Archive for September 23rd, 2016


Poetry Out Loud

September 23, 2016

Registration for high schools is open



Poetry Out Loud is organized by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation; it is administered at the state level by the Maine Arts Commission. Begun in high schools nationwide in 2006, this dynamic program encourages our nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. Students have the opportunity to choose from among 900+ poems in the official Poetry Out Loud anthology and then bring their selected poems to life. The program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. In addition to providing a meaningful educational experience of poetry in written and spoken form, over $100,000 in awards is given to successful students and schools at the state and national level, including $20,000 awarded to the National Champion.

Rose Horowitz, Mt. Ararat High School, 2016 Maine State Champion

Rose Horowitz, Mt. Ararat High School, 2016 Maine State Champion

Poetry Out Loud offers high school teachers an easy-to-use, standards-based program to help students discover a range of poets from Emily Dickinson to Richard Blanco to Gwendolyn Brooks. Participating teachers receive free materials including a teacher’s guide, lesson plans, and access to audio-visual materials on the art of recitation.

The Maine Arts Commission is pleased to announce that schools can now find online all information about Poetry Out Loud 2016-2017 and register quickly and easily. Schools must register with the Maine Arts Commission by November 7, 2016. Immediately following registration, your school’s identified contact teacher will be sent this year’s program materials and teacher toolkits, which include the newly revised Poetry Out Loud 2016-2017 Teacher’s Guide.

We are thrilled that almost 10,000 students and 220 teachers from 45 high schools across Maine participated in Poetry Out Loud in 2015-2016. We anticipate that this school year will be just as exciting and we encourage all teachers to consider giving their students throughout your school the opportunity to shine in this nationwide celebration of poetry!

Please take a few minutes to view and share the promotional national videos entitled “Get involved in POL!” and “Why Poetry Out Loud?” Also, the Maine Arts Commission has produced a short video highlighting the 2015 Maine State Finals. Lastly, we recommend that you share a short article from The Atlantic entitled “Why Teaching Poetry Is So Important” (April 2014) with students, teaching colleagues, administrators and parents. It is our hope that these resources may help you publicize Poetry Out Loud in your school and support your school’s participation in the program this year.

Please note that Poetry Out Loud can take place in your school anytime between now and January 9, 2017, as the program does not require full class periods and can be completed in just two to three weeks; however, teachers are encouraged to consider making Poetry Out Loud a larger part of their school’s curriculum. Specific lesson plans are available at In addition, an explanation of the alignment with both the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Standards and Common Core State Standards is available at

Please review the following timeline as you consider registering your school

September – November 2016                   School Registration (ongoing)
November 7, 2016                                       Last day to register for Poetry Out Loud
January 9, 2016                                           Last day for school-wide competitions
January 17, 2017                                          Last day for Regional Finals Registration
January 26, 2017                                         Northern Regional Workshop (4-6 p.m.) (Hampden Academy)
January 31, 2017                                          Snow date for Northern Regional Workshop
February 7, 2017                                          Southern Regional Workshop (4-6 p.m.)  (Portland Public Library)
February 10, 2017                                        Snow date for Southern Regional Workshop
February 13, 2017                                        Northern Maine Regional Finals (Performing Arts Center, Hampden Academy)
February 14, 2017                                        Snow date for Northern Maine Regional Finals
February 28, 2017                                       Southern Maine Regional Finals (Garland Auditorium, Thornton Academy)
March 2, 2017                                              Snow date for Southern Maine Regional Finals
March 13, 2017                                            Maine State Finals (Waterville Opera House)
March 14, 2017                                            Snow date for Maine State Finals
April 24-26, 2017                                        Poetry Out Loud National Finals (Washington, DC)

The Maine Arts Commission believes that the arts are an essential part of a well-rounded education. Through our Arts Education program, we create and support innovative arts learning opportunities that engage both students and teachers in creative thinking, arts participation and the building of vibrant learning communities. Please visit to find more information about the benefits of Poetry Out Loud, as well as information on all educational programming offered by the Maine Arts Commission.

If we can provide any assistance with registration or program planning for your school’s Poetry Out Loud program, please contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education at

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