Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud

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 to high schools across the country. Schools that choose to participate in Poetry Out Loud start the program in the classroom, where participating teachers may use the Poetry Out Loud toolkit to teach poetry recitation and run classroom competitions. Students select, memorize, and recite poems from an anthology of more than 1,000 classic and contemporary poems. Beginning at the classroom level, winners will advance to the school-wide competition, then to the state competition, and ultimately to the national finals in Washington, DC. Since the program began in 2005, more than 4 million students and 65,000 teachers from 16,000 schools across the country have participated in Poetry Out Loud. To participate in Poetry Out Loud, high school teachers and other educators of high-school-age students must contact the state arts agency Poetry Out Loud coordinator in their state. Visit poetryoutloud.org for a list of contacts and more information about the program.

Update on 2020 Poetry Out Loud National Finals

Federal guidelines to slow the spread of the Coronavirus-19 require avoiding social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people, and avoiding discretionary travel for the foreseeable future. Out of care for the health and safety of students, parents, and everyone involved in Poetry Out Loud, the National Finals Competition scheduled for April 27 - 29 in Washington DC were cancelled.

The National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation are recognizing and celebrating the 2020 Poetry Out Loud student champions by distributing cash prize awards, sharing videos of poetry recitations by participants across the United States, and announcing the winners of the Poetry Ourselves contest. Please see our press release for more information.