Click to Search

Welcome to Poetry Out Loud!


Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation contest open to all Idaho high school students. It is a free program that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through exploration, memorization, and performance. It is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in cooperation with the Idaho Commission on the Arts. 

Download the 2014 - 2015 Application HERE

Watch this short video to find out more about Poetry Out Loud in Idaho.


2013 Idaho State Champion Savina Barini, from Xavier Charter School in Twin Falls, Idaho, will compete at the Poetry Out Loud National Finals April 28-30, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Savina Barini

Frequently Asked Questions


Upon acceptance of a school application, teachers will receive dynamic teaching tools that will invoke students' excitement about literature and poetry recitation, including sample lesson plans, audio CDs of poets reciting their own famous works, publicity materials for school competitions, and a DVD of winning student performances from the Poetry Out Loud National Finals.
Poetry Out Loud curriculum materials include the online poetry anthology, a comprehensive teacher’s guide, a DVD of National Finals performances, lesson plans, and promotional and media guides. Hard copies of materials are free for teachers participating in the official program. 

Materials are sent to high schools as they are accepted through the beginning of the school year, and the program is run through early winter. Poetry Out Loud does not require full class periods and can be completed in 2-3 weeks. 

Complete details about the Poetry Out Loud program from the national program website can be found here.


Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in 2005, Poetry Out Loud is a national competition for high school students. It builds on the recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form.

Participation begins at the classroom level across Idaho. Teachers organize contests involving one class or a whole school with the winners advancing to regional semi-finals, the state finals, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, DC. Contestants can choose poems from an extensive anthology of classical and contemporary poetry. 

Teachers from more than 30 Idaho high schools have taken part. Here's what makes the program so popular:

  • it fits well into literature curriculum
  • it creates an entry point for students to appreciate poetry
  • it strengthens community in the classroom
  • it reaches students that might not otherwise take to poetry or recitation
  • it offers more than $50,000 in prizes to students and schools at the state and national level.


Contact Information

Ruth Piispanen
ICA Director of Arts Education

Sarah Poe
Poetry Out Loud Coordinator

Tentative 2013-2014 Important Dates

Friday, January 31, 2014 - North Idaho Deadline to submit student School Winner information
Friday, February 7, 2014 - South Idaho Deadline to submit student School Winner information
Friday, February 7, 2014 - North Idaho Semi-Final, Moscow
Friday, February 21, 2014 - Southwest Idaho Semi-Final, Kuna
Saturday, February 22, 2014 - Southeast Idaho Semi-Final, Twin Falls
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - Deadline to submit student State Finalist information
Saturday, March TBD, 2014 – Idaho State Final, Boise area
Tuesday-Wednesday, April 29-30, 2014 - National Finals in Washington, DC


Idaho POL Previous State Winners

2013 - Savina Barini, Xavier Charter School
2012 - Emily Musette Hays, Moscow Senior High School
2011 - Haley Henderson, Moscow Senior High School
2010 - Haley Henderson, Moscow Senior High School

top of the page top


commission & community | grants & awards | resources | what's new | arts, craft, festivals | calendar
arts education | community development | artist services | folk & traditional arts | literature | advocacy | special events | links
site map | search | ica home | art map home

contact: info@arts.idaho.gov
webmaster: ludmilla saskova
codemaster: robert dickow

Phone: 208/334-2119 or 800/278-3863 Fax: 208/334-2488
Mailing address: P.O. Box 83720 , Boise, ID 83720-0008
Street address: 2410 North Old Penitentiary Rd. , Boise, ID 83712
site designed and developed by bgp