Get Involved in Poetry Out Loud

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Montana high schools are invited to participate in Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, created by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and co-sponsored by the Montana Arts Council.  Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to memorize and perform great poems.

Poetry Out Loud invites the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word and theatre into the English class.  This exciting program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and explore their literary heritage.

The program follows a pyramid structure with school, state and national competitions.  The Poetry Foudation provides materials for each participating teacher.  Each participating school implements the Poetry Out Loud curriculum in the classroom, holding class-level and school-level poetry recitation competitions.

The Montana State Poetry Out Loud competition is held in Helena in March of 2014, and a state champion will be identified to participate in the national Poetry Out Loud competition in Washington, D. C. April 28-30, 2014.  State champions compete for scholarships of up to $20,000 for the national champion.  Schools of the nine national finalists also receive $500 for the purchase of poetry books for their school.

Now is the time to get you and your students enrolled in the program!  Contact State Coordinator Margaret Belisle at  Also visit the Poetry Out Loud website for information and great poetry resources.

For some inspiration, check out the stellar performance of the 2012 National Poetry Out Loud Champion below:


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