, EE Cummings, William Matthews, Ilya Kaminsky, Eleanor Wilner, Nikki Giovanni
Next up
Game 1. Stay tuned.



One Comment Add yours

  1. “Not good enough, Tennyson!” 🙂 –Paul


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