Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation that encourages the study of great poetry.
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.
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation partner with the State Arts Agencies to bring Poetry Out Loud program to all 50 states including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Poetry Out Loud builds on the recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as demonstrated by the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of rap music among our youth. By performing great works of literature, students can master public-speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn more about their cultural heritage.
The Lead Teacher will:
The Delaware Division of the Arts provides registered schools with the following support services:
Click here for directions on how to register your school for the Poetry Out Loud (POL) program. Schools must sign up to participate by Friday, October 31, 2022.
Schools may begin their programs as soon as they complete their registration. This year, schools must complete their school-wide contests by Friday, January 13, 2023. Rules for the competition are available at www.poetryoutloud.org.
Delaware State and National Finals
The State Finals will be hosted on Thursday, March 2, 2023 at the Smyrna Opera House in Smyrna, DE.
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. Curriculum materials are available for download on the Poetry Out Loud website www.poetryoutloud.org, which can also be used by schools not involved in the official current contest.
The online poem anthology, sample audio and video clips of poetry performances, and tips on poem selection and recitation are available on the Poetry Out Loud website year-round, free of charge. The Teacher Packet, which includes a teacher’s guide, learning recitation DVD and posters, will be sent to participants soon after registration.
Yes. The Arts Endowment and the Poetry Foundation plan to continually expand the selection of poems available on the website. We will try to satisfy anthology requests whenever possible, but please remember that copyright permissions and other issues must be taken into consideration. Poems in the public domain may be easier to include, and we cannot include poems in translation. Please note that student-authored poems will not be included on the website and cannot be recited as part of the official competition.
No, all poems must be selected from the Poetry Out Loud online anthology, which is updated every summer. Check the website after September 1st of each year to view the official POL anthology for the current school year.
Lead teachers must submit this information by the deadline.
The recitation of poetry, in this context, is a bit different than theatre acting. Poetry recitation is about the poem, not the performance. No props, costumes, or music may be used. Overacting, exaggerated movements, and odd voices and accents can be distracting. However, depending on the poem, gestures and some movement may be appropriate.
The 2023 Poetry Out Loud National Finals will take place May 8-10, 2023 in Washington, D.C.
Sheila Dean Ross, Program Officer, Arts in Education/Accessibility and Poetry Out Loud Coordinator