High school students invited to compete in national poetry recitation contest


The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation present Poetry Out Loud in partnership with the Indiana Arts Commission.

This national arts education program encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills and build self-confidence while also learning more about both classic and contemporary poetry.

During the 2020-21 school year, schools are invited to participate in classroom and schoolwide contests (virtual or in person), advancing to a state competition in March 2021. State champions will advance to the national finals to take place in April 2021, where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed.

Since the program began in 2005, more than 3.8 million students and 60,000 teachers from 16,000 schools across the country have participated in Poetry Out Loud.

As part of Poetry Out Loud, the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation provide free standards-based curriculum materials that teachers may use in their classrooms, including an online poetry anthology containing more than 1,100 classic and contemporary poems, a teacher’s guide, lesson plans, posters and video and audio on the art of recitation. Schools are welcome to download these resources at poetryoutloud.org.

High schools that wish to be part of the official Poetry Out Loud program must visit in.gov/arts/2560.htm to sign up by Dec. 11 to participate. The Indiana Arts Commission will work with interested schools to include them in the official Poetry Out Loud program. Schools that are not in the official program may conduct their own contests using the online resources.

For information, contact Stephanie Haines at [email protected] or visit poetryoutloud.org.

Each state champion will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete for the national championship. The state champion’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials. The first runner-up in each state will receive $100 with $200 for his or her school library.

Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in cash and school stipends at the national finals, including a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud national champion. The Poetry Foundation provides and administers all aspects of the monetary prizes awarded and travel arrangements to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals.

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For information about the Poetry Out Loud contest, visit in.gov/arts/2560.htm.


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