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What Is Poetry Out Loud?



Poetry Out Loud is an exciting national recitation competition in which high school students build self-confidence and master public speaking skills while learning about art and literature through memorization and performance of classical and contemporary poetry. 

High school students across the nation read, discuss, study, and memorize prominent poetry of the English language, deepening their understanding of complex ideas while practicing self-expression. Inspired by spoken word poetry, youth recite poems in front of their peers, teachers, and judges at a series of competitions from regional to national levels. Poetry Out Loud helps students present themselves confidently in public and on stage, and builds community around the arts. In partnership with the Loft Literary Center, participating schools have the opportunity to offer teachers and youth free workshops with published poets that will celebrate and inspire a passion for poetry. 

Registration and More Information

Register Your School

Registration Information

Timeline & Prizes

Minnesota Champions

Judging Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud, the National Endowment for the Arts, Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Poetry Foundation

Poetry Out Loud is a program that brings students across the country together through poetry, learning, and engagement.

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation cosponsor the program and contest. In local settings, schools host their own contests. Winners move on to regional and state contests, and the winners from each state travel with a guardian to Washington, DC, for the national event.

Minnesota’s Poetry Out Loud state-wide recitation competition is made possible in part by dollars awarded from the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation form the Minnesota State Legislature and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support for metro public library participation is funded with money from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through an appropriation to MELSA.