Poetry Out Loud

What is Poetry Out Loud?

Poetry Out Loud is an exciting national poetry recitation competition in which high school students build self-confidence and master public speaking skills while learning about art and literature through memorization and performance of classical and contemporary poetry.

High school students across the nation read, discuss, study, and memorize prominent poetry of the English language, deepening their understanding of complex ideas while practicing self-expression. Inspired by spoken word poetry, youth recite poems in front of their peers, teachers, and judges at a series of competitions from regional to national levels. Poetry Out Loud helps students present themselves confidently in public and on stage, and builds community around the arts.

The competition starts with the classroom/school competitions, then advances to the Minnesota State Semi-finals and Finals. The Loft Literary Center manages the Minnesota competition, and hosts the state competitions. The winner from the state competition then moves on to Nationals in Washington D.C., run by the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Registration & More Information

Learn more about Minnesota's Poetry Out Loud competition.

Support for Poetry Out Loud

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation cosponsor the program and contest with state arts agencies. In local settings, schools host their own contests. Winners move on to regional and state contests, and the winners from each state travel with a guardian to Washington, DC, for the national event.

Minnesota’s Poetry Out Loud state-wide recitation competition is made possible in part by dollars awarded from the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation form the Minnesota State Legislature and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.