Students Looking Ahead to Poetry Out Loud Competitions

High school students from 26 schools across the state are polishing their poetry recitation skills for Nebraska’s Poetry Out Loud regional competitions this February. Winners from each regional competition will move on to the state competition in Lincoln on March 11.

For the competition, qualifying high school students are asked to select, memorize and recite a poem of choice from the Poetry Out Loud anthology of more than 800 poems. Judges are then asked to select a winner based on his/her physical presence, voice and articulation, evidence of understanding, dramatic appropriateness, accuracy and overall performance.

All events are free of charge and open to the public. Dates and times are as follows:
Kearney Regional Competition: Sunday, February 12, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Museum of Nebraska Art, 2401 Central Avenue, Kearney, NE 68847

Norfolk Regional Competition: Wednesday, February 15, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Norfolk Arts Center, 305 North 5th Street, Norfolk, NE 68701

Omaha Regional Competition: Saturday, February 18, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Joslyn Art Museum, Abbott Lecture Hall, 2200 Dodge Street, Omaha, NE 68102

Nebraska State Finals: Saturday, March 11, 1:00-3:30 p.m.
Sheldon Museum of Art, Ethel S. Abbott Auditorium, 12th & R Streets, Lincoln, NE 68508

The top three contestants at the Nebraska State Finals each receive an original hand-blown glass trophy provided by Nebraskans for the Arts. In addition, Nebraska’s champion will receive $200 and an all-expense paid trip with an adult chaperone to compete at the national championship in Washington D.C. April 25-26, 2017. The state champion’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up will receive $100 and $200 for his or her school library. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the National Finals.

National semifinals and finals will be webcast live. Follow the conversation on Twitter @PoetryOutLoud, @NEAarts or #POL17. For more information visit

Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation program for high school students, is sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and administered in partnership with State Arts Agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The Nebraska Arts Council organizes Nebraska’s statewide program and partners with Nebraskans for the Arts to coordinate the regional competitions.