About Poetry Out Loud

National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation present Poetry Out LoudPoetry Out Loud (POL) encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary heritage and contemporary life. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State Arts Agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.  

Teachers, librarians, or administrators register their high schools each year with the Ohio Arts Council and organize contests with one class, several classes, or a whole school. Contests, workshops, and multi-media program materials, including curricula, are free. Poetry Out Loud is aligned with Common Core and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) standards.

2023 Recitation Competition Dates

Ohio 2023 State Finals

Friday, March 10, 6 p.m.
Ross Community Room, WOSU Public Media
1800 North Pearl Street, Columbus
Free and open to the public

Regional Semifinals

Partner: Thurber House
Wednesday, February 8, 6:30 p.m.
Thurber Center
91 Jefferson Avenue, Columbus

Dayton/West Central
Partner: Piqua Arts Council
Thursday, February 9, 7 p.m.
Edison State Community College
Robinson Theatre
1972 Edison Drive, Piqua

Partner: Stuart's Opera House
Saturday, February 11, 5 p.m.
Stuart's Opera House
52 Public Square, Nelsonville

Partner: Elementz
Friday, February 17, 5 p.m.
University of Cincinnati Digital Futures
3080 Exploration Avenue, Cincinnati

Partner: Massillon Museum
Saturday, February 18, 2 p.m.
Massillon Museum
121 Lincoln Way E., Massillon,

Partner: Marathon Center for the Performing Arts
Thursday, February 23, 5 p.m.
Marathon Center for the Performing Arts
200 W. Main Cross Street, Findlay

Register Your School or Organization


Contest Structure

Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that starts at the classroom level. A winner from each participating school is invited to compete in a regional semifinal contest. The top scoring students from each semifinal advance to the State Finals competition. First, second, and third place winners at the State Finals receive cash prizes and money for their school libraries. Both semifinals and state finals are free and open to the public. 

The winner of the State Finals becomes Ohio’s new Poetry Out Loud state champion and is invited on an all-expenses-paid trip to compete for the title of Poetry Out Loud national champion in the National Finals in Washington, D.C. The national championship prize is $20,000.

Click here for more information about Ohio's Poetry Out Loud contests.



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CHIQUITA MULLINS LEE | Arts Learning Coordinator | 614-728-4455

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