Poetry Out Loud Maine Regional Finals

2019 Poetry Out Loud Maine Regional Finals

The Maine Regional Finals are held in two locations during the month of February. After three rounds of recitation, five finalists will be selected from each regional competition to move on to the Maine Poetry Out Loud State Finals.


This year the regional finals will be held at the following venues:

The Northern Maine Regional Finals will be held on Tuesday, January 29, 2019, 3:00 p.m. at the Hampden Academy Performing Arts Center, Hampden. The snow date is Wednesday, January 30, 2019, 3:00 PM. Hampden Academy, Regional School Unit #22, is an in-kind sponsor of this event.

The Southern Maine Regional Finals will be held on Monday, February 11, 2019, 3:00 p.m. at the Westbrook Middle School Performing Arts Center, Westbrook. The snow date is Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 3:00 p.m.

Schedule for the Regional Competitions

The events are free (no tickets required) and begin at 3 p.m.  All are welcome to attend. The Maine Arts Commission anticipates that the Regional Finals will conclude by approximately 5:30 p.m. CLICK HERE for SCHEDULE

Student Registration

Both the school-wide winner and the runner-up must register to participate in the Poetry Out Loud (POL) regional competition. In the event that the school-wide winner is unable to participate in the competition, the runner-up will represent the school. Please complete the online Student Registration Form by Wednesday, January 9, 2019. This is a two-part form combining registration for the regional competition (required) and registration for the workshop (not required). Prior to completing the form please read the following:

  • Make sure to list the poems in the order in which you will recite them.
  • Take time to complete the biography section, telling us about yourself as well as your interests and work in the arts. This information is used to introduce you at the regional competitions.
  • Please check which region your school has been assigned to below. Your school's regional assignment is required on the form.

The school-wide winner and runner-up must also complete the Parent/Guardian Release Form, which requires a signature, and return it by Friday, January 11, 2019 via email or fax to the contact provided on the form. 

Parent/Guardian Release Form [Word Document]
Parent/Guardian Release Form. [.pdf] 

Poem Criteria

At the regional, state and national finals, students must have three poems prepared to recite. One poem must be 25 lines or fewer and one must be written before the 20th century. The same poem may be used to meet both criteria and may be the student’s third poem. All poems must be selected from the national POL anthology.  Additionally, all poems in the Poetry Out Loud print anthology, which has not been updated for a few years, are also eligible for competition regardless of whether or not they are included in the online anthology. Neither the Maine Arts Commission nor the Poetry Out Loud national office has hard copies of the print anthology available for distribution.

Program Structure

The regional competitions will have three rounds of recitation. The order of recitation for all three rounds will commence in a randomly selected order of schools that is listed below. After two rounds of recitation, half of the student participants will be selected to continue to the third round based on the cumulative scores of the first two poems. After the third and final round, a cumulative score of all three poems will be used to determine five student finalists from each region who will advance to the state finals.

Rankings will be based solely on the evaluation sheets submitted by the judges. In the event of a tie, the tied student with the highest overall performance score will win; if that also results in a tie, the highest accuracy score will be considered the tiebreaker.

Students may choose the order of their poems, as stated above, however once the Student Registration Form has been submitted, changes in the poems or their order are not permitted for either the regional or final competition.

Four judges, including one accuracy judge, will be present at the regional and state finals. Additionally, a prompter (seated in the front row) will have a notebook with each poem and the students can look to the prompter if they forget a word or line.

Program Resources

The Scoring Rubric, Accuracy Score Sheet, Contest Evaluation Sheet, and Evaluation Criteria and Tips are available under Contest Resources at www.poetryoutloud.org/competition/organizing-a-contest

Included among the many helpful resources and recommendations available on the national POL website are the following pages: Watch VideoTips on Reciting and Listen to Poetry. Additionally, the 2017 POL National Finals are available for viewing by clicking here.  

School Regional Competition Assignments & Recitation Order

Participating schools have been assigned to one of two Regional Finals below. The randomly selected order of recitation for each regional competition will be listed. To ensure that there is an equal number of participating students at both locations, it is necessary to require some schools to travel to a venue that may be considered outside of their region. We hope that this will not create any undue hardships.

Northern Regional Finals on Tuesday, January 29, 2019, 3:00 p.m. (snow date of Wednesday,  January 30, 2019, 3:00 p.m.):

Messalonskee High School
Waterville Senior High School
Hampden Academy
Camden Hills Regional High School
Winthrop High School
Searsport District High School
Presque Isle High School
Rangeley Lakes Regional School
George Stevens Academy
Bangor High School
Medomak Valley High School
Hermon High School
Leavitt Area High School
John Bapst Memorial High School
Gardiner Area High School

Southern Regional Finals on Monday, February 11, 2019, 3:00 p.m. (snow date of Tuesday, February 12, 2019. 3:00 p.m.):

North Yarmouth Academy
Portland High School
Lisbon High School
Greely High School
South Portland High School
Westbrook HIgh School
Cape Elizabeth High School
Thornton Academy
Gorham High School
Mt. Ararat High School
Waynflete School
Yarmouth High School
Oak Hill High School
Maine Coast Waldorf School
Kennebunk High School 
Deering High School 
Lewiston High School 
For more information about Poetry Out Loud, please contact Brita Wanger-Morier, Performing Arts & Media Director at the Maine Arts Commission, at 207/287-2750 or by email at Brita.Wanger-vog.eniam@reiroM.