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School Registration is now open!

New for 2020-21 school-year

  • All POL competitions beyond the school level will be conducted using video submissions of student recitations.  
  • Professional performing artists and poets will visit classrooms virtually.
  • Students unaffiliated with a participating school or homeschool network may have the opportunity to compete with a group of peers, under the  guidance of the Nebraska English Language Arts Council. Contact NAC for details.

Important Dates



Oct. 15 School registration deadline
Sept. – Feb. Conduct in-school POL programs
Dec. 1 Deadline to request virtual coaching visits by NAC teaching artists
Feb. 10 Video submissions are due for the State Semi-Finals Competition (Guidelines for preparing and recording Poetry Out Loud recitations will be forthcoming later this fall.)
Feb. 17 State finalists notified
Feb. 26 Video submissions are due for State Finals Competition
March 12 State finals recording published and state champ announced
April National Finals


POETRY OUT LOUD encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. POL is a great way to bring poetry alive for both students and teachers.

  • POL is free of charge!
  • All Nebraska high schools are invited to participate.
  • Students compete for over $50,000 in state and national prizes and scholarships.
  • POL meets many Nebraska ELA and Theatre standards, as well as NCTE standards. 
  • NAC provides personalized assistance to help teachers get started and carry out the program.
  • NAC will cover the cost of virtual artist visits by professional performing artists and poets.

POL meets Nebraska's educational standards in English Language Arts & Theatre.

Resources for Coordinating Teachers:


Previous POL Videos

2016 Video

2015 Video

2014 Video