Poetry Out Loud Recitation Contest


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

Previous Competitions

2017 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006


New this year: Two Delaware Semi-Finals!

Kent/Sussex Counties: Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at Milton Theatre

New Castle County: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at Delaware Art Museum

State Finals: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at Dover High School (new venue)

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



Important Dates

Oct.– Dec. 2017Classroom/School Competitions
January 12, 2018Deadline to Report School Winners
February 6, 2018Kent/Sussex Counties, Semi-Finals: Milton Theatre
February 7, 2018New Castle County, Semi-Finals: Delaware Art Museum
February 27, 2018Delaware State Competition, Dover High School
Apr. 23–25, 2018National Competition, Washington, DC

Power of Poetry

Poetry Out Loud Contacts
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

JoAnn Balingit, Poetry Out Loud Coordinator

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