Welcome to Poetry Out Loud!
Poetry Out Loud is a poetry recitation contest open to all Oregon high school students. It is a free program that encourages young performers to learn about great American poems through memorization and competitive performance. It is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in cooperation with the Oregon Arts Commission and other state arts agencies.
Watch this short video to find out what students are saying about Poetry Out Loud.
You must have Windows Media Player to view the above video.
- Teacher Resource Materials
- Regional/State Contest Information
- National Teacher Resources
- Official Contest Rules
Arts Education Coordinator
Poetry Out Loud Coordinator
Frequently Asked Questions
How does it work?
Poetry Out Loud starts in a school, either in a classroom or after school. Register your school to participate. School winners advance to a regional contest. The top three contestants from each region advance to the state contest and one state chamption goes on to the National Finals.
How much does it cost to participate?
Participation in Poetry Out Loud is free. Lesson plans and supplemental classroom resources are provided at no cost to all participating teachers. The Oregon Arts Commission providesassistance to help subsidize the cost of travel to the state contest.
When is it?
|December 1, 2012: deadline for schools to register for participation|
|March 1, 2013: deadline to register individual school winners for regional contests|
|March 11, 2013: deadline to register regional winners for state contest|
|March 16, 2013: Oregon State Poetry Out Loud Contest, 1 PM to 4 PM (Salem)|
|April 29-30, 2013: National Finals in Washington DC|
Who may participate?
Poetry Out Loud is designed for high school students (grades 9-12) at both public and private schools. Accommodations for participation by home school students will be made on a case by case basis.
Under federal law, participation in state competitions and the National Finals is restricted to U.S. citizens or permanent residents. No student may be excluded from participation in this program on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, or national origin. Schools may determine eligibility for classroom- and school-level Poetry Out Loud programs pursuant to local and state law.
What do I have to do?
Register your school to participate by December 1, 2013. Teacher materials will be mailed to all participating teachers at your school.
If more than one classroom is participationg, hold classroom competitions to determine which students will compete in your school-wide event.
Hold your school competition and determine a school winner before March 1, 2013. This will involve selecting a panel of at least two judges.
Register your school champion for the regional contest.
What do I get?
“I loved listening to the state contest, but it was even more gratifying to hear some of my previously shy students speak beautiful words with confidence.” Participating Teacher
"Brynn enjoyed the poetry experience on a whole new level. She can better analyze poems and reach a deeper understanding far beyond her previous capabilities. Because she is an aspiring writer, this additional ability to have insight and thoughtfulness to the poetry and prose that she reads is a forever gift. It will serve her well throughout her life. Long live POL!" parent of Oregon State Champion
Poetry Out Loud engages students in the study of great poetry, as well as helps them practice public speaking skills while building self-confidence and learning about their literary heritage.
When you register your school to participate you will be asked to provide the name of each participating teacher at your school. Each participating teacher receives a resource packet for use in the classroom.
Teachers can download an Oregon Teacher Guide, developed specifically to help meet Oregon educational benchmarks in reading, literature, public speaking, and the arts.
What do my students get?
“If one did not appreciate the power poetry can hold before listening to these performances, one would definitely reconsider his feelings toward poetry after that night!” – Summer, senior
“I can recognize not only how to speak in front of the public but also how to express my emotions with my poems.” – Hien, junior exchange student
Students gain a deep understanding and appreciation of poetry through participation in Poetry Out Loud.
There are also scholarship prizes available: Each state champion receives $200 and an all expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. The state champion’s school library receives $500 for the purchase of poetry books. The state runner-up receives $100 and the school receives $200 to buy poetry books.
The national champion receives a $20,000 scholarship. The second-place winner receives a $10,000 scholarship; the third-place winner receives $5,000; and the fourth-to twelfth-place winners each receive $1,000. The schools of the top twelve finalists each receive $500 for the purchase of poetry books.