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Poetry Out Loud

National Arts Education Program and Poetry Recitation Competition

2023 Poetry Out Loud National Champion Sreepadaarchana Munjuluri, a teen girl wearing glasses, vibrant earrings, and a copper necklace with a black sweater. Her black hair is in two braids and she is standing at a microphone.

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.

Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life through poetry. With a catalog of 1,200 classic and contemporary poems at their disposal, students can explore language and themes that resonate with their own experiences. Participants recite their selected poems from memory in competitions at the local, state, and national levels for the chance to win monetary prizes.

Created by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with individual state arts agencies. Since its inception in 2005, the program has grown to nearly 4.2 million students and 72,000 teachers from 18,000 schools. Contact your state arts agency to get involved today!

Additional Details:

  • Participation is open to high school students (grades 9-12), including home school students.
    • Non-school organizations, such as after school clubs, libraries, or nonprofit organizations, may run Poetry Out Loud as well.

  • Offered in all 50 US states, American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

  • The program is free to all eligible participants and schools.

  • Poetry Out Loud offers more than $105,000 in prizes and school stipends each year.


Follow Poetry Out Loud on social media to connect with participants and organizers, stay up to date on competitions, and learn about past winners: