finals

May 27, 2021

There are no Cascadia-region students among the 2021 Poetry Out Loud finalists, but today’s National Finals should still be inspiring. Tune in to the webcast this evening, Thursday, May 27, 2021, at 4:00pm Pacific (7:00pm Eastern) as the young competitors give their all to be the 2021 champion.

A total of $50,000 in awards and school or organizational stipends include a $20,000 award for the National Champion, $10,000 for 2nd place, $5,000 for 3rd place, and $1,000 for 4th–9th places. The representing schools/organizations of each of the top nine finalists receive $500 for the purchase of poetry materials.

Congratulations, Lucy!

March 17, 2021

Heartfelt congratulations to Lucy Shainin of Anacortes High School, who is the 2021 Washington State Poetry Out Loud champion as well as the inaugural Anacortes High School student poet laureate for the Skagit River Poetry Foundation. Following her win in the the March 16 State POL Finals Lucy will compete in the May 2, 2021, National Semi-finals and, we hope, the championship round on May 27.

Congratulations to all the students who selected, memorized, and recited poems in this year’s virtual Poetry Out Loud.

rethinking a contest

September 3, 2020

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country.” Students memorize poems, practice their delivery, and compete with one another on the classroom, school, state, and national level.

Not surprisingly, the 2020-2021 POL season will look a lot different from that of previous years. Though a date has not yet been set, POL has already announced that the National Finals will take place in spring 2021 as a video submission-based competition. POL is encouraging teachers and organizers at all contest levels to hold virtual competitions and have posted downloadable Poetry Out Loud Virtual Competitions & Filming Requirements (PDF).

Do you recall poems you memorized in school? The words can last a lifetime. If you have a high school student in your life, visit Poetry Out Loud, browse the poems, watch for deadlines, and consider memorizing a poem yourself!


 
As long as you’re just sitting there, how about memorizing a poem? You could start with one of your own, or an old favorite, or select a poem from the huge catalog at Poetry Out Loud.
 
Not sure? Here are a few articles that might help you make up your mind:

Start now and you could be ready to recite at your next reading… or party… or Zoom get-together.
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Poetry Out Loud

March 22, 2020


(from left) Tamar Krames, ArtsWA Arts in Education Program Manager; Madeline Luther, a senior from Okanagon High School and first runner-up; Jordan Mattox, junior at Mead High School and state champion; Karen Hanan, ArtsWA Executive Director. Photograph by Pavel Verbovski.

Jordan Mattox, a junior at Mead High School in Spokane, is the 2020 Poetry Out Loud Washington State Champion. She was among 12 high school students who competed at the State Final held March 7, 2020, at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma.

“I didn’t start off absolutely loving poetry, but once you find a poem that really resonates with you, your appreciation for just literature in general can be deepened so quickly. That’s what happened to me,” said Jordan. “It’s such a great way for one to express themselves and it’s a way to share with other people things that are important to you — it’s why Poetry Out Loud is so important to me.”

The first runner-up was Madeline Luther, a senior from Okanogan High School in Okanogan and last year’s champion. Honorable mentions went to Yeshi Berry, a senior at Vancouver School for Arts and Academics in Vancouver; Mercy Haub, a sophomore at Shorewood High School in Shoreline; and Cooper Siems, a freshman at Concordia Christian Academy in Tacoma.

Poetry Out Loud is a national program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) is the coordinating agency in our state. All participating students choose and memorize poems from the official Poetry Out Loud anthology. At the state and national finals, students are required to have three poems prepared. Jordan Mattox’s poems included “Art vs. Trade” by James Weldon Johnson, and “It Couldn’t Be Done” by Edgar Albert Guest, with “Thoughtless Cruelty” by Charles Lamb as the final recitation.

Jordan Mattox will receive an award of $200 and Mead High School will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials. First runner-up, Madeline Luther, will receive $100, with $200 for her school’s library. The State Champion would normally advance to the National Poetry Out Loud finals in Washington, DC, but that event, scheduled for late April, has unfortunately been cancelled.

Congratulations to Jordan Mattox, and to all the Poetry Out Loud competitors. Watch Jordan recite “Art vs. Trade” by James Weldon Johnson.

Congratulations to Madeline Luther, 2018-19 Washington State Poetry Out Loud Champion. A junior at Okanogan High School, she won with her recitation of “On Quitting” by Edgar Albert Guest. Madeline will represent Washington State at the National Finals, April 30-May 1, 2019, at the Lisner Auditorium at The George Washington University.

Read the poem here.

Poetry Out Loud

February 23, 2019

Once again, it’s Poetry Out Loud season and that means students from over 65 high schools around Washington State have been learning, memorizing, and performing poems. The seven regional finals are now over and the top 13 students will move on to the state final on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at 1:00pm at Tacoma Arts Live / Theatre on the Square, 915 Broadway, in Tacoma. Produced by ArtsWA, the event is free and open to the public.

The top student from the state final will receive a cash prize of $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, (with a chaperone) to represent Washington State in the National Finals, April 29 – May 1, 2019. The state winner’s school also receives $500 for the purchase of poetry books. The runner-up in the state competition receives $100, with $200 for his or her school library. Additionally, $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends are awarded to the winners at the National Finals.

Click for information on Poetry Out Loud in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon.

new voices

December 28, 2018

In the spirit of the season, and to usher in the new year, Pelican Bay Books hosts eight young poets, all current or former students of Anacortes High School. Come hear Anna Prewitt, Addi Garner (Poetry Out Loud 2017 Washington State winner and 2018 honorable mention), John Harrison, Geoffrey Hamilton, Alex Hanesworth, Layne Woodward, Will McCracken, and Jade Carter. The reading starts at 7:00pm tonight, Friday, December 28, 2018.

Go Fund Addi

May 4, 2017

Back in March, we announced that Addi Garner, a junior at Anacortes High School, was the Washington State winner of Poetry Out Loud. (She also took first place in the Oratory/Persuasive Speaking event at the Washington State Debate Competition.) Last weekend, we had the good fortune to meet Addi and hear her recite two poems from her collection of memorized favorites. Impressive!

Accepted by Brown University to attend a month-long summer program for outstanding high school students, Addi Garner is now hoping to generate financial support that will allow her to participate. Every bit helps. Visit Addi’s Summer @ Brown University and help this young writer on her way.

Today!

April 30, 2017


You are invited to join Washington Poet Laureate Tod Marshall and poets Luther Allen, Jim Bertolino, Michael Daley, J.I. Kleinberg, and Nancy Pagh as they present selections from Washington 129, today at 2:00pm at the Anacortes Public Library. Washington state Poetry Out Loud champ Addi Garner will also recite and read a poem.

As a bonus, today is the last official day of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, so allow some extra time for flower viewing.

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