Maine Poetry Out Loud
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MAINE'S 2021-2022 POETRY OUT LOUD PROGRAM

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Maine Poetry Out Loud program! We were so impressed by everyone’s ability to bring the written word alive and your comprehension of great poetry, as well as your hard work and resiliency during this unique year of virtual competition.

Our 2022 Maine Poetry Out Loud State Champion is Sofya Lantratova and our State Runner Up is Colette Carrillo! Sofya will proceed on to the National Poetry Out Loud virtual semifinals competition in May. 

Ten State Finalists from our Regional Competitions (the 5 top scorers from each competition) participated in our virtual State Finals. State Finals judges were Kate Fletcher, Mihku Paul, and Salim Salim. Our Accuracy Judge was Todd McKinley. Students submitted video files of their 3 recitations, which were scored remotely by the judges.


State Finalists (in order of recitation): 

  • Emma Bennett, Grade 11, Baxter Academy of Technology and Science
  • Emelia Bailey, Grade 11, Westbrook High School
  • Ogechi Obi, Grade 12, Bangor High School
  • Sofya Lantratova, Grade 12, George Stevens Academy
  • Chloe Schueman, Grade 10, Greely High School
  • Rose Tuttle, Grade 10, Mt. Ararat High School
  • Brett Palmer, Grade 12, Gardiner Area High School
  • Julia Ordway, Grade 12, Gorham High School 
  • Colette Carrillo, Grade 12, Waterville Senior High School
  • Sadie Luehman, Grade 10, Medomak Valley High School


You can watch our State Finals film, produced in partnership with Media Loma, hereThank you to our virtual emcee, former Maine Poetry Out Loud State Champion, Allan Monga; to SPACE Gallery for letting us film in their Green Room; and to Maine's Poet Laureate, Julia Bouwsma, for sharing a recitation.

There were two virtual Regional Competitions - a Northern and Southern competition. Our Regionals judges were Maya Stein, Julia Bouwsma, and Kristen Lindquist. Our Accuracy Judge was Todd McKinley. Students submitted video files of their 3 recitations, which were scored remotely by the judges.

Southern Regional Competition (in order of recitation):

  • Rose Tuttle, Grade 10, Mt. Ararat High School
  • Chloe Schueman, Grade 10, Greely High School
  • Marissa Morgans, Grade 12, Oak Hill High School
  • Finley Fairfield, Grade 12, Kennebunk High School
  • Emma Bennett, Grade 11, Baxter Academy of Technology and Science
  • Emelia Bailey, Grade 11, Westbrook High School
  • Zoe Brush, Grade 11, Morse High School
  • Julia Ordway, Grade 12, Gorham High School

Northern Regional Competition:

  • Sadie Luehman, Grade 10, Medomak Valley High School
  • Abigail Case, Grade 10, Hermon High School
  • Brett Palmer, Grade 12, Gardiner Area High School
  • Sofya Lantratova, Grade 12, George Stevens Academy
  • Destiney Graham, Grade 11, Lewiston High School
  • Colette Carrillo, Grade 12, Waterville Senior High School
  • Ogechi Obi, Grade 12, Bangor High School
  • Abby Cunningham, Grade 12, Lisbon High School

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.

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. Waterfall Arts is hosting a qualifying competition prior to Regionals. The deadline to submit videos for this virtual, video submission completion is January 21. Students interested in participating can find out more information here: https://waterfallarts.org/2021/12/09/2022-maine-poetry-out-loud-virtual-qualifying-competition/

Regional, State, and National Competitions

Our Northern and Southern 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. Ten State Finalists will be named in the Regional Competitions (five from each Regional Competition) to proceed on to our Maine State Finals. 

As much as we had hoped to be able to have an in-person event for State Finals, for the safety of our students and judges, we have made the decision to pivot back to a virtual competition. State Finals will also be a video submission virtual competition in early March of 2022. Check dates in the timeline below.

It has been announced that the Poetry Out Loud National Semifinals and the National Finals will take place as virtual competitions in Spring of 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

December 3, 2022: Registration Deadline for schools 
January 14, 2022: Deadline for School Competitions
January 21, 2022: Deadline to register school winners for Regional Finals
January 21, 2022: Deadline to register for Waterfall Arts regionals qualifier competition (only for students that do not have a school competition to compete in)
February 4, 2022: Deadline to submit recitation videos for Regional Finals 
February 18, 2022: Announcement of State Finalists
March 4, 2022: Deadline to submit recitation videos for State Finals
March 14, 2022: Announcement of State Champion and Runner-Up
May 1, 2022: Virtual National Semifinals streamed on arts.gov
June 5, 2022: Virtual National Finals streamed on arts.gov