Enrollment for Poetry Out Loud 2021-22 competition for high school students now open

Poetry Out Loud (POL) is an exciting national competition started in 2005 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The contest challenges high school students to memorize and recite poetry, a chance to showcase their talents, build self-confidence, and gain both an appreciation and understanding of poetry.

The Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa County has been an official local partner of California Arts Council’s for Poetry Out Loud since 2007. Every Contra Costa County high school is encouraged to participate. Local arts non-profit organizations and libraries are welcome and encouraged to participate as well. Each year ten to fifteen high schools representing East, West, and Central County have participated. These include public schools, private schools, charter schools, alternative schools, court schools, and homeschool groups.

Poetry Out Loud is a free program!

There is no cost to either the school or the students.


Poetry Out Loud is a tiered competition structure that begins in the classroom. High school teachers use the free Poetry Out Loud teacher toolkit (https://www.poetryoutloud.org/teachers-organizers/lesson-plans/) to teach poetry recitation and run classroom competitions. Class winners advance to the school-wide competition, then one school champion enters the county competition. The County winner is eligible to compete in the state competition, and the state winner competes in the national finals in Washington D.C. for a grand prize of $20,000.

Poetry Out Loud has been made accessible to accommodate in-person and virtual teaching environments at the school level. Additional information on this year’s hybrid model will be shared with participating schools.

Please complete form by 12/15/21! POETRY OUT LOUD 2021-22

Please feel free to email our county coordinator, Brennan DeFrisco, at bdeeppoetry@gmail.com or call (925) 984-4031 for any questions you may have.

Thank you for your interest in supporting Poetry Out Loud!


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