Poetry Out Loud Recitation Contest

2020 Poetry Out Loud Participants

Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a national program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. POL uses a pyramid structure that begins at the classroom level. Winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, DC. More than 100,000 students are expected to take part in POL nationwide each year.

The 2021-2022 POL program and state finals event will be implemented virtually.  Experienced poetry teaching artists will be available to work with you to implement the POL curriculum.  Teachers and students may request cost-free virtual assistance in choosing poems, performing poems, and implementing the program.  Guidance in requesting and hosting POL artists residencies to help your organization participate in this program is available at any time.  The guidance program will include teacher training workshops, one-on-one coaching sessions with students, and online adjudication sessions to determine the finalists and state winners.  Students will be able to practice at home and will videotape their recitation with the teaching artists for remote adjudication by a panel of judges.  Judges are selected for backgrounds in literature, poetry, and theater.  The state winner will be announced in early March.

The Delaware Division of the Arts will provide guidance in running your school’s POL program and is happy to answer any questions or concerns.


This year’s participants include:

Blessing Akanbi
Joelle Caternor
Robyn Goodman
Aiden Morris
Ololade Olubowale
Natalie Kim Ramos
Kai Schmiedel
Ashley Schnyder
Kylie Short
Carrie Van Hauter
Hodgson Vo-Tech
Smyrna High School
Woodbridge Senior High
Mount Sophia Academy
The Tatnall School
Saint Mark’s High School
Delaware Valley Classical School
Sanford School
Milford Senior High School
Sussex Central High School

Previous Competitions

2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 20182017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006



Poetry Out Loud is a fun, participatory way to teach poetry and meet Delaware’s English Language Arts requirements. Free, standards-based curriculum materials are available for all participating schools. Participating schools also have the opportunity to work with teaching artists who give workshops on poetry recitation for students.

Poetry Out Loud curriculum materials include online poetry anthologies, a teacher’s guide to help instructors teach recitation and performance, a DVD and companion guide of past national competition performances to use as a learning tool, promotional and media guides, and a comprehensive website located at Curriculum materials are available for download on the Poetry Out Loud website, which can also be used by schools not involved in the official current competition.

Please visit our FAQ for more information about Poetry Out Loud

The Delaware Division of the Arts will provide guidance in running your school’s Poetry Out Loud program and is happy to answer any questions or concerns. Please contact:

Sheila Dean Ross, Program Officer, Arts in Education/Accessibility and Poetry Out Loud Coordinator



Important Dates (subject to change)

Sept. 2021 Registration Opens
Oct. 15, 2021 Registration Deadline
Oct.–Dec. 2021 Classroom Instruction/School Competitions via Zoom
Dec. 17, 2021 Deadline to Report School Winners
Jan.–Feb. 2022 Student Coaching via Zoom and Performance Recordings
March 10, 2022 DE State Finals – Virtual
May 1, 2022 Poetry Out Loud Semifinals – Virtual
June 5, 2022 Poetry Out Loud National Finals- Virtual

Power of Poetry

Logo montage: Poetry Out Loud, NEA, Poetry Foundation

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