Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation competition for high school students. By encouraging youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, students can master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.
Participating high schools host their own competitions and select a student to represent their school at the state finals. The state champion will advance to the national finals in Washington, D.C. and compete for a $20,000 college scholarship. School champions will be invited to participate in the Michigan Youth Arts Festival, a three-day event featuring the finest artistic talent in Michigan high schools. More than 33,000 students from at least 50 Michigan high schools have participated in Poetry Out Loud programs since 2005.
Michigan Poetry Out Loud 2013
For the 2012-13 program, nearly 50 Michigan high schools participated in Poetry Out Loud, and 36 schools sent their school champion to compete at the Michigan Poetry Out Loud State Competition on Feb. 22-23, 2013 in East Lansing.
Held at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center, 36 students competed in poetry recitation over a two-day period. After three rounds, it was ultimately Richard Wu, a senior at Forest Hills Central High School near Grand Rapids, that took home the top honors at Michigan Poetry Out Loud State Champion. He received a $200 cash award, as well as $500 for his school library. In addition, he receives an all-expenses-paid trip to compete at the national Poetry Out Loud competition April 29-30, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
First runner-up was Malcolm Harris, a senior at Cass Technical High School (Detroit). He earned a $100 cash award and $200 for his school. Second runner-up was Cameron Snyder-Pitts, a senior at Roosevelt High School (Wyandotte); third runner-up was Josef Fielder, a junior at Bradford Academy High School (Southfield).
At the national competition, Richard competed against 16 other students in his round, and was named the top eight, which allowed him to recite a third poem. However, he was not selected for recitation in the championship round the following evening. The 2013 National Poetry Out Loud Champion is Langston Ward, a senior from Washington.
If you would like your school to be involved in Michigan's Poetry Out Loud competiton, please contact Judith Dworkin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 372-7770.
2013-14 Contest Schedule: TBD
Fall 2013: Application deadline for interested schools
Late January 2014: Deadline to submit school champion
Late February/Early March 2014: State Championship in East Lansing, MI
Late April 2014: National Finals in Washington, D.C.
Student evaluation forms: Students may complete their surveys on paper (PDF) or online (via SurveyMonkey). Student paper surveys must be collated and submitted as part of the lead teacher evaluation forms (above).
The state winner will receive $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete for the national championship. The state winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The runner-up in the state competition will receive $100, along with $200 for his or her school library. Scholarships and school stipends totaling $50,000 will be awarded at the national finals, with a $20,000 college scholarship for the Poetry Out Loud national champion. All Michigan finalists are awarded a scholarship for participation in the Michigan Youth Arts Festival,
on behalf of the Council.
MichiganPoetry Out Loud Champions
2013 Champion: Richard Wu, Forest Hills Central High School, Grand Rapids