Tips on Hosting a Poetry Out Loud Webcast Viewing Party


  • Register your viewing party
  • Locate a room for your event
  • Reserve audio/visual equipment for large audiences.
  • Schedule or arrange for assistive services as needed. The live webcast will be live captioned. Invite your target audience (friends, family, students, and colleagues)
  • Familiarize yourself with the Poetry Out Loud website.
  • Host a school assembly to watch part or all of the semifinals or finals webcast.
  • Host a viewing party in your school library or English class
  • Broadcast part or all of the Poetry Out Loud National Finals your school's closed circuit TV network.
  • Share your feedback. How was your viewing party? Send us an email at with any feedback and advice you may have for future events.
  • Consider a "pre-event" to encourage attendance at your webcast viewing party and give audiences a reason to viewing the event outside of their home. You might use the hour before the 7:00 pm ET Poetry Out Loud National Finals for a live discussion of poetry or recitations by students or local poets. 

Pre-webcast event ideas:

  • Help recruit more students and schools to join Poetry Out Loud. Ask your audience to visit, and learn about next year's official contest.
  • Host a pre-webcast discussion. It could be informal, or a panel discussion and it could feature a reading by a local poet. 
    Sample questions: What do you think makes a good recitation? (see this "Tips on Reciting" link). What can young people learn from memorizing and reciting poetry?  What is your favorite poem and why? What's new in the local poetry scene? 
  • Encourage your audience to join the national webcast conversation via Twitter with the hashtag #POL19.
  • Invite students to recite a poem from the Poetry Out Loud anthology.
  • Get whimsical! Encourage audience members to dress as their favorite poet or character from a poem. Give your party snacks poetic titles, like Edgar Allen Poetato chips, or Shakespearean sonnet shortbread cookies. Have fun with it!

Poetry Out Loud webcast viewing parties are intended solely as educational events to help foster dialogue about poetry, and about the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest. Poetry Out Loud webcast viewing parties must be free of charge, no purchase requirements of any kind.