Poetry Out Loud Scholarship Contest
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. Poetry Out Loud provides an entry point for many students to learn to love poetry and keep their favorite poems for a lifetime.
The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation joined together to create Poetry Out Loud in 2004 and now, in partnership with state arts agencies, dynamic poetry recitation competitions are taking place in classrooms across the country.
To participate in the official state and national competitions, schools must register with their State Coordinator. Visit "State Contacts" on the Poetry Out Loud website to identify your State Coordinator.
Poetry Out Loud starts in the classroom, with participating teachers using the Poetry Out Loud toolkit to teach poetry recitation and run classroom competitions. Following a pyramid structure, classroom winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals. State competitions will take place by mid-March; the National Finals will follow in April.
The following prizes are offered for the official state and national competitions:
State Finals prizes
- Winner: $200, plus $500 to school library for purchase of poetry books, and all expense-paid trip (with an adult chaperone) to Washington, D.C. to compete at the National Finals.
- Runner-up: $100, plus $200 to school library for purchase of poetry books
National Finals prizes
- National Champion: $20,000
- Second Place: $10,000
- Third Place: $5,000
- Fourth through Twelfth Place: $1,000
- Schools of top 12: $500
Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that begins at the classroom level. To participate in this program, school teachers should visit our website for program details.