What is Poetry Out Loud?

A partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and the state and jurisdictional arts agencies, Poetry Out Loud® is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country.
The program starts in the classroom/school or at the local level with an area organization. Winners then may advance to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the national finals. Awards and placements are determined solely by the judges’ scores based on the Poetry Out Loud Evaluation Criteria. Since the program began in 2005, more than 4.1 million students and 68,000 teachers from 17,000 schools and organizations across the nation have participated in Poetry Out Loud.

Poetry Out Loud (POL) 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 heritage and contemporary life.

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 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) standards.

School registration for Poetry Out Loud 2024 is now open!

Guidelines for registration can be found on the Ohio Arts Council website.

Click here to Register

Stuart’s serves as the Southeast Ohio Regional Partner for Poetry Out Loud.

Any schools within the green counties on the map below are part of our Southeast Ohio region, and are eligible to participate in the 2024 Southeast Region Semifinal held at Stuart’s Opera House. This years semifinal will be held on Saturday, November 18th at 5 p.m. Come watch the competition for free and cheer on our local performers!