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Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud is a national competition run by the Poetry Foundation in Chicago and the National Endowment for the Arts. Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 3 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools in every state, Washington, DC, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

In years where HCA participates in Poetry Out Loud, each student in the high school is asked to select a poem, conduct research regarding the background of their poem, and then memorizes and performs the poem in his or her English classroom. Following the classroom performances, outstanding performers are nominated and perform in a school-wide competition. The overall school winner qualifies to advance to the state competition, and winners at the state level can qualify to compete nationally. Overall, the Poetry Out Loud experience is a wonderful way to practice public speaking and performance while gaining an appreciation for poetry from around the world.


"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."  Robert Frost


How To Get Started!

Learn more about the competition and browse hundreds of eligible poems at the Poetry Out Loud website.