What is Poetry Out Loud ?
Poetry Out Loud is a dynamic, fun, interactive way to teach poetry and meet English / language arts requirements for high school students. Riding the wave of a national resurgence in spoken word as a competitive event that is as old as the Olympic Games, Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.
By studying and memorizing some of the most influential and timeless poems of the English language—both classic and contemporary—students are immersed in the power of expression and provocative ideas. Reciting the poems in front of peers and judges gives them valuable experience for life as much their future success will depend on how well they present themselves in public.
Free, standards-based curriculum materials are available for all participating schools. Participating schools also have the opportunity to work with professional poets who give workshops on poetry recitation for students.
Poetry Out Loud is modeled on the national spelling bee. Schools
host their own contests. School winners compete in regional contests. Regional
winners compete in the state contest. State winners will advance to the national
finals held in Washington, DC.
How can schools get involved in Poetry Out Loud ?
Schools that would like more information about Poetry Out Loud, or would like to participate are encouraged to contact the Arts Board.
Any public or private high school in the state is welcome and encouraged to
Poetry Out Loud satisfies more than half of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) English language arts standards, and more than half of Minnesota’s language arts standards.
Participating schools receive free course and curriculum materials including
print and online poetry anthologies, a program guide to help instructors teach
recitation and performance, and an audio CD featuring well-known actors and
writers reading great poems.
The teacher’s guide includes all elements
that a teacher needs to implement the program, from tools to help students memorize
and perform great poetry, to optional lesson plans to give students the opportunity
to discuss poems and to write poetry of their own.
The schedule and curriculum are designed to fit into a teacher’s busy schedule. The program takes place in the classroom over a two- to three-week period, according to each teacher’s interest and schedule, and will not require full class periods during that time.
Timeline for 2012–2013 Poetry Out Loud
- September–December 1, 2012—School Registration; Teachers Integrate POL into classes
- October 2012–January 11, 2013 Classroom and School competitions
- December 1, 2012–Deadline: Statewide school registration closed
- December 14, 2012–Deadline: Teaching Artist request finalized
- January 11, 2013–Deadline: School competitions completed
- January 18, 2013–Deadline: School winner information due
- March 18, 2013–MN State competition: The Fitzgerald Theater,
The Fitzgerald Theater, 10 E. Exchange Street, Saint Paul, MN 55101 (map)
one student goes on to represent Minnesota at national finals; one runner-up alternate named
- April 29-30, 2013–Poetry Out Loud National Competition ? Washington, DC Harman Center for the Arts
Are there prizes?
The Minnesota state winner will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, to compete for the national championship. The trip expenses for one adult chaperone also will be covered. The Minnesota winner's school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. In past years, the winning student and his/her teacher also have received a one-year membership to the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.
One runner-up in Minnesota will receive $100. His or her school will receive $200 to purchase materials for the school?s library.
Each participating student will receive poetry books donated by Minnesota?s literary organizations including Graywolf Press and Milkweed Editions, and other exciting prizes.
The national winner will receive a $20,000 college scholarship. In total, $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends will be awarded to students who participate in the national finals.
Poetry Out Loud: A national initiative
Poetry Out Loud is a national program, cosponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. It was launched in high schools across America in the spring of 2006 with tens of thousands of students participating. Nationwide, more than 300,000 students competed in Poetry Out Loud last year.
For more information about the national Poetry Out Loud initiative visit: PoetryOutLoud.org; the Web site contains educational resources for teachers and students,
including standards-based educational materials, tips on hosting a school contest, and “find a poem” search tools.
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated
to supporting excellence in the arts—both new and established—bringing
the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education.
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine,
is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for
poetry in our culture.
The Minnesota State Arts Board coordinates Poetry Out Loud in
Minnesota 2012-2013 Poetry Out Loud Champions
On March 18, 2013, thirty students from high schools across the state competed for the title of Minnesota Poetry Out Loud state champion at the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Yemi Ajagbe of Woodbury High School (Woodbury), was named the winner with her recitation of Give All to Love, by Ralph Waldo Emerson, I Am the People, the Mob, by Carl Sandburg, and Cartoon Physics, part 1, by Nick Flynn.
Ajagbe represented Minnesota at the national finals in Washington, DC, on April 28-30, 2013, competing with other champions from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. She was one of nine finalists at the nationals.
Other Minnesota Champions
- Runner-up: Faiza Mohamed Abubakar—Ubah Medical Academy, Hopkins
- 3rd Place: Joseph-Charles Peeples—Hampton—Main Street School of Performing Arts, Hopkins
- 4th Place: Arye Lovestrand—Arcadia Charter School, Northfield
- 5th Place: Xavier Byrd—Gordon Parks High School, Saint Paul
- 6th Place: Corrina Mussehl—Rogers High School, Rogers
Other State Finalists
- Angela Burgess—Clearbrook-Gonvick High School, Clearbrook
- Eric Dewitte—Marshall School, Duluth
- Jennifer Kim—Century High School, Rochester
- Christine Menge—Blaine High School, Blaine
- Hori Mohamud—Lincoln International High School, Minneapolis
- Chelsie Othoudt—Milaca High School, Milaca
Minnesota Poetry Out Loud highlights from previous years