Poetry Out Loud


Registration is CLOSED for 2013/14 POL.  For more information, contact Emily Reece via email.

November 1, 2013: Deadline to register school for POL
December 13, 2013: Deadline to submit school competition date
January 31, 2013: Deadline to hold school competition and submit winner information to Emily Reece via email

Mark Your Calendar: 

February 8, 15, 22, 2014: Semi-final competitions. Completed.
March 8, 2014:  The North Georgia Regional Competition - Atlanta History Center, Woodruff Auditorium 

Five finalists will be selected to move onto the State Championship. 

March 15, 2014:  State Final Competition – Atlanta History Center, Woodruff Auditorium 

During the competition there will also be a poetry showcase in which judges and local poets will recite their own work. Our state poet laureate Judson Mitcham will also participate in the poetry showcase. 

April 29-30, 2014: National Final in Washington D.C. -Lisner Auditorium, The George Washington University

In partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and Georgia Council for the Arts, The Literary Center at the Margaret Mitchell House administers Poetry Out Loud for the state of Georgia. Enrollment is now open for the 2012 -2013 competition year.  

What is POL
This innovative program encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance of the written word. It incorporates the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the English and drama class. Poetry Out Loud, which began in 2005, helps students improve public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn great poetry in literature.

Functioning much like a spelling bee, the POL competition uses a pyramid structure that begins in the classroom. Winners of each classroom recitation competition advance to a school-wide contest, then each school’s top winner goes to a semi-final competition. Semi-final competitions take place locally in February 2014. Finalists from the semi-final competitions will advance to the state finals in March 2014. Finally, one Georgia winner competes at the National Finals in Washington, D.C.

The winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington D.C. to compete for the national championship. The state winner's school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for his or her school library. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the National Finals, with one winner taking home a college scholarship for $20,000.

Program Materials
Curriculum materials include a teacher’s guide to help instructors teach recitation and performance, a print and online poetry anthology, an audio CD demonstrating spoken word through use of famous actors and writers, and a “Learning Recitation” DVD. All of these items are provided free to participating schools.

How to Get Involved
If your school would like to get involved, we need to hear from you as soon as possible. For a high school to participate, one point person, or "school coordinator," at that location must commit to be the liaison between the high school and the state coordinator. To get involved, contact Emily Reece via email or phone at 404.814.4017.