A partnership of the NEA, the Poetry Foundation, and the state arts agencies, Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. Poetry Out Loud offers educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. Students select, memorize, and recite poems from an anthology of more than 700 classic and contemporary poems. In this pyramid structure competition, winners advance from classroom recitation contests to school-wide competitions, then to the state competitions and, ultimately, to the National Finals in Washington, DC.
After successful pilot programs in Washington, DC, and Chicago, Poetry Out Loud was launched in high schools nationwide in the spring of 2006 and has grown to involve thousands of students in every state, as well as the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
To participate in Poetry Out Loud, high school teachers and other educators of high-school-age students must contact the state arts agency Poetry Out Loud coordinator in their state. Visit poetryoutloud.org for a list of contacts and more information about the program.