Poetry Out Loud

About the Program

*The 2022-2023 POL School Registration Form will be available on this website at the beginning of the school year.

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. More than four million students have participated in Poetry Out Loud since 2005, many advancing from classroom competitions to school competitions to state competitions and ultimately to the national finals where students compete for the grand prize of $20,000. In total, Poetry Out Loud  awards more than $100,000 to state- and national-level winners and their schools each year.

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 the Poets in School Grant tab above.

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.

*The 2022-2023 POL School Registration Form will be available on this website at the beginning of the school year.

Materials & Timeline

Poetry Out Loud provides free curriculum materials, including an online poetry anthology, a comprehensive teacher’s guide, videos of student performances, lesson plans, and promotional and media resources. Hard copies of materials are available for teachers participating in the official program but anyone can access the online materials at poetryoutloud.org.

After schools register with their state arts agency, materials are sent to participating high schools on a rolling basis beginning in August, and the program is run through early winter. (Poetry Out Loud does not require full class periods and can be completed in 2-3 weeks.) States hold their competitions by mid-March. Following the state finals, the national finals is usually held in Washington, DC, in April, but the event was held virtually during the pandemic. A more detailed schedule for North Dakota schools will be provided upon registration. 

​While teachers, students, and poetry lovers everywhere can use this website and its free materials to organize their own contests, the official contest is limited to the programs run by each state’s arts agency. 

Teacher Resources

*This tab is currently under construction

  • 2022-23 POL Teacher's Guide:
    • Everything you need for implementing POL in your classroom and school. Includes sample class schedule, lesson plans, steps for coordinating your classroom and school competitions and more! 
  • 2022-23 POL Online Anthology
  • 2022-23 POL Implementation Timeline
  • 5 Models of POL Participation
  • Tips for Using POL to Contribute to a Positive School Culture
  • Tips for Selecting a Poem (for students)
  • School Champion, State Competition Registration Form
  • Recitation & Filming Guidelines/Requirements
Poets in Schools Grant


North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA) offers non-matching grant funds for in person or virtual poet visits to schools registered in the POL Program. A total of $14,000 is available each school year. These funds are allocated on a first-come first-serve basis. Maximum grant request cannot exceed $2,000.

*DEADLINE TO SUBMIT - December 15, 2022

  • Visits must take place before February 1, 2023.
  • A total of $14,000 is available for the 2022-23 school year. These funds will be allocated on a first-come first-serve basis. Total amount of grant request may not exceed $2,000.  
  • If your school would like more time with the poet than grant funds allow, you must use alternative funds to compensate according to the fee scale found below.  
  • Grant requests must be submitted no later than December 15, 2022. Late applications will not be considered.
  • Poet visits are defined as a visit from a practicing poet who has agreed to work within the POL Program. Visits and workshops may take place in person or virtually. Poets may work with small groups to coach students on individual performances and/or explore poetry, deliver assembly style performances to introduce poetry and the POL program to fuel excitement, or a combination of both. Profiles and contact information for available poets can be found by selecting from the menu on the left side of this page.
  • The fee scale for poet visits is as follows:
    • Fee per one hour, small group Coaching/Poetry Exploration Session is $300 per session. Maximum of 6 sessions. Small groups may not exceed 35 students.
    • Fee per one hour Assembly Performances is $500 per assembly. Maximum of 2 performances.
    • Additional costs for poet visits may include (negotiable):
      • Travel at state rate of $.45 per mile. 
      • Meals at state rate as needed. (Breakfast - $7.00, Lunch - $10.50, Dinner - $17.50)
      • Lodging as needed per local rate.
  • ​Applicants will receive Grant Award Notice and directions for completing the required Final Report via Email within 7-10 working days. SAVE this information!
  • Grant funds will be dispersed directly to school upon successful completion of poet visit, submission of full and complete Final Report, and project documentation.
  1. Contact poet directly to determine availability and dates for visit. Select from the following seven amazing artists:(*links to bios will be available soon)
    1. Joseph Davis
    2. R. Vincent Moniz, Jr.
    3. Chuck Suchy
    4. Carol Kapaun Ratchenski
    5. Jessie Veeder
    6. Emily Vieweg
    7. Kevin Zepper
  2. Discuss goals with poet and collaborate on a plan for a meaningful visit that connects students to poetry and the POL program.
  3. Complete pages 2-5 of the Poets in Schools Application (fillable version available for download  below) Mail form to: Attn: Rebecca Engelman, NDCA, 105 N. 4th St., Bismarck, ND, 58501, or Email as an attachment to: rengelman@nd.gov. Do not fax this document.
  4. Wait 7-10 days for Email notification of Grant Award approval and Final Reporting instructions.
  5. Save approved and signed Grant Award and Final Reporting information to your files.
  6. Contact poet to confirm dates, time, and details concerning school visit.
  7. Prepare students and implement project. Document project with student/teacher feedback, photo images and/or video.
  8. Pay poet immediately upon successful completion of school visit.
  9. Complete and submit Final Report and documentation. (All Final Reports must be received no later than April 15, 2023.)
  10. Receive grant funds from NDCA after submission of documentation and approval of Final Report.

To use this form as a fillable pdf. you must first download and SAVE to your desktop 


For further information on Poetry Out Loud