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Poetry Out Loud

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.

2017 Semifinals

Congratulations to Aliyah Burr – Burlington High School | Alyese Caruso-Randall – Bellows Free Academy Fairfax | Taite Clark – The Sharon Academy | Jaime DeKett – Saint Johnsbury Academy | Abigail Detrick – Northfield High School | Emily Friedrichsen – Champlain Valley Union High School | Kira Hansen – Mount Anthony Union High School | Emily Klar – Lake Region Union High School | Casey Ober – Mount Abraham Union High School, and Gracie Smith -  Arlington Memorial High School!

These students had the highest scores in the semifinals held March 8 and will advance to the championship round.


Region One reciting

Region Two reciting


Region One acknowledgement

Region Two acknowledgement

2017 State Championship

Congratulations to Runner Up Emily Klar of Lake Region Union High School and State Champion Emily Friedrichsen from Champlain Valley Union High School.

The event video will be available online and broadcast on Vermont PBS April 5, 2017.


Photographs from the evening of the finals by Vermont PBS staff.


Poetry Out Loud Teacher’s Guide (2016-2017)
The latest version of the Teacher’s Guide includes a sample class schedule, optional scoring rubrics, accessibility awareness, and information about the Common Core Standards.

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.

ten 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.

2017 Participating Schools

Arlington Memorial School
Bellows Free Academy Fairfax
Bellows Free Academy St. Albans
Brattleboro Union High School
Burlington High School
Burr and Burton Academy
Champlain Valley Union High School
Enosburg Falls High School
Essex High School
Fair Haven Union High School
Green Mountain Union High School
Harwood Union High School
Hazen Union School
Lake Region Union High School
Lyndon Institute
Milton High School
Montpelier High School
Mount Anthony Union High School
Mount Abraham Union High School
Mount Mansfield Union High School
Mount Saint Joseph Academy
North Country Union High School
Northfield High School
Otter Valley Union High School
Oxbow High School
Poultney High School
Proctor Jr./Sr. High School
Randolph Union High School
Rice Memorial High School
Saint Johnsbury Academy
Sharon Academy, The
South Burlington High School
Southwest Vermont Career Development Center
Spaulding High School
Thetford Academy
Twin Valley Middle High School
U-32 High School
Vermont Academy
Whitcomb High School
Williamstown Middle High School
Woodstock Union High School

Last Year's Competition

Semifinals were held  at the Barre Opera House March 9, 2016. Find photos via this page.

The Vermont Poetry Out Loud 2016 State Finals were held at Vermont PBS March 17, 2016 (watch here). Congratulations go to Vermont Poetry Out Loud 2016 Runner-up Anna Van Dine and Vermont Poetry Out Loud 2016 State Champion Maggie Fitzgerald!


Send an email to or call 802.828.3778.

Presented By:

In Vermont, Poetry Out Loud is presented by the Vermont Arts Council in partnership with Vermont PBS.

Vermont PBS