Welcome to Poetry Out Loud!

Registration is now open!

See registration information below

POL Champ
Remka Nwana, 2018 State Champion
Don Mears, Photographer

“I am always amazed at how proud students are at the end of POL.  At the beginning they are so scared, but by the end, they ALL talk about how enjoyable this process was.” (Northern VA area teacher)

Poetry Out Loud is a free program for students in grades 9 through 12 that builds public speaking skills and self-confidence. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with the Virginia Commission for the Arts to present Poetry Out Loud.

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 classical and contemporary poems. Poetry Out Loud does not require full class periods and can also be structured as an afterschool program. Classroom studies culminate with a classroom contest with winners advancing to school level, regional and then possibly the Virginia Finals.


Poetry Out Loud registration will be completed through VCA’s new online grants management system. Registration through our grants management system will ensure we are collecting and maintaining accurate program information. All Poetry Out Loud participants will be required to create an account through this system. Once an account is created you will be able to register. The entire process should take less than 10 minutes to complete. You will receive a confirmation email once your registration is submitted.


  • Go to https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=vca
  • Create a username and password (save this information for future reference)
  • Complete all of the registration information required for your account—there can only be one email address associated with the username and password
  • Once the user profile and contact information is submitted you will be able to access the applicant dashboard
  • No DUNs number is required to register-follow directions on the organization information page
  • On the applicant dashboard there will be a tab at the very top of the header next to the VCA logo that says “Apply”
  • Click on the “Apply” tab which will direct you to all open applications
  • Scroll to access Poetry Out Loud Registration
  • Click on the blue “Apply” tab to begin the registration process
  • Incomplete applications will be saved and can be accessed at a later time
  • All registrations must be complete by Friday, November 2, 2018


Regional competitions will take place in January and February of 2019 with the state finals culminating on March 15, 2019. Dates and locations will be updated throughout the summer.

Region 4B Thursday, January 24, 2019 The Candy Factory-The Center for the Arts,
1:00 pm Competition Start
Region 4A Friday, January 25, 2019 Signature Theatre,
1:00 pm Competition Start
Region 6 Friday, February 8, 2019 Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art,
Virginia Beach
1:00 pm Competition Start
Region 3 Tuesday, February 19, 2019 American Shakespeare Center,
12 noon Competition Start
Region 5 Wednesday, February 20, 2019 Richmond Performing Arts Alliance,
1:00 pm Competition Start
State Finals Friday, March 15, 2019 The Community Idea Stations, WCVE


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

More Information