Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation competition for high school students. All Nebraska high schools are invited to participate each year in this exciting educational program. Nebraska's 2015 Poetry Out Loud ten year anniversary celebration concluded at state finals, held March 14 at the Sheldon Museum in Lincoln. Following a stellar array of student recitations, a sophomore from Skutt Catholic High School, Amanda Pohlman, was named state champ for a second consecutive year. The 2015 first runner-up is Emma Sawyer from Burwell High School and second runner-up is Hannah Rembert from Cedar Catholic High School. Nebraska's state champ will compete with students from all fifty states at National Finals in Washington, D.C. April 28-29.

See what Nebraska teachers and students say about POL in these 3 minute videos:

2015 Nebraska Poetry Out Loud State Finals

2014 Poetry Out Loud Nebraska State Finals

2013 Nebraska Poetry Out Loud State Finals

2012 Nebraska Poetry Out Loud Program Promotion

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation partner with the Nebraska Arts Council and arts agencies in all fifty states to sponsor Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. Poetry Out Loud builds on the recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as demonstrated by the slam poetry movement among our youth. The program encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, which help students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about our literary heritage.

Starting at the classroom level, teachers are provided with free multimedia curriculum materials – a teachers’ guide, DVD, posters, and comprehensive website, all aligned to national standards – to augment their regular poetry curriculum with poetry recitation and a classroom-level competition. In Nebraska, free poetry recitation workshops for students are available to many participating schools. These workshops are led by Nebraska Arts Council roster teaching artists who have expertise in poetry and performance. All Nebraska high schools are welcome to participate in Poetry Out Loud.

Each year, school-level recitation champions advance to regional semi-finals. Regional winners then move on to the state competition held in Lincoln. Nebraska's state winner receives a monetary award as well as a free trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the national finals.

For more information about Poetry Out Loud, contact the Nebraska Arts Council at (402) 595-2122/(800) 341-4067, and visit the Poetry Out Loud website to learn more about the national program.

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