Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program created by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation that encourages young performers in Colorado to bring the words of great poets to life through memorization, recitation, and competitive performance. The program starts in the school, or at the local level, with an area organization. Winners from school and local competitions then advance to state competition, and ultimately to the national finals 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.
A goal of the program is to help high school students learn about poetry by memorizing and performing it, master public speaking skills, build self confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.
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.