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Ohio Poetry Out Loud Announces Semifinals

COLUMBUS, Ohio—The Ohio Arts Council (OAC) will host the first annual Poetry Out Loud (POL) semifinal contests in three Ohio cities in late February and early March. Formerly, POL school champions went directly to the state finals. This year students' next level of competition will be an assigned regional semifinal contest. Holding semifinal contests increases accessibility for Ohio schools by shortening travel distance and reducing the daylong state finals to an afternoon event.

Dayton Semifinal
Monday, Feb. 29, 4:30 p.m.
Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center Theater, Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

Cleveland Semifinal
Thursday, March 3, 4:30 p.m.
Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium, Cleveland Public Library

Columbus Semifinal
Saturday, March 5, 1:30 p.m.

Arthur C. Johnson Auditorium, Ohio History Connection

State Finals
Saturday, March 19, 1:30 p.m.

WOSU TV Station, COSI – Center of Science and Industry

Semifinals feature upgraded contest venues and an impressive judge roster that includes: David Hassler, Wick Poetry Center director; Karen Maner, Culture Works; Alan Bomar Jones, actor; Professor Ann Hall, Ohio Dominican University; Nancy Kangas, poet, artist, and educator; and Caira Lee, 2011 Ohio POL state champion.  

The Ohio POL semifinals and state finals are presented in partnership with Thurber House, Ohioana Library, Ohio Center for the Book, and Tuesday Musical Association. If you are interested in becoming a POL partner please contact Chiquita Mullins Lee, Arts Learning Coordinator:

2016 Ohio Poetry Out Loud Participating High Schools

Archbishop Alter High School, Kettering

Archbishop Hoban High School, Akron

Beechcroft High School, Columbus

Bloom Carroll High School, Carroll

Buckeye Local High School, Rayland

Canal Winchester High School, Canal Winchester

Catholic Central High School, Springfield

Centennial High School, Columbus

Central High School, Columbus

Cleveland Heights High School, Cleveland Heights

Chaminade-Julienne High School, Dayton

Columbus Alternative High School, Columbus

Columbus School for Girls, Columbus

Columbus Torah Academy, Columbus

Cristo Rey Columbus High School, Columbus

JFK-Eagle Academy, Garfield Heights

Ellet High School, Akron

Gahanna Christian Academy, Gahanna

John Glenn High School, New Concord

Kenton Ridge High School, Springfield

Kettering Fairmont High School, Kettering

Lima Central Catholic High School, Lima

Linden McKinley High School, Columbus

Logan High School, Logan 

Madison Comprehensive High School, Mansfield

Medina High School, Medina

Millersport High School, Millersport

Montessori High School at University Circle, Cleveland

Mother of Mercy High School, Cincinnati

Newark Digital Academy, Newark

Ohio Virtual Academy, Maumee

Olentangy High School, Lewis Center

Promise Academy, Cleveland

Purcell Marian High School, Cincinnati

St. Edward High School, Lakewood

St. Francis DeSales High School, Columbus

Seton High School, Cincinnati

Shaker Heights High School, Shaker Heights

Shaw High School, East Cleveland

Springfield High School, Springfield

Summit JDC, Akron

Tallmadge High School, Tallmadge

The Lyceum, South Euclid

Toledo Early College High School, Toledo

Upper Arlington High School, Upper Arlington

Vantage Career Center, Van Wert

Western Reserve Academy, Hudson

Westerville Central High School, Westerville

Whetstone High School, Columbus


The nation's largest youth poetry recitation competition is presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in partnership with the Ohio Arts Council. The Poetry Out Loud program encourages high school students to learn about great poetry, master public-speaking skills, build self-confidence, and study their literary heritage.

The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Connect with the OAC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website at

The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts—both new and established—bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education.


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