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Poetry Out Loud

About the Program

Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.

Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that starts at the classroom level. Students advance to a school-wide competition, through a regional contest, to State Finals, and ultimately to the National Finals.

Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 3 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools in every state, Washington, DC, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Poetry Out Loud provides resources and materials to assist teachers in implementing the program in their schools. Awards are available at the state and national level.

While teachers, students, and poetry lovers everywhere can use the Poetry Out Loud website and its accompanying educational materials to organize their own recitation contests, the official contest is limited to the programs run by each state's Arts Agency. Teachers can review the How to Participate page to learn more about the program.