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Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud is a competition that encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. After successful pilot programs in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, POL was launched in high schools nationwide in the spring of 2006 with tens of thousands of students participating. POL has grown every year with over 365,000 students competing.

Students competing in the District 3 POL program were eligible to compete in the national/anthology portion of the program, the original poetry portion, or both. The Alabama State Council on the Arts sponsored the original poetry competition. Traveling to Montgomery, Ala. in 2019, the winners in both the anthology and original poetry portions will compete in the state-wide competition. Winners in the national/anthology portion will then have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. for a final round.

Sponsors include the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, Alabama State Council on the Arts and The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa.

2020-2021 Dates Will be Announced When details are finalized.

GRADES: High School

-In School Competitions:

-Student Entry forms due:

-Finding Your Voice Workshop:

-Regional Competition:

-Entry Forms from Regional Winners for State Competition: 

-Intensive Coaching for Regional Winners: 

-State Competition:


2019-2020 District 3 Winners Announced

The regional finals for Poetry Out Loud, a national recitation competition, took place on Nov. 19, 2019 at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center. Prior to this final round in Tuscaloosa, the West-Central Alabama students from District 3 participated in a primary competition at their respective high schools.

National/Anthology Winners:

1st Place          Elizabeth McClure, Alabama School of Fine Arts  
2nd Place        Andrea Barber, Tuscaloosa County High School    
3rd Place        Deven Patel, Indian Springs School

Original Poetry Winners:

1st Place          Fiona Harris, Tuscaloosa County High School       
2nd Place        Lilly Geisen, Indian Springs School            
3rd Place        Elizabeth McClure, Alabama School of Fine Arts  
4th Place        Helena Lewellyn, Tuscaloosa County High School            
5th Place         Myra Gizzard, Alabama School of Fine Arts     

Judges for the day were Drew Baker, Artistic Coordinator for Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre, and Richard Wallace, Interdisciplinary Studies-Musical Theatre Focus from The University of Alabama. Martie Sample served as Accuracy Judge, Kevin Ledgewood was Prompter and Sheriah Gibson was Scorekeeper.





Poetry Out Loud is a program made possible by a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.