Welcome to Poetry Out Loud!

The words of great poets literally come to life in Poetry Out Loud, a literary arts program created by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation. The Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA) supports students across the Commonwealth enriched by this arts education program that encourages memorization, performance and public speaking skills. Since 2005, nearly 4.7 million students have participated in the program and committed at least one poem to memory. In Virginia, approximately 101,000 students have participated since the program’s inception.


Registration is now open for the 2022-2023 school year.


Poetry Out Loud “How To” Video Guides

The Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA), in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, created a two part Poetry Out Loud “How To” Guide for poetry memorization. This is resource for students, teachers and organizations who are interested in participating in the Poetry Out Loud program:

  • The “How To” Guide Part 1 provides scaffolding techniques to demystify the memorization process with accessible hands-on activities to empower the voices of youth.
  • The “How To” Guide Part 2 provides insight in the memorization, selection, and performance of two poems from the Poetry Out Loud anthology.
Tutorial Series: Recording Recitations for Virtual Competitions

Visit the VCA’s YouTube Channel to access videos.

General Resources Teachers and Students Resources Competition Resources

Poetry Out Loud Competition Calendar

Prior Poetry Out Loud recordings can be accessed on the Virginia Commission for the Arts YouTube Channel

EventDate Links
Registration for 2022-2023 Open Monday, May 23, 2022   Link
Registration Deadline Friday, November 11, 2022   Link
Final Report Submission w/Student Competitor Information and Poems Friday, December 9, 2022   Link
Virtual Video Recitations Monday, January 9, 2023   Links provided to participating students
Virtual Semifinal Competition Saturday, February 4, 2023 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Virtual Semifinal Competition Saturday, February 4, 2023 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Virtual Semifinal Competition Saturday, February 11, 2023 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Virtual Semifinal Competition Saturday, February 11, 2023 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Poetry Out Loud State Finals Friday, March 10, 2023 VPM Studios
23 Sesame Street
Richmond, VA 23235 
Poetry Out Loud National Finals May 8-10, 2023 Washington, DC


Steven Davis, Photo Credit

Katharina Ravichandran, a senior at Albemarle High School, Charlottesville, successfully earned the title of Virginia’s Poetry Out Loud champion. The in-person competition took place on Friday, March 11, 2022 at VPM, Virginia’s home for Public Media where twelve students from across the Commonwealth competed. Isaiah Riddle, a senior at Grace Christian, Staunton was the first runner-up with Baily Moncure, a junior at Appomattox Regional Governor’s School, Petersburg as the third runner-up.

Watch the recorded broadcast of the Poetry Out Loud 2022 state competition here.


Each winner at the state level receives a $200 and an all-expenses paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington to compete for the national championship. The state winner’s school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up receives $100 with $200 for his/her school library.


For program related questions contact

Casey Polczynski, PhD
Deputy Director & Accessibility Coordinator
Virginia Commission for the Arts