LANSING – On Friday, March 14 nearly 40 high school students from across Michigan will arrive in East Lansing for a powerful poetry recitation competition and the chance to be named the Michigan Poetry Out Loud State Champion.

Open to the public at no cost, the competition will be held at the Hannah Community Center (819 Abbot Road, East Lansing 48823), from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. At 2:30 p.m. there will be a special performance by Kalamazoo-based poetry duo Kinetic Affect.

Poetry Out Loud is a national high school poetry recitation competition of the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation. It has been hosted in Michigan since 2005 by the Michigan Humanities and Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs. Since Michigan began hosting it in 2005, nearly 80,000 students have been engaged in Poetry Out Loud.

This program isn’t just a powerful display of poetry; by participating in the program, students can master public speaking skills, develop self-confidence and explore literary heritage in a safe environment with their peers. Students also have the opportunity to participate in a writing workshop with Kinetic Affect the evening before competition.

The State Champion will receive $200, an all-expense-paid trip to compete in the national championship in Washington, D.C., and an opportunity to win a $20,000 college scholarship. The state winner’s school receives a $500 stipend toward the purchase of new poetry books. The state runner-up will receive $100 as well as $200 for his/her school library. All Michigan competitors are invited to participate in the Michigan Youth Arts Festival.

View a list of all participating high schools in the state competition.

For more information on attending this free event or the Poetry Out Loud program, please or call the Michigan Humanities at (517) 372-7770.

About the Michigan Humanities

The Michigan Humanities is a private, nonprofit organization created to foster a better understanding of each other and our state through local cultural, historical and literary experiences for all. The Council was founded in 1974 and is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and individual donors. For more information on future programs, upcoming grant opportunities or how you can support these efforts, please visit or call (517) 372-7770.