The Poetry Out Loud Competition helps high school students learn about poetry by memorizing and performing it. The program also helps students:
- master public speaking skills
- build self-confidence
- learn about literary history and contemporary life
High schools throughout the state can use Poetry Out Loud’s free curriculum and participate in classroom and school contests, with top students advancing to a statewide competition in March. The state champion advances to the National Finals in Washington, D.C. in late April.
Poetry Out Loud grants $50,000 in awards and school stipends at the National Finals, including a $20,000 prize for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.
Past Colorado champions include:
- 2020: Kiya Cockrell, Fountain Valley High School
- 2019: Jesca Gilbert, Valor Christian High School
- 2018: Hannah Alexander, Niwot High School
- 2017: Will Edelson, Fountain Valley School
Colorado’s Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment of the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, Colorado Creative Industries, and Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Lighthouse Writers Workshop administers the program.