Poetry Foundation & NEA Sponsor Poetry Out Loud Finals

April 5, 2019

Poetry Out Loud Logo

On May 1, 2019, over fifty high school students will converge on Washington, DC, to compete in the fourteenth annual Poetry Out Loud competition. Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud brings together student poets from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to “engage with great poetry through a dynamic recitation competition,” according to a press release published on Wednesday.

The finalists, who were selected from a field of over 275,000 competitors, will compete in regional semifinal rounds before nine finalists recite their poems in Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University. Students will be competing in two categories—either a written poem or a video of a spoken poem—for awards and school stipends, totaling $50,000, given to the first-, second-, and third-place winners, offered by the Poetry Foundation. The winners will be selected by poet Kyle Dargan, while Elizabeth Acevedo, the poet and novelist whose The Poet X won the National Book Award, will host for the fourth time.

“Connecting students to poetry through the engaging format of recitation brings fresh energy, and interest to this timeless art form,” Poetry Foundation President Henry Bienen commented. “The Poetry Out Loud program offers a direct extension of our mission to celebrate poetry, and foster interest among the next generation of poetry readers, and writers.”

The full schedule of events for this year’s Poetry Out Loud is available. Events are free and open to the public and will also be live-streamed on the NEA website.


Image Credit: The Poetry Foundation

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