Skip to Content

Poetry Out Loud

Program Overview

Poetry Out Load RecitationCreated by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is a national competition for high school students that encourages them to memorize and recite great works of poetry.

Participation begins at the classroom level around the country. Teachers organize contests involving one class or a whole school with the winners advancing to the state finals, and ultimately to the national finals in Washington, D.C. Contestants choose and learn about poems from an extensive online anthology of classical and contemporary poetry while mastering public speaking skills as well as building self confidence.

The 2016 Competition

The National Poetry Out Loud Finals will be held May 3-4, 2016. Watch the live stream here.

The  Vermont Poetry Out Loud 2016 Semifinals were held  at the Barre Opera House March 9, 2016. Photos here.

The Vermont Poetry Out Loud 2016 State Finals were held 7-8:30 p.m. at Vermont PBS March 17, 2016. Congratulations go to Vermont Poetry Out Loud 2016 Runner-up Anna Van Dine and Vermont Poetry Out Loud 2016 State Champion Maggie Fitzgerald!


2016 State Champion Maggie Fitzgerald reciting at the Barre Opera House.

Poetry Out Loud Teacher’s Guide (2015-2016)
The latest version of the Teacher’s Guide includes tips for making the program a success at your school, optional scoring rubrics, and suggested lesson plans. Returning schools, please note: the new Teacher’s Guide reflects these changes.

guest artist visits
Request a guest artist visit your school (free of charge) to help students with their recitation skills.

recitation tips
These video clips will help you understand what makes a recitation excellent and what our judges are looking for.

Vermont Poetry Out Loud Facebook page
Like our Facebook page and follow POL updates from around the state and country. Post your own recitation videos and see what the competition is up to.

10 tips for making the program a success at your school
A list of great ideas that can help you make Poetry Out Loud part of the culture of your school.

Poetry Out Loud and the Common Core
POL addresses a number of standards including the Common Core, the Vermont Framework, and the NCTE English Teaching Standards.

Participating Schools 2015-2016

Arlington Memorial High School
Bellows Free Academy
BFA Fairfax High School
Brattleboro Union High School
Burlington High School
Burr and Burton Academy
Champlain Valley Union High School
Fair Haven Union High School
Green Mountain Union High School
Harwood Union Middle/High School
Hazen Union High School
Lake Region Union High School
Lyndon Institute
Middlebury Union High School
Milton High School
Montpelier High School
Mount Abraham Union
Mount Anthony Union High School
Mount Mansfield Union High School
Mount St. Joseph Academy  
North Country Union High School
Northfield Middle/High School
Otter Valley Union High School
Oxbow Union High School
Poultney High School
Proctor Jr./Sr. High School
Randolph Union High School
Rice Memorial High School
South Burlington High School
Southwest Vermont Career Development Center
Spaulding High School
St. Johnsbury Academy
The Sharon Academy
Thetford Academy
Twin Valley High School
Vermont Academy                            
Whitcomb Jr./Sr. High School
Woodstock Union High School


If you have any questions about Poetry Out Loud, send an email to Erika Lowe, Arts Education Programs Manager for the Vermont Arts Council or call her at 802.828.3778.

Presented By:

In Vermont, Poetry Out Loud is presented by the Vermont Arts Council in partnership with The Vermont Principals Association and Vermont Public Television.