What is Poetry Out Loud?
Since 2005, more than 12,000 schools, 50,000 teachers, and 3.3 million high school students have discovered the power of Poetry Out Loud.
Poetry Out Loud is national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. Similar to the National Spelling Bee, the competition begins at the classroom level as participating teachers use the Poetry Out Loud toolkit to teach poetry recitation and run classroom competitions. Students select, memorize, and recite poems from an anthology of more than 900 classic and contemporary poems. Each school champion will then go on to the State Finals in Nashville, where the winner will receive $1,000, as well as a trip with their teacher to represent Tennessee in Washington D.C. at the National Poetry Out Loud Finals. The winning student of the National Finals will receive $20,000 – an honor received by a Tennessee student in 2014!
“I learned that I enjoyed poetry – a lot. I’m known as the “football guy” at my school and it surprised me, and others, that poetry would be a big part of my life. Also, I realized that I am not bad at performing and public speaking.”
Marquavious Moore, Memphis Tennessee, 2017 Poetry Out Loud State Champion.
Poetry Out Loud provides free, easy-to-use materials aligned with NCTE ELA Standards, allowing the program to easily stand alone, or be folded into current curriculum. Teachers of ALL subjects are encouraged to participate.
Beyond gaining an appreciation for poetry, time and again high school students tell us what an impact Poetry Out Loud has had on their lives, from developing their self-confidence to giving them the tools to express themselves.