Friday, November 1, 2013

Registration has Begun for Poetry Out Loud

It is that time of year again when the Maine Arts Commission calls for participation for one of its most enjoyable and successful arts education programs. Poetry Out Loud has just been amazing since we began it in 2006. We have had thousands of competitors, thousands of audience members, live radio broadcasts, live TV broadcasts, and been joined by celebrities, such as Richard Blanco. We already have 21 schools signed up and we are looking for more. The school registration deadline for this year’s Poetry Out Loud program is November 22, 2013.

The Poetry Out Loud competition is organized by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation; it is administered at the state level by the Maine Arts Commission. Begun in high schools nationwide in 2006, the program encourages our nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. In addition to providing a meaningful arts education experience of poetry in written and spoken form, awards are provided to successful students and schools at the state and national level, including a $20,000 scholarship awarded to the POL National Champion. The Maine state winner receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip (with an adult chaperone) to Washington, D.C. to represent our state at the National Finals. His or her school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The Maine state runner-up receives $100 and his or her school receives $200 for the purchase of poetry books.

Over 7,500 students and more than 185 teachers from 36 high schools across Maine participated in Poetry Out Loud in 2012-2013. We anticipate that 2014 will be just as exciting and we encourage all teachers to consider giving their students the chance to shine in this nationwide celebration of poetry!

The Maine Arts Commission is pleased that schools can now register quickly and easily online by visiting Please note that Poetry Out Loud can take place in your school anytime between now and January 17, 2014, as the program does not require full class periods and can be completed in just two to three weeks. However, there are many opportunities to make Poetry Out Loud a larger part of your high school’s curriculum in English Language Arts or Visual and Performing Arts, including the program’s alignment with the Common Core English Language Arts Standards in the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading and for Language (

Please review the following timeline as you consider registering your school:

  • September – November 2013 School Registration (ongoing)
  • November 22, 2013 Last day to register for Poetry Out Loud
  • January 17, 2014 Last day for school-wide competitions
  • January 28 and 30, 2014 Poetry Out Loud Regional Workshops (locations to be determined)
  • February 6 and 12, 2014 Maine Regional Finals (locations to be determined)
  • February 7 and 13, 2014 Snow dates for Regional Finals February 27, 2014 Maine State Finals (location to be determined)
  • February 28, 2014 Snow date for State Finals
  • April 28-30, 2014 POL National Finals

The Maine Arts Commission believes that the arts are an essential part of a well-rounded education. Through our Arts in Education program, we strive to create and support innovative arts learning opportunities that engage both students and teachers in creative thinking, arts participation and the building of vibrant learning communities. Please visit to find more information about the benefits of Poetry Out Loud and all of the Maine Arts Commission’s educational programming.

Please contact Argy Nestor if you need any assistance with registration or programmatic planning. She welcomes the opportunity to work with you and your high school on this exciting opportunity!

Ms. Argy Nestor Director of Arts Education Maine Arts Commission 207/287-2713

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