ROUND ONE: 8-horizontal vs. 9-palatable


Click here for authlete instructions.

Voter Instructions:

  • The countdown at the bottom of each pairing indicates how much time is left to vote.
    • When voting closes, timer will disappear.
  • Read both poems as many times as you’d like.
  • Mark the poem you like best by clicking the circle next to its name.
  • Press the “Vote” button to record your vote.
  • Votes are counted in real time and cannot be changed once entered.
  • In the Public Vote, anyone may vote, but only one vote is allowed per IP address.
  • In the Classroom Vote, you must be registered and logged in to vote.
    • Official voting classrooms should read and discuss each poem and then submit one vote as a class.
    • Students can then vote again individually from home.
  • In the Authlete Vote, you must be a 2015 authlete and logged in to vote.

Things to Consider in Making a Choice:

  • How well the poem incorporates the authlete’s assigned word, given its level of difficulty.
  • Whether or not the poem adheres to the poem requirements for the contest.
  • Precision: structure, meter, rhyme, syntax, etc.
  • Personality: creative imagery, language, metaphor, etc.
  • Power: makes you laugh, cry, want, sigh, think, dream, wince, scream, etc.
  • Plus One: it is a poem you feel drawn to share with another person for whatever reason.

Apply your own criteria as well! For more on the above concepts, check out POEMETRICS™.

Here are the poems:


8-horizontal what does it mean?
The Scrambler
By Margaret G.Simon

Shiny steel octopus spins,
Swoop, loop, slide
along a horizontal axis.
Sends me flying.

Bump! Bam! Boom!
Centrifugal force intensifies.
Our bodies magnetized.
Not my idea of a romantic ride.



9-palatable what does it mean?
Adventures in Cooking
By Tiffany Strelitz Haber

As Mikey McStuffins was baking some muffins
a thought made him quiver with glee.

“I’ll add every treat that my mouth loves to eat
to this totally bland recipe.”

So he tossed in some beets, deli meats and some sweets
plus a drizzle of jam to the pot.

He beamed as it cooked, but as nice as it looked-
was it palatable?

Certainly not.


Public Vote (8-horizontal vs. 9-palatable)
Final Results:
8-horizontal vs. 9-palatable

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
8-horizontal vs. 9-palatable
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
8-horizontal vs. 9-palatable

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  • Renee LaTulippe

    Aw, why are you against each other?! Voted, but not happily. Well done, both of you!

  • Donna Smith

    Oh, I so ditto Renee!

  • Carol Samuelson-Woodson

    Both lots of fun. I really relate to the early cooking attempt.

  • Ed DeCaria

    Since I’ll probably never find a way to get MYSELF into this tournament, I don’t mind saying that Tiffany is one of the authletes I’d LEAST like to go up against in this kind of competition. She is a lyrical laugh-making machine. Margaret, you had a tough draw here, but I and I’m sure many others really enjoyed re-living the horrifying scrambler ride through your poem. Thank you! And Tiffany — congrats! See you in Round Two …

    • Samuel Kent

      Tiffany, if you win, please do me the favor of sitting out next year as I don’t want to face you for my return to the competition.

    • Josh Close

      I’m already dreading the potential of meeting her in the Elite 8 if the both of us make it that far!