Skip to main content

Poetry Out Loud

Find your voice through poetry! Build confidence, communication, empathy, close reading, and analysis skills.

2024 Region 8 Champion & State Champion Grisham Locke, from Lincoln Parish

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Two winners from each local competition advance to the Regional Competition and two Regional winners advance to the State Competition.

The State Winner competes at the National Level. Cash prizes are available at the Regional, State and National levels.

The Basics

- Open to students in grades 9 – 12

- School/Organization Registration due December 15, 2023.

- Entry Competition must be Completed by January 19, 2024.

- Region 8 Finals will be held in February 8, 2024 at the Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Monroe in Monroe, Louisiana.
(Coordinated by the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council)

- State Finals will be in March 7, 2024 at the Delta Grand Theatre in Opelousas, Louisiana.

- National Finals are TBD in Spring of 2024.

STUDENTS if you would like to participate in Poetry Out Loud, but your school is not participating or you are a homeschool student, please contact Community Development Coordinator Abigail Handy at - there are options in place to accommodate you!

Working With Your School

Poetry Out Loud may be incorporated into your class, club, group, or curriculum in many ways: an entire class, grade level, or school may participate as part of the curriculum or for extra credit, or clubs or after school/extra-curricular groups may participate. Write Out Loud is here to help you bring Poetry Out Loud to your school, library, club, or student group. We provide free workshops, guidance for students and teachers, contest coordinating, and judges.

Students unable to participate at their school or a local organization should contact our office to discuss other opportunities for inclusion in the state’s official competition. Only currently enrolled students in grades 9–12 are eligible, with an exception made for 8th-grade students participating in a 9th- through 12th-grade class. A Poetry Out Loud National Champion is not eligible to compete in future years. No student may be excluded from participating in Poetry Out Loud on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. More information on Poetry Out Loud rules and eligibility may be found at


Poetry Out Loud Region 8 Competition Registration
Address Line 1 *
City *
State/Province *
Postal Code *
First Name *
Last Name *
Has your school or organization participated in POL before?