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Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud 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 history and contemporary life.

Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that starts at the classroom level. Students advance to a school-wide competition, through a regional contest, to State Finals, and ultimately to the National Finals.

Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 3 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools in every state, Washington, DC, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Poetry Out Loud takes place annually, with regional recitation contests beginning in February.

Information for teachers and organizers can be found at: Poetry Out Loud

What to Know


Jenna Goldsmith, City of Rockford Poet Laureate & Kaila Anderson, City of Rockford Youth Poet.


January 23, 2023


Rockford City Hall, 425 East State Street, Rockford IL

This program is made possible through a grant award from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

On February 15, 2022, students from regional high schools will participate in the Northern Illinois Poetry Out Loud regional contest at Jefferson High School in Rockford, IL. The first and second place winners of this competition advance to Illinois’ State Poetry Out Loud Competition, in March 2022; the state champion advances to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in May 2022, in Washington, DC, where monetary awards and school stipends will be distributed.

The competition, presented by the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation, in partnership with the Illinois Arts Council Agency, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, recitation, and competition.