10th Annual Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest

POL2014_colorby Katie Swett

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest (POL). To celebrate this milestone, the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) is reconnecting with POL alumni who will share their experiences at the 2015 Ohio POL State Finals. Never heard of Poetry Out Loud? The exciting new video, “10 Years of Poetry Out Loud!,” is a great introduction to the program.

POL school champions will compete for cash prizes and a trip to participate in the national finals in Washington, D.C., on April 27-29, 2015. The national winner is awarded $20,000. The 2014 Ohio POL state champion, Lake Wilburn of Columbus, came in second at the national finals last April and won a $10,000 prize.

Last year, more than 8,000 students from 50 schools around Ohio participated in POL. Ohio’s POL program has grown steadily as teachers and students discover the joys of memorizing and reciting poetry while enhancing students’ public speaking skills and cultivating self-confidence.

There’s still time to join more than 55 schools who have registered for POL 2015. The OAC offers teacher training, student coaching, and the services of a project coordinator who works to support POL participants and organize the state contest. Teachers who register online will also receive a free comprehensive toolkit containing all the materials needed to implement the program. Registered schools, including 19 new to the program, have already begun school contests to choose their 2015 champions; get yours started today!

For more Poetry Out Loud information, teaching materials, or assistance with registration, contact Ohio‘s POL project coordinator Katie Swett by telephone at 614/728-4481 or by email. Visit the Ohio Poetry Out Loud website here.

Upcoming POL Events

February 16, 2015
Deadline to submit school champion names and their three poems to the OAC.

February 21, 2015, 1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
School Champion Workshop

Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts
Riffe Gallery
77 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215

At the workshop, students will discuss interpretations of their chosen poems, practice recitation, and receive feedback. Experienced Poetry Out Loud judge and Columbus-area poet Nancy Kangas will lead the workshop, along with OAC POL staff.

March 7, 2015, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Ohio POL State Finals

Lincoln Theatre
769 East Long Street
Columbus, Ohio 43203

Poetry Out Loud is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Across the country, state arts agencies work with high school teachers to promote and implement the program. The Ohioana Library Association, Thurber House, the Ohio Center for the Book in Cleveland, and Tuesday Musical Association assist the OAC in presenting POL in Ohio.


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