Poetry Out Loud

"To memorize and recite a great poem, of the past or present," said Robert Polito, President of the Poetry Foundation, "is to 'own' it in the most personal way – in your body, your breath, and your spirit. Recitation is obviously an interpretive act, but also creative, and possibly even self-transformative."

Since 2013, ESD 123 has hosted the Poetry Out Loud: Regional Recitation Contest. The competition, presented in partnership with ArtsWA, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. During the Fall, schools are invited to participate in classroom and school-wide contests, advancing to the Regional Final, with the winner representing the region at the State Competition. State champions receive $200 and an all expenses paid trip to Washington, DC, to compete for the national championship. Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in cash and school stipends at the National Finals, including a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

Want to learn more?

Sarah Reser
Regional Literacy Coordinator
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