Recitation and performance are major new trends in poetry. There has been a recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of hip-hop music among our youth. Poetry Out Loud builds on this momentum by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the English class. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have formed a partnership with state arts agencies to support the expansion of Poetry Out Loud, which encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. This exciting program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. Registration is open to all public, private, parochial and home school high schools in Maine.
The competition itself is organized nationally by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation and administered at the state level by the Maine Arts Commission. It begins in Maine’s schools where school champions are selected to compete in two regional finals at which ten students are ultimately selected to appear at the state final. One student moves on from the state final to represent Maine at the national finals in Washington D.C., where students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico will compete for a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends for the purchase of poetry books.
Key Dates for the 2013/14 Poetry Out Loud Competition
The winner of the 2013/2014 Maine State Poetry Out Loud Final will be decided after three rounds of competition. It will begin at the classroom level, then the regional finals and ultimately at the State Final.
School Registration and Contests
September – November 2013 School Registration, ongoing
November 22, 2013 Last day to register for Poetry Out Loud
January 17, 2014 Last day for school-wide competitions
January 28 and 30, 2014 Regional workshops for students and teachers
Maine State Finals
February 6 and 12, 2014 Maine northern and southern regional finals
February 7 and 13, 2014 Snow dates for Maine regional finals
February 27, 2014 Maine state final
February 28, 2014 Snow date for Maine state final
April 28-30, 2014 Poetry Out Loud National Final, Washington, D.C.
For more information about Poetry Out Loud, please contact Argy Nestor, director of arts education at the Maine Arts Commission, at 207/287-2713 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.