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IAC > Arts Education > Poetry Out Loud Poetry Out Loud


How It Works
How to Get Involved

We are excited to announce that this year we've partnered with the Indiana State Library and the library will be taking ownership of this extraordinary program. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation are supporting partners to Poetry Out Loud, a free high school program which encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps high school students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, learn about their literary heritage and compete for college scholarship funding.

How It Works

Competitions at the school or classroom level will be held during the fall semester to identify one student winner who will represent their school at the state finals and compete for the chance to represent Indiana at the National Finals in Washington, D.C. in early May. The State Champion receives:

  • $200 cash prize
  • All expense paid trip to Washington, D.C.
  • $500 for their school to purchase literary materials
  • Opportunity to compete at the National Finals for college scholarship funds
  • Poetry from Within - Writing Competition
  • School champions participating in Indiana’s Poetry Out Loud state finals will be invited to submit an original poem if they wish, but it will certainly not be required.
  • If the school champion does not want to submit a poem, the participating school may submit a poem from another student, but again, there would be no such requirement of a school.
  • A school may not submit original poetry for the competition unless the school is already participating in the state Poetry Out Loud recitation contest.
  • The original poems will be judged by separate judges, and there will be separate awards. Student and school names will remain anonymous during the judges’ consideration of the poems.

All materials and resources will be provided. Any public or private high school in the state is welcome and encouraged to participate. Homeschooled students may participate by joining in a registered high school's competition or by organizing a contest with other homeschooled students. 

How to Get Involved

In order to compete, schools must register before November 30, 2016. Competitions will first be implemented during the fall 2016 semester at the school or classroom level to identify one student winner who will represent their school at the state finals. The State Finals will be held February 18, 2017 in Indianapolis to determine the state winner, who will then represent Indiana at the National Finals in Washington, D.C. in early May.

For information and questions, contact the Poetry Out Load State Coordinator, Wendy Knapp at or 317-232-3691.



This event is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Special thanks to the Indiana Department of Education.