Poetry Out Loud starts in the classroom, with participating teachers using the Poetry Out Loud teacher toolkit to teach poetry recitation and run classroom competitions.
Following a pyramid structure, classroom winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals.
Eligibility and Legal Participation Requirements
Poetry Out Loud is for high-school students (grades 9-12) at both public and private schools. Eighth graders enrolled in ninth-grade coursework are eligible to compete, at the discretion of state Poetry Out Loud coordinators. Homeschooled students are eligible to compete if the state coordinator finds an equitable and fair way to include them.
Each state champion will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, to compete at the National Finals. The state champion’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. One runner-up in each state will receive $100; his or her school will receive $200 for the purchase of poetry books.
A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be given at the Poetry Out Loud National Finals, with a $20,000 award for the National Champion. The second-place winner will receive a $10,000 award; the third-place winner will receive $5,000; and the fourth- to twelfth-place winners will each receive $1,000. The schools of the top 12 finalists will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry books.
About Poetry Out Loud
Rules and Eligibility
Past State Champions
Poetry Out Loud Website