Maine high schools invited to register for Poetry Out Loud competition

Maine high schools are invited to register for Poetry Out Loud, a nationwide program that encourages youth to learn about poetry through memorization and recitation while helping students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.

Poetry Out Loud can take place in schools anytime between now and Jan. 9, as the program does not require full class periods and can be completed in just two to three weeks. In addition to providing a meaningful educational experience of poetry in written and spoken form, prizes are awarded to successful students and schools at the state and national level, including a $20,000 scholarship awarded to the national champion.

Teachers are encouraged to consider making Poetry Out Loud a larger part of their school’s curriculum. Specific lesson plans are available here and an explanation of the alignment with both the National Council of Teachers of English standards and the Maine Learning Results is available here.

Schools must register by Nov. 7 to participate in the competition. Immediately following registration, schools will be sent this year’s program materials and teacher toolkits, which include the Poetry Out Loud 2014-2015 Teacher’s Guide.

Those who are considering registering their school are encouraged to review the following timeline:

  • September – November – school registration (ongoing)
  • Nov. 7 – Last day to register
  • Jan. 9 – Last day for school-wide competitions
  • Jan. 16 – Last day for regional finals registration
  • Feb. 4 – Southern regional workshop (4-6 p.m. at Portland Public Library)
  • Feb. 9 – Northern regional workshop (4-6 p.m. at Hampden Academy) Feb. 11 – Southern Maine Regional Finals (City Theater, Biddeford)
  • Feb. 26 – Northern Maine Regional Finals (Performing Arts Center, Hampden Academy)
  • March 12 – Maine State Finals (Waterville Opera House)
  • April 28-29 – National Finals (Washington, DC)

Poetry Out Loud is organized by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation and is administered in Maine by the Maine Arts Commission. Begun in high schools nationwide in 2006, the program celebrates its 10th anniversary this school year. Last year, more than 8,000 students and 200 plus teachers from 46 high schools across Maine participated in the competition.

Click here to register for this year’s Poetry Out Loud program. To learn more, please watch the new promotional video entitled Get Involved in POL or visit the Poetry Out Loud page of the Maine Arts Commission website.

For additional questions please contact the Director of Arts Education at the Maine Arts Commission Argy Nestor at or 287-2713 or Poetry Out Loud State Coordinator Don Reutershan at

Leave a Reply