Maine Poetry Out Loud
Maine Poetry Out Loud header image


The Maine Arts Commission is proud to partner once again with the National Endowment for the Arts to give Maine schools the opportunity to participate in Poetry Out Loud in 2021-2022. Register your school for the 2021-2022 Poetry Out Loud program here: 

About Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Poetry Out Loud is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation.

How it Works

Once you register with us, involvement in Poetry Out Loud starts at the classroom level. We’ll provide resources to help get you and your students started. Winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to regional and state competitions, and ultimately to the National Finals. Awards and placements are determined solely by the judges’ scores based on the Poetry Out Loud Evaluation Criteria.

School Competitions

Due to COVID-19, there are elements of the Poetry Out Loud program that will look a little different again this school year. Poetry Out Loud is again allowing for both in-person and virtual competitions so that schools can adhere to their local CDC and school district guidelines. More information about hosting virtual competitions can be found on the POL website.

Register your school for the 2021-2022 Poetry Out Loud program here: 

Homeschooled Students & Students at Non-participating Schools

Homeschooled and Students whose public or private high school does not participate in the POL program are still welcome to participate. We will provide a virtual qualifying event opportunity for these students prior to Regionals. Students interested in participating should fill out this form: .

Regional, State, and National Competitions

Our Northern and Regional competitions will again be video submission competitions. School winners will record a video of each of their three recitations for competition. Video files and registration info will be submitted to us by the deadlines listed in the timeline below. More detailed guidelines will be distributed to participating schools later in the season. Ten State Finalists will be named in the Regional Competitions (five from each Regional Competition) to proceed on to our Maine State Finals. 

At this time, we are planning for our State Finals competition to be held in person (!!!)  in early March of 2022, but will be prepared to hold the competition virtually if necessary. More information about the location and date will be announced in December. Our Maine Poetry Out Loud State Champion will proceed on to the National Competition in Washington DC.

The POL National Semifinals and the National Finals will take place in person in Washington DC April 25-27, 2022. 

Poetry Out Loud Awards

Each winner at the state level receives $200 and competes in the national finals. The state winner’s school receives $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for their school. At the national finals, a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually.  

Please visit the national Poetry Out Loud site to explore and learn more about this great program.

Key Dates

October 28, 2022: Zoom Meetup: Info and Q&A session for local and school coordinators (Register:
December 3, 2022: Registration Deadline (Register here:
January 14, 2022: Deadline for School Competitions
January 21, 2022: Deadline to register school winners and runners up for Regional Finals
February 4, 2022: Deadline to submit recitation videos for Regional Finals
February 18, 2022: Announcement of Regional Winners
March 2022: State Finals date will be announced once it is determined if it will be held in person or virtually
April 25-27, 2022: National Semifinals & Finals in Washington DC

For more information about Poetry Out Loud, please contact Meg Fournier, Interim Performing Arts & Media Director at the Maine Arts Commission, at (207) 287-2724 or by email at vog.eniam@reinruof.b.nagem.