About Poetry Out Loud

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Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State Arts Agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.  

Teachers, librarians, or administrators register their high schools each year with the Ohio Arts Council and organize contests with one class, several classes, or a whole school. Contests, workshops, and multi-media program materials, including curricula, are free. Poetry Out Loud is aligned with Common Core and NCTE standards.

Register Your School


Contest Structure

Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that starts at the classroom level. A winner from each participating school is invited to compete in a regional semifinal contest. The top scoring students from each semifinal advance to the State Finals competition. First, second, and third place winners at the State Finals receive cash prizes and money for their school libraries. Both semifinals and state finals are free and open to the public. 

The winner of the State Finals becomes Ohio’s new Poetry Out Loud state champion and is invited on an all-expenses-paid trip to compete for the title of Poetry Out Loud national champion in the National Finals in Washington D.C. The national championship prize is $20,000.

Click here for more information about Ohio's Poetry Out Loud contests.



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CHIQUITA MULLINS LEE | Arts Learning Coordinator


KATIE SWETT | Ohio POL Project Coordinator


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Phone: 614-466-2613
Fax: 614-466-4494