Tulare County Poetry Out Loud

Tulare County Poetry Out Loud

$1,000 prize for Tulare County winner!

The Arts Consortium in partnership with the Tulare County Office of Education feature Poetry Out Loud; a state and national poetry competition, alongside two other poetry events: Poetry Out Loud Junior and Poet’s Own Voice; in Poetry Live! These poetry events teach students grades 6-12 about poetry and offer them the opportunity to experience skills such us public speaking, writing, and recitation.

The Tulare County Office of Education and the Arts Consortium are proud to present Tulare County Poetry Live!

Poetry Live! is a series of events where students in grades 6-12 have the opportunity to recite poems but also write and recite their own original poetry. County, state, and national competitions offer monetary prizes. 

Poetry Live! features three events that students can choose to participate in: Poetry Out Loud, Poetry Out Loud Junior and Poet’s Own Voice. Students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and improve English fluency and comprehension.

The Poetry Out Loud program begins with classroom and school-wide competitions, with winners advancing to county, state, and national competitions.

The County Final Competition features the competitions for the winners of the classroom and school-wide competition winners for all three events. 


County Final Competition
February 2, 2024

Location: Arts Consortium
340 E. Oak Avenue, Suite 112, Visalia

For more information, contact Paula Terrill at (559) 651-0565 or paula.terrill@tcoe.org

Poetry Out Loud

About 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 for high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Since the program began in 2005, more than 4.3 million students and 76,000 teachers from 19,000 schools across the country have participated in Poetry Out Loud.

Arts education programs like Poetry Out Loud matter. National Endowment for the Arts research tells us that children who have arts opportunities in and out of school are much more likely to become adults who participate in the arts. To encourage the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation jointly support Poetry Out Loud.  

Poetry Out Loud can impact students’ academic performance, such as improved writing and analytical skills. Poetry Out Loud can increase students’ appreciation of poetry; through participation students can understand how poetry can reveal new ways to see the world, foster connection and empathy, and reach a greater understanding of ourselves, our past, and others. Students who participate in Poetry Out Loud also showed an increase in self-confidence and found that reading and listening to poetry helped them think about situations from multiple perspectives.

Poetry Out Loud can also have a positive impact on schools, helping to build community, forging stronger connections between teachers and students, and bringing together students who may not have otherwise formed connections.

Poetry reading is on the rise, particularly among young adults. According to the National Endowment for the Arts’ 2017 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, poetry readership is the highest on record since 2002, with the poetry-reading rate among young adults more than doubling in the prior five years.

Poetry Out Loud in Tulare County

Poetry Out Loud is open to all high school age students, including homeschooled youth. This competition is presented by the Arts Consortium (Tulare County’s Designated Arts Council) through funding from the California Arts Council.

High School (9-12 grades only)
Each participating school holds their own competition and then sends their champion to participate in the county level competition. These students will choose three poems from the National Poetry Out Loud Anthology that meet the specified criteria and recite them in front of a panel of judges and an audience. The top student will be crowned the Tulare County Poetry Out Loud Champion.

The Tulare County student winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship and will represent Tulare County at the California Poetry Out Loud competition in Sacramento. Additionally, we provide funding for their coach to travel to the state competition with them.

This competition will align with the National Poetry Out Loud competition and will be scored based on those criteria.

For detailed information visit PoetryOutLoud.org

Follow these Poetry Out Loud links to find out more about national and state prizes, the online poetry anthology, judging criteria, rules & eligibility, and resources for schools. 

Poetry Out Loud Jr.

Poetry Out Loud Jr. offers the Poetry Out Loud experience to middle school students (grades 6-8) 

As with the Poetry Out Loud high school competition, the junior competition begins in the classroom. Teachers will educate their students on poetry so they gain a better understanding of this writing style. Students will then choose poems from the Poetry Foundation archives that they resonate with. After practice, students will compete at a school competition, where a school champion will be crowned.

This champion will represent the school at the Tulare County Poetry Live event in February, where they will prepare two poems for recitation, and an additional for tie-breaking purposes only. Of the two poems, One of which must be 25 lines or fewer, and one must be written before the 20th century. One poem may meet both requirements to qualify.

The Poetry Out Loud Junior competition will honor the top 3 participants with an award, which will include a cash prize. The top student will be crowned the Tulare County Poetry Out Loud Junior champion. Students entering the Poetry Lout Loud Junior competition may also enter the Poet’s Own Voice competition if they choose.

*Information from TCOE Poetry Out Loud Junior web page. 

Poet's Own Voice

About Poet's Own Voice

Poet’s Own Voice event was created to help inspire students to create their own poetry and share it with others in our county. Our hope is students will want to recite their original works in front of an audience at the Poetry Live event.

Open to middle school and high school students (grades 6-12)

There are two ways to participate. The first is a written event in which students submit five original works. Judges will determine the top piece from each student, as well as rank all pieces to determine the top three poems overall. In the showcase portion of the event, students can choose to recite their top original work in front of an audience. From the showcase event the Tulare County Youth Poet Laureate will be crowned.

Students will submit five original pieces of work. These works do not have a minimum or maximum length and the only requirement is they must be school-appropriate (no gratuitous violence or inappropriate language). 

Ways to Participate

1. Written Work Competition

After submitting their work, a panel of judges will review and score the poems based on a provided rubric. After scoring, each student’s top pieces will be determined. All poems will then be ranked based on scores from the judging rubric. The top three pieces will be awarded at the Poetry Live event in February.

2. Showcase Competition

After judges determine each student’s top poem, the students will be informed via email. Students will recite their top poem live at the event in front of an audience and panel of judges. Judges will score the recitation based on a provided rubric. The recitation and written scores will be combined to determine the final score for that student. The top three students will be awarded at the Poetry Live event in February and receive a cash award. The top student will be crowned the Tulare County Youth Poet Laureate

*Information from TCOE Poet’s Own Voice web page.