Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud is an innovative program which encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance of the written word. It incorporates the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the English and drama class. Poetry Out Loud, which began in 2005, helps students improve public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn great poetry in literature.

Functioning much like a spelling bee, the POL competition uses a pyramid structure that begins in the classroom. Winners of each classroom recitation competition advance to a school-wide contest, then each school’s top winner goes to a regional semi-final competition. Semi-final competitions take place in February 2017. Finalists from the regional semi-final competitions will advance to the state finals in March 2017. Finally, one Georgia champion will compete at the National Finals in Washington, D.C. in May 2017. Participating schools must register by December 16, 2016.

The winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington D.C. to compete for the national championship. The state winner’s school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for his or her school library. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the National Finals, with one winner taking home a college scholarship for $20,000.

Program Materials
Curriculum materials include a teacher’s guide to help instructors teach recitation and performance, a print and online poetry anthology, an audio CD demonstrating spoken word through use of famous actors and writers, and a “Learning Recitation” DVD. All of these items are provided free to participating schools.

How to Participate
If your school would like to participate in Poetry Out Loud, we need to hear from you as soon as possible. For a high school to participate, one point person or “school coordinator” at that location must commit to be the liaison between the high school and the state coordinator. To participate this year, complete the POL Coordinator Form or contact Emily Cobb via email at ecobb@atlantahistorycenter.com or by phone at 404.814.4017.

Deadline for School Registration
December 16, 2016

For More Information
Visit the Georgia Poetry Out Loud web page.

If you have questions, email Emily Cobb, POL Coordinator, at ecobb@atlantahistorycenter.com, or call 404.818.4017.