This Special Program is part of a nation-wide effort to increase knowledge and passion for the literary arts. Poetry Out Loud in Tulare County reaches over 1,000 high school aged youths and gives them a chance to compete in a poetry recitation event on a national level.
The Arts Consortium is proud to present this year’s Poetry Out Loud event! We would like to share some words from Amy Stolls, Literary Arts Director, National Endowment for the Arts:
When Amanda Gorman spoke at the inauguration of President Joe Biden, people around the nation were exposed to the power of poetry, and saw how much skill and creativity it takes to bring a poem’s words to life. For more than 15 years, Poetry Out LoudTM has given millions of high school students a similar platform through a national poetry recitation competition.
An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is offered in all 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa. The program is organized at the local level by schools or organizations, and coordinators have access to a free teacher’s guide and an online anthology of classic and contemporary poetry. With more than 1,100 poems in the anthology, students gain an understanding of the breadth of poetry, while having the freedom to discover poems with which they feel a connection. As students participate in Poetry Out Loud, not only do they develop a deeper appreciation for poetry, they also improve their analytical skills while building self-confidence and public speaking skills.
More than four million students have participated in Poetry Out Loud since 2005, many advancing from classroom competitions to school competitions to state competitions and ultimately to the national finals where students compete for the grand prize of $20,000. Non-school organizations, such as after-school clubs, libraries, or nonprofit organizations, may also host Poetry Out Loud and have students advance to state competitions. In total, Poetry Out Loud will award more than $100,000 to state- and national-level winners and their schools in 2022.
Visit PoetryOutLoud.org to learn more about this program, and to access free materials, including guidelines on how to hold competitions in-person or virtually. To participate in the official 2021-2022 program, contact the Poetry Out Loud coordinator in your state or jurisdiction.
We hope you will help us grow this national competition and bring the power of poetry to even more students in the coming year.
Director, Literary Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
POETRY OUT LOUD 2021-2022 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Poetry Out Loud?
A partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and the state and jurisdictional arts agencies, Poetry Out LoudTM 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.
The program starts in the classroom/school or at the local level with an area organization. Winners then may advance to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the national finals. Awards and placements are determined solely by the judges’ scores based on the Poetry Out Loud Evaluation Criteria.
Since the program began in 2005, more than 4.1 million students and 68,000 teachers from 17,000 schools and organizations across the nation have participated in Poetry Out Loud.
Where and when will Poetry Out Loud take place?
Poetry Out Loud takes place in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa. High schools and organizations that choose to participate in the official competition conduct their programs and contests between September and February. State contests take place by early March. The 2022 Poetry Out Loud National Finals are planned for April 26–27, 2021, in Washington, DC. More information will be announced in the future.
Schools and organizations should contact their state/jurisdictional arts agency with any questions pertaining to live streaming or broadcasting their competitions.
Who can participate in the official Poetry Out Loud contest?
The official Poetry Out Loud contest is administered at the state level by state and jurisdictional arts agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa. All types of high schools are welcome to participate, including public, private, parochial, independent, charter, etc., as well as homeschool students. Non-school organizations, such as after school clubs, libraries, or nonprofit organizations, may choose to run Poetry Out Loud as well. Students may only compete in one stream—either with their school or an organization. Only schools and organizations registered with their state Poetry Out Loud coordinator are eligible for the competition; if you would like to get involved, contact your state arts agency. Students unable to participate at their school or a local organization should contact their state Poetry Out Loud coordinator to discuss other opportunities for inclusion in the state’s official competition.
Only currently enrolled students in grades 9–12 are eligible, with an exception made for 8th-grade students participating in a 9th- through 12th-grade class. A Poetry Out Loud National Champion is not eligible to compete in future years.
No student may be excluded from participating in Poetry Out Loud on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. More information on Poetry Out Loud rules and eligibility may be found at PoetryOutLoud.org.
Are schools and organizations that are not part of the official contest welcome to participate in other ways?
All of the Poetry Out Loud program materials are available for free online in the Teachers & Organizers section of the website. Using these online materials, schools and organizations are welcome to conduct their own “unofficial” poetry recitation competitions and introduce their students to classic and contemporary poetry.
Are program materials available?
Poetry Out Loud offers educators free, standards-based curriculum materials, which include an online poetry anthology with more than 1,100 classic and contemporary poems, a teachers’ guide, lesson plans, and video and audio on the art of recitation. These free resources are available at PoetryOutLoud.org.
What are the prizes?
National Level: A total of $50,000 in awards and school/organization stipends will be given at the Poetry Out Loud National Finals, including a $20,000 award for the National Champion, $10,000 for 2nd place, $5,000 for 3rd place, and $1,000 for 4th–9th places. The representing schools or organizations of each of the top nine finalists receive $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. There will be one honorable mention in each of three national semifinals competitions. Those students will not advance to the finals, but will each receive a $1,000 cash award and a $500 school/organization stipend.
State Level: Each winner at the state level will receive $200 and their school will receive $500 for poetry materials. One runner-up in each state will receive $100; their school will receive $200 for the purchase of poetry materials.
The Poetry Foundation provides and administers all aspects of the monetary prizes awarded and travel arrangements (if applicable) to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals. Awards are made in the form of lump sum cash payouts, reportable to the IRS. Tax liabilities are the sole responsibility of the winners and their families. Full details on prize requirements and travel and accommodations requirements are available in the rules and eligibility section of the website.
What are the judging criteria?
How can I get more information?
Visit poetryoutloud.org for more information on this program. The website features educational resources for teachers and students, including standards-based educational materials, tips on hosting a school contest, and videos of outstanding performances.
The NEA and Poetry Out Loud YouTube channels also include short videos from students, teachers, and others discussing Poetry Out Loud that you can use to build interest and enthusiasm for the program.
All contestants are evaluated on these criteria: physical presence, voice and articulation, evidence of understanding, dramatic appropriateness, accuracy, and overall performance. For more information regarding these criteria, please consult the teacher’s guide.
BACKGROUND ON POETRY OUT LOUD
- The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation created Poetry Out LoudTM which is managed in partnership with state and jurisdictional arts agencies and their partners.
- Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials, and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country.
- Since the program began in 2005, more than 4.1 million students and 68,000 teachers from 17,000 schools and organizations across the nation have participated in Poetry Out Loud.
- Poetry Out Loud begins at the local level with a school or organization. Winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to the state competitions in February and March, and then to the national finals in the spring.
- Non-school organizations, such as after school clubs, libraries, or non-profit organizations, may also choose to run Poetry Out Loud as well. Students may only compete in one stream—either with their school or an organization.
- Guidelines are available on poetryoutloud.org to hold both in-person and virtual competitions.
- The state and jurisdictional arts agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa have enlisted high schools to participate in the official Poetry Out Loud program. Schools or organizations that wish to get involved should contact their state coordinator.
- The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation provide program materials (teacher’s guide, online poetry anthology, and posters) for distribution to participating schools or organizations. Materials are available online at PoetryOutLoud.org.
- Any school nationwide may visit PoetryOutLoud.org to access free online program materials. Using these materials, they are welcome to conduct their own “unofficial” poetry recitation competitions to introduce their students to classic and contemporary poetry.
WHY WAS POETRY OUT LOUD CREATED? WHY IS POETRY OUT LOUD IMPORTANT?
- 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 in Poetry Out Loud 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 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.
For more information, visit: https://www.poetryoutloud.org/