Poetry Out Loud encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through exploration, memorization, and performance. The inspiration for this program is to promote poetry in both the classroom and the community. Students compete in school programs and have the chance to advancing to the national finals in Washington D.C. Check with your school if it participates in the program. Only currently enrolled students in grades 9-12 are eligible, with an exception made for 8th-grade students participating in a 9th- through 12th-grade class.
A student may not advance to the state finals without competing in a lower-level competition. The Poetry Foundation provides and administers all aspects of the monetary prizes awarded in Poetry Out Loud. State champions and runners up will need a valid tax identification number or social security number at the time that monetary prizes are issued by the Poetry Foundation. Prizes are not transferable. Home-schooled students may participate by competing in a contest at a local school (at the school’s discretion) or with other local home-schooled students. Contact your state coordinator for specific guidelines.