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Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud is a national competition for high-schoolers created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The program provides pathways for students to explore, memorize, and recite great works of poetry.

Participation in Poetry Out Loud begins at the classroom level around the country. Teachers engage students through instruction in poetry and performance and organize contests involving one class or a whole school. Winners advance 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.

2018 Competition

Congratulations to Aliyah Burr from Burlington High School, Alyese Caruso-Randall from Bellows Free Academy Fairfax, Sadie Chamberlain from Lyndon Institute, Vera Escaja-Heiss from South Burlington High School, Linea Kay from Woodstock Union High School, Annie Keith from Peoples Academy, Chloe Lyons from Mt. Abraham Union High School, Caitlyn McDermott from Vermont Academy, Olivia Pitcher from Burr and Burton Academy, and Gracie Smith from Arlington Memorial High School!

Vera Escaja-Heiss reciting at Barre Opera House.

These students had the highest scores in their region at the semifinals held March 12 and advanced to the championship round where Vera Escaja-Heiss was named champion and Alyese Caruso-Randall runner-up.


details here

photo albums

region one candids
region one reciting
region one acknowledgment

region two candids
region two reciting
region two acknowledgment

video available on Vermont Poetry Out Loud Facebook page.

state championship

details here

video available on Vermont PBS Facebook page.

National Finals

April 23-25, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

participating schools

Arlington Memorial High 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
Essex High School
Harwood Union High School
Hazen Union School
Lake Region Union High School
Long Trail School
Lyndon Institute
Milton High School
Montpelier High School
Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School
Mount Anthony Union High School
Mount Mansfield Union
Northfield High School
Otter Valley Union High School
Oxbow High School
Peoples Academy
Poultney High School
Proctor Jr./Sr. High School
Randolph Union High School
Rice Memorial High School
St. Johnsbury Academy
South Burlington High School
South Royalton High School
Spaulding High School
The Putney School
The Sharon Academy
Thetford Academy
Twin Valley Middle High School
Vermont Academy
Williamstown Middle/High School
Woodstock Union High School

classroom resources

Poetry Out Loud Teacher’s Guide (2017-2018)
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.

Poetry Out Loud Online Anthology

A list of eligible poems for POL competitions is updated yearly. The anthology is searchable by poem name or by poet name.

Other Poetry Collections

The Poetry Foundation's online collection provide access to thousands of poems. Use Billy Collins’s "Poetry 180 Project", National Public Radio’s "The Writer’s Almanac", or the Academy of American Poets' "Poem-a-day" email to explore a new poem every day.

visiting artist workshops
The Arts Council funds a limited number of workshops in schools each year led by dynamic visiting artists. These visits can inspire students to take positive risks, hone their performance skills, and engage in a new way. Request a guest artist visit for 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
Poetry Out Loud aligns with a number of standards including the Common Core, the Vermont Framework, and the NCTE English Teaching Standards. Additionally, lesson plans, writing activities, and other resources are available on the national Poetry Out Loud website.

Vermont PBS Educator Resources
Watch the recorded broadcast of the most recent state championship, view the archive of state final broadcasts, and explore other teaching resources.