A partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the state arts agencies, Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Since the program began in 2005, more than 4.1 million students and 68,000 teachers from 17,000 schools across the country have participated in Poetry Out Loud. Visit poetryoutloud.org for more information. If you are interested in participating in the official program, please contact your state arts agency.
2021 Poetry Out Loud National Finals
Congratulations to Rahele Megosha from South Dakota, who was named the 2021 Poetry Out Loud National Champion during the May 27 national finals. Kendall Grimes from Tennessee, was announced as the second-place winner, and Soojin Park from Alabama, came in third-place. Read more about the national finals in the NEA’s newsroom.
In the coming weeks, a video with highlights from the national finals will be available. In the meantime, you can watch poetry recitations by all nine of the national finalists on the NEA's YouTube channel and read more about the 55 state and jurisdictional champions in the program book.
The National Endowment for the Arts also recently announced the 2021 winners of Poetry Ourselves, a second competition open to the Poetry Out Loud state and jurisdictional champions to highlight their original poetry. Read about the winners of that competition in the NEA's newsroom.
New Study on Impact of Poetry Out Loud
Line by Line: Transforming Student Lives and Learning with the Art of Poetry presents findings from an evaluation of Poetry Out Loud that involves data collection from ten sample schools assessing the program’s impact on poetry appreciation and engagement, social and emotional development, and academic performance. A fact sheet summarizing the results is also available.