Poetry Out Loud
The national Poetry Out Loud recitation competition engages thousands of Vermont high school students every year. 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. 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. Beginning in March, teachers engage students through instruction in poetry and performance and organize contests involving one or more classes. Winners advance to the state finals in the spring, and the state champion advances to the national finals in Washington, D.C.
Since 2023, Vermont Poetry Out Loud has been presented by the Flynn in partnership with the Vermont Arts Council and supported by the Poetry Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the state of Vermont. Greer Kennedy was chosen as Vermont State Champion in 2023. The 2024 Vermont state finals will be held at the Flynn in March. For more information, visit the Flynn’s Poetry Out Loud page.
Vermont Poetry Out Loud Awards for Original Poetry
In 2020, when the Vermont Arts Council hosted Poetry Out Loud, the Council added an original poetry writing competition, in partnership with the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center’s Scholastic Writing Awards.
- Samantha Aikman from Big Picture South Burlington for her poem “To the Fig Tree on Kolocep Island”. Aikman was also a writing award winner in 2021.
- Mars Sell from Woodstock Union High School for their poem “My Dad Went to Europe and All I Got Was a Wooden Giraffe”
- Brooks Balkan from South Burlington High School for his poem “Their Pumpjack”. Balkan was also a writing award winner in 2021.
- Samantha Aikman from Mt. Mansfield Union High School for her poem “Undone”. Aikman was also a writing award winner in 2020.
- Brooks Balkan from South Burlington High School for his poem “One Night in the Barn”
- Talia Gibbs from Vermont Commons School for her poem “Fun-size”
- Beniamino Nardin from Harwood Union High School for his poem “That Which Darkens”