Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud (POL) encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary heritage and contemporary life.

Poetry Out Loud is a national program, offered through a partnership between the NEA and the Poetry Foundation in all fifty states, and administered by state arts agencies. For schools, teachers and students, POL is completely free, at every stage.

MCPA serves as the Northwest Ohio Regional Partner for Poetry Out Loud. For more information on the progam, please email education@mcpa.org.



Your high school students. U.S. citizens or permanent residents currently enrolled in grades 9-12 are eligible, with an exception made for 8th-grade students participating in a 9th- through 12th-grade class.


Reciting poems at school, regional, state, and national levels.

Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest gives students an opportunity to select, memorize, and perform some of the world’s greatest poems in front of peers and audiences. Ultimately, they gain a better understanding of poetry, the strength and utility of language, and themselves.


Students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about our shared literary heritage.

Encouraging students to study, memorize, and perform some of the most influential and timeless poems in the English language immerses them in powerful expression and provocative ideas. Students can win cash prizes, money for their school libraries, and the title of state – or even National – Poetry Out Loud Champion.


Now! Your class can participate this fall.

The Poetry Out Loud curriculum is designed to fit into a teacher’s busy schedule. The program takes place over the span of 2-3 weeks according to each teacher’s interest and agenda and does not require full class periods. POL school contests vary in size from very small to very large. Poetry Out Loud satisfies several key Language and Reading Common Core requirements and most of the NCTE English Language Arts Standards.