Poetry Out Loud

  • You’re invited to join other high schools in Pennsylvania and across the country for Poetry Out Loud, the annual national recitation contest for students.

    Poetry Out Loud (TM) LogoPoetry Out Loud (POL) is a completely free program that encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. It is presented through the partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

    The ArtsPath POL region comprises five counties—Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana, and Jefferson—and the DuBois Area School District. Your high school’s champion will participate in the ArtsPath regional finals, and the ArtsPath regional champion will travel expense-free to Harrisburg for the state finals. The state champion will also travel expense-free to Washington, DC for the National POL Finals. 

    Our regional final this year will be held Monday, February 3, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. in the Upper Lobby of the Performing Arts Center at IUP. The snow date is Wednesday, February 5, at the same time and location.

    Register your school by completing the Registration Form and returning it by Friday, January 5. For additional information on the ArtsPath regional or Pennsylvania state contests, download a teacher’s email packet.

    David “Dj” Gress, Philip Horne, and Susan CorbettWinner David “Dj” Gress, pictured here with Philip Horn, former executive director of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and Susan Corbett, the former executive director of Pittsburgh Arts and former First Lady, was the 2012–13 ArtsPath regional winner. From the Kiski School in Saltsburg, Gress also won at the state level and went on to represent Pennsylvania in the Washington, DC national finals. 

    For more information on Poetry Out Loud, visit the comprehensive POL website, call Jeff Wacker at 724-357-4565, or email us at artspath-info@iup.edu. You can also stay updated by following Poetry Out Loud on the following:

    Molly Stoltz with former Governor Ed RendellNational Endowment for the Arts

    Poetry Foundation

    Poetry Out Loud

    About Poetry Out Loud

    • POL satisfies more than half of the English Language Arts from the National Council of Teachers of English Standards, as well as at least three Anchor Assessments per the PA Common Core ELA Standards: Speaking and Listening (SL 9-10, SL 12-11), Reading (FL 9-10, RL 11-12), and Language (L9-10, L 11-12).
    • The teachers’ guide suggests ways to customize the program to meet your schedule constraints.
    • Teachers use the comprehensive POL website, which includes all materials, including all support materials, poems, teachers' guide, media guides, videos, and more.
    • Free, standards-based curriculum materials are available for schools, teachers, and students. Teachers may also request and receive for free a hard copy packet of all materials, including posters.

    Getting Your School Involved

    The 2019 Poetry Out Loud winner with Rep. GablerIndividual or groups of teachers, a school club, or the entire school may participate. Teachers can determine the extent of their participation. For example, they may...

    • Incorporate POL into a unit of study, perhaps culminating in recitations by each student in front of the class;
    • Offer the program as an extra credit project or after-school program’s project; or
    • Use some or all of the lesson plans offered online or in the free teacher’s guide.

    Whatever you plan, the end result should be one winner from your school who will participate in the ArtsPath regional competition.

    What Must Students Do?

    • Choose poems from the hundreds of eligible poems at the POL website to memorize and recite for a class and then school competition.
    • Recitations may not include properties, costumes, or music.
    • Some gestures and minimal movement may, however, be appropriate to a given poem. Be sure to study the recitation guidelines found online or in the Teacher’s Guide.

    What Must Teachers Do?

    Your School’s Winner

    Each school’s winner will then participate in the regional contest scheduled for Monday, February 3, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. in the Upper Lobby of the Performing Arts Center on the IUP campus. In case of inclement weather, an alternate date of Wednesday, February, at 6:30 p.m. has been set as a snow date. Directions and a map of the campus are available.

    • Participants will prepare three poems to recite.
    • The ArtsPath regional winner will compete with 13 other regional champions in the state competition on March 8–9, 2020, at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, Pa. 
    • The state winner will receive $200 and an all-expense-paid trip with a chaperone to Washington, DC to compete for the national championship, held on April 27–29, 2020 in Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University. The winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend to purchase poetry books. A runner-up in each state will receive $100, with $200 for the school to purchase poetry books.