Poetry Out Loud

About the Program

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation partner with state arts agencies in all fifty states to sponsor the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest.  Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud (POL) 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. Approximately 27,500 ND students have participated in POL for the past 12 years with our State Champions proudly representing ND at the National Competition in Washington, DC. 

Poetry Out Loud addresses most state ELA standards and can easily be integrated into existing curriculum. By incorporating memorization and performance in the classroom, POL sets the stage for students to deepen their understanding of figurative language, word relationships and the nuances within word meanings.  In addition, students learn about great poetry, explore their literary heritage, and gain confidence in public speaking skills. To support teachers in this effort, North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA) offers up to $2,000 in non-matching grant funds for poet visits to schools registered in the POL Program. See Poets in Schools Grant for more information.

Who Can Participate?

Any school or homeschool group in North Dakota that includes students in grades nine through twelve qualifies for POL. Public, private, alternative, independent, as well as homeschool groups or organizations and school-sponsored afterschool programs, are encouraged to participate.


NDCA announces North Dakota Poetry Out Loud State Finals winners

NDCA is pleased to announce Kylie Howatt from Northern Cass High School, as the 2021 State Champion and first place winner of the North Dakota State Poetry Out Loud (POL) contest. Kylie will advance to the National Finals where a total of $50,000 in cash and school stipends will be awarded. Lillian Kiefert of Valley City High School received second place honors. Placing third was Josephine Evenson, North Border Pembina High School. The full press release is available at here.

North Dakota Poetry Out Loud program goes virtual

Now more than ever, our students need opportunities for synthesizing and expressing feelings and emotions. To provide a more inclusive program and ensure ALL students in North Dakota have access to rich social/emotional and English/Language Arts learning, the 2020-21 ND POL Program went virtual. This also included the Poets in Schools grant program where schools, officially registered for Poetry Out Loud (POL), could apply for up to $2,000 in non-matching funds to bring a highly-qualified, practicing poet into their classroom to work with and/or present for students. Visits could be conducted in-person or virtually.  Participation in the POL program is FREE and includes a variety of resources for classroom implementation.

For further information on Poetry Out Loud

Videos of State Champions