Poetry Out Loud

Please join us in celebrating the 11th Anniversary of Poetry Out Loud in Colorado! Poetry Out Loud is part of a national program presented in our state by Colorado Creative Industries.

Presented with Colorado partner Lighthouse Writers Workshop and sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is a program that encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Schools are invited to participate in classroom and school-wide contests, advancing to a state competition on March 6, 2017. The state champion will advance to the National Finals on April 25-26, 2017 in Washington, D.C. View the 2017 deadlines for Colorado Poetry Out Loud

For more information, contact your Colorado Coordinator, Rachael Deagman at rachael@lighthousewriters.org.

Poetry Out Loud Registration 

Although this is a free program, schools must register to participate no later than February 1, 2017.

Poetry as an Oral Art Form 
Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry: recitation and performance. The program builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of rap music among youth. Through Poetry Out Loud, students can master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

The State Champion will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. with an adult chaperone, to compete for the National Championship. The state winner‘s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. One runner-up will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library. Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends at the National Finals, including a $20,000 prize for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

Access Free Program Materials Now!
The program offers free, standards-based curriculum materials and teacher guides including print and online poetry anthologies, a teacher‘s guide with sample lesson plans to help instructors teach recitation and performance, a best performances DVD, and an audio CD featuring well-known actors such as James Earl Jones. In addition, a Learning Recitation DVD is part of the curriculum materials. A mix of old and new performances, this DVD is a great tool for getting students involved with poetry and introducing them to the art of recitation.  Program materials are available for download here at Poetry Out Loud. To request a hard copy of a teacher kit, please contact Colorado Coordinator, Rachael Deagman at rachael@lighthousewriters.org.

Previous Colorado Champions
Jeana Lovett from Liberty High School was selected as the 2015 Colorado Champion, and TaShaiya Henderson from Thornton High School was the 2015 runner up.  Previous state champions include Alice Kilduff from Denver School of the Arts (2014 and 2013), Samuel Opoku from Thornton High School (2012 and 2011), Ben Reilly from George Washington High School in Denver (2010), Kaleena Kovach from William J. Palmer High School in Colorado Springs (2009), Brittany Harden, also from William J. Palmer High School (2008), and Passion Lyons from Gateway High School in Aurora (2007).

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