About Poetry Out Loud
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 and private high schools in Maine as well as high school homeschooling populations.
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 recite at the state finals. One student, the state champion, moves on from the state finals 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.
The Maine Arts Commission has produced a short video highlighting the 2015 Maine State Finals.
Key Dates for the 2016/17 Poetry Out Loud Competition
September-November 2016 - School Registration (ongoing)
November 7, 2016 Last day to register for Poetry Out Loud
January 9, 2017 Last day for school-wide competitions
January 17, 2017 Last day for Regional Finals Registration
January 26, 2017 Northern Regional Workshop (4-6 p.m., Hampden Academy)
January 31, 2017 Snow date for Northern Regional Workshop
February 7, 2017 Southern Regional Workshop (4-6 p.m., Portland Public Library)
February 10, 2017 Snow date for Southern Regional Workshop
February 14, 2017 Snow date for Northern Maine Regional Finals
March 2, 2017 Snow date Southern Maine Regional Finals
March 13, 2017 Maine State Finals (3 p.m., Waterville Opera House)The event is free and all are welcome to attend.
March 14, 2017 Snow date for Maine State Finals
April 24-26, 2017 Poetry Out Loud National Finals (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.