Michigan Humanities has opened registration for the 2019-20 Poetry Out Loud program, a poetry recitation competition for high school students. Poetry Out Loud helps students learn about poetry while mastering public speaking skills and building self-confidence.

“We are excited to celebrate the fifteenth year of Poetry Out Loud in Michigan, and look forward to seeing the creative, meaningful ways that students and teachers across the state engage in the arts and humanities through this collaborative program with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs,” said Shelly Hendrick Kasprzycki, Michigan Humanities’ President & CEO.

Poetry Out Loud in Michigan is part of a national initiative and is sponsored by Michigan Humanities, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The program is provided at no cost to schools, teachers, or students, and registration is available at michiganhumanities.org/poetryoutloud. Schools must register before November 21 to participate in the 2019-20 program. Student champions for each participating school advance to the state competition on March 13 and 14, 2020, at the Lansing Crowne Plaza.

At minimum, Michigan’s state champion receives a $200 cash award, a $500 stipend for his or her school to purchase poetry materials, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to represent Michigan at the national competition from April 27-19, 2020. The first runner-up will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school.

In 2019, State Champion Tajah-Rayne Davise of Calumet High School in Houghton County represented Michigan at the 2019 National Poetry Out Loud competition in Washington, D.C.

“Poetry Out Loud transforms a classroom into a laboratory of language. The students’ experimentation with recitation creates a creative, collaborative, and inspired atmosphere,” said Lacey O’Donnell, Tajah-Rayne’s former teacher at Calumet High School. O’Donnell has been incorporating the Poetry Out Loud program into her teaching for eight years.

For more information about Poetry Out Loud in Michigan, contact Katie Wittenauer, Michigan Humanities’ director of programs, at (517) 372-7770, or kwittenauer@mihumanities.org.

Photo credit: Trumpie Photography

About Michigan Humanities

Michigan Humanities inspires Michiganders to come together in creative and freely expressed ways to deepen our understanding of ourselves and enrich our communities. In carrying out this mission, Michigan Humanities builds awareness and excitement for humanities in everyday life, achieves best practices and sustainability for all humanities programs and services in Michigan, and upholds the following key values:

  • Inclusion, diversity, and equity
  • Discovery and understanding
  • Authentic conversation
  • Respectful collaboration
  • Meaningful experiences

Michigan Humanities’ vision is for all people of Michigan to experience and understand the importance of humanities to enrich lives.