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 2022-2023 POL program and state finals event will be implemented in-person.  Experienced poetry teaching artists will be available to work with you to implement the POL curriculum.  Teachers and students may request cost-free virtual or in-person assistance in selecting poems, poetry performance techniques, 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, classroom workshops for students and one-on-one coaching sessions with school winners.  Judges for the Poetry Out Loud Finals are selected for their 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.


2023 Poetry Out Loud

Delaware State Competition, Thursday, March 2, 2023 at the Smyrna Opera House

Participating Students

Bekah Booth, Delaware Valley Classical School

Maiss Hussein, Hodgson Vo-Tech High School

Emily Roth, MOT High School

Aiden Morris, Mount Sophia Academy

Lale Ergen, Newark Charter High School

Julia Nowaczyk, Padua Academy

Hunter Brown, Red Lion Christian Academy

Abigail Ehemann, Saint Mark’s High School

Kaylee Rathbone, Sanford School

Joelle Caternor, Smyrna High School

Morgan Burnett, Sussex Central High School

Ololade Olubowale, Tatnall School


Previous Competitions

 2022 | 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 www.poetryoutloud.org. 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. 2022 Registration Opens
Oct. 31, 2022 Registration Deadline
Oct. 2022 – Jan. 2023   Classroom Instruction/School Competitions
Jan. 13, 2023 Deadline to Report School Winners
Jan. – Feb. 2023 School Winners Coaching and Preparation
March 2, 2023 DE State Finals – Smyrna Opera House, Smyrna, DE
May 8-10, 2023 National Poetry Out Loud Finals – Washington, D.C.
May 10, 2023 National Winner Announced

Power of Poetry

Logo montage: Poetry Out Loud, NEA, Poetry Foundation