A Midsummers Might's Dream 2011

Poetry Out Loud

Welcome to Poetry Out Loud


The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with the Oklahoma Arts Council and Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park to present Poetry Out Loud.  Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry- recitation and performance. The program builds on a resurgence of poetry as an oral art form and incorporates the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word and theatre to help students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

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 millions of students across the country.

About the Program

Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure beginning at the high school classroom level where teachers implement a two-to-three week curriculum using free, standards-based materials including print and online poetry anthologies containing more than 600 classic and contemporary poems. Poetry Out Loud does not require full class periods. Classroom studies culminate with a contest in which each student selects and recites a poem. Classroom winners advance to school-wide recitation competitions, school champions advance to regional and state competitions.


Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington to compete for the national championship. The state winner’s school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for his or her school library. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the National Finals.

 Registering Your Students