A partnership of the NEA, the Poetry Foundation, and the state arts agencies, Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. Poetry Out Loud offers educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. Students select, memorize, and recite poems from an anthology of more than 900 classic and contemporary poems. In this pyramid structure competition, winners advance from classroom recitation contests to school-wide competitions, then to the state competitions and, ultimately, to the National Finals in Washington, DC. 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.
2016 Poetry Out Loud National Semifinals and Finals Results
Congratulations to Virginia high school senior Ahkei Togun, the 2016 Poetry Out Loud National Champion! With confident recitations of poems by Henry Taylor, Cornelius Eady, and William Lisle Bowles, the Tallwood High School senior recited his way to a $20,000 award and major bragging rights among the approximately 317,000 student-competitors nationwide who participated in the program this year. (Second place went to Marta Palombo, a senior from Georgia, while sophomore Nicholas Amador of Hawaii came in third.) Togun, who has participated in Poetry Out Loud since his freshman year of high school, is headed to college in New York this fall where he will study acting.