Welcome to Poetry Out Loud!

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The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with Virginia Commission for the Arts to present Poetry Out Loud.  Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry- recitation and performance.  The program builds on a resurgence of poetry as an oral art form and incorporates the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word and theatre to help students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

About the Program

Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure beginning at the high school classroom level where teachers implement a two-to-three week curriculum using free, standards-based materials including print and online poetry anthologies containing more than 600 classic and contemporary poems. Poetry Out Loud does not require full class periods.  Classroom studies culminate with a contest in which each student selects and recites a poem.  Classroom winners advance to school-wide recitation competitions, school champions advance to regional and state competitions, and ultimately to the National Finals. The Poetry Out Loud National Finals will be held in Washington, DC on April 28th & 29th, 2015.


Each winner at the state level receives $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 in each state receives $100, with $200 for his or her school library.  A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the National Finals. 

Poetry Out Loud Calendar

Registration is now closed. October 24, 2014
Champion Survey Deadline: December 17, 2014
School Final Report Forms due to VCA for Regional Competition Deadline: December 17, 2014
Region 3 - Jefferson Center, Roanoke VA February 24, 2015, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Region 4a - Signature Theatre, Arlington VA February 6, 2015, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Region 4b - State Theatre, Culpeper VA February 5, 2015, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Region 5 - Virginia Rep's Children's Theatre at Willow Lawn, Richmond VA February 13, 2015, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Region 6 - Crispus Attucks Cultural Center February. 20, 2015, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Regional Champion Forms due to VCA for State Final March 2, 2015
State Finals: WCVE Studios Richmond, VA March 13, 2015  
National Finals: Washington D.C. April 28th & 29th, 2015


For any questions related to participation in the official Poetry Out Loud Program contact:

Casey Polczynski
Arts in Education Coordinator
Virginia Commission for the Arts

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