Registration opens for the national Poetry Out Loud 2021-22 Recitation Competition

  • Empty stool awaiting the Poetry Out Loud finals

The national Poetry Out Loud (POL) recitation competition engages thousands of Rhode Island high school students each year. It connects them to great works of poetry, and builds self-confidence and public recitation skills. Annually, each high school holds competitions to select a school champion who will compete at the state level, and then the state champion competes at the national level.

Participating schools receive curriculum resources including teaching artists’ workshops, an anthology of over 1,000 works of poetry, lesson plans and access to expanded competition preparation materials. The program is funded by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and is sponsored by RISCA.

The winner of the Poetry Out Loud Rhode Island state championship receives $200; the winner’s school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials. The first runner-up will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library. The national finalist will receive a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends, with a $20,000 award for the U.S. champion. 

Last year’s RI champion was Virginia Keister of Chariho Regional High School. She competed virtually at the national finals last May.

To register your school, for RI Poetry Out Loud competition, contact Martha Lenihan Lavieri, Program Coordinator, at 401-282-0304, or

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