**THE WILDCARD VOTE IS NOW CLOSED – stay tuned for the June 5 announcement of the wildcard winner and other semifinalists who will compete in the final event June 18th!**

Below are the 19 poems entered in the anonymous Facebook Wildcard Vote for this year’s Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award. Listen and choose your favorite poem, and then vote for it – between 9am May 14th and 5pm May 18th – on our facebook page. The poem that receives the most votes will win the wildcard slot and join other poets competing for the $500 cash prize! Listen to the poems below. Log in to facebook to vote for your favorite here.

Tips for voting:

1) Be sure that you are already a member of the Guild’s facebook group page. If you aren’t already, simply go to our facebook page and click “Ask to Join the Group” at the top of the Guild page. Then we will add you to the group (usually within an hour) and after that you can vote. If you don’t join first, your vote won’t register.

2) Remember that if you haven’t seen the poem you’re looking for, there are a total of 26 poems competing for the Wildcard slot, and they’re divided across three posts on our facebook page (due to page limitations). So be sure to scroll down so that you see one post with poems #1-10 (click on the box labeled “7 more…” to see all ten) AND another post with poems #11-20 AND another post with poems #21-26.

3) One vote per person, please

And remember, ALL submitted poems, including those featured in the Wildcard vote, are also being considered for a traditional semi-finalist slot through an anonymous judging process, just like in previous years.

Listen to the Poems below…


229 Baker Street

A Mother’s Plea

An Anonymous Letter to Big Shoulders

At the Center of Trauma

Bitter Dreams

Black Code for Black Males

Black Man’s Baby


Crafting the Black Poem

Dark Brown Hair Color



Logic Class

Minority Report



She’s Gone


Sunday Ritual Disrupted

Too Broken

We Don’t Read Our Coins

When a Black Girl Stops Smiling

Who Got the Word

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothes

Wordly Wisdom


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