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Welcome to Alabama's Poetry Out Loud 2021-2022

Registration for 2021-2022 is now closed.

Overview

  • We are back with our face-to-face in-person model, but students wanting to enter virtually may do so if their school is not participating. Registration and entries are facilitated by the Alabama State Council on the Arts.
  • Regional competitions will be held live.
  • To increase accessibility, schools that wish to enter their school champions virtually to the regional competition may do so. Deadlines may be earlier for virtual entries to allow coordinators to process videos and ready them for live judging.
  • State finals will be held live at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival on February 21 unless CDC guidelines change. Any regional winner not able to participate live should contact the Alabama State Council on the Arts to request accommodations.
  • The 2020 Social Challenge Competition will become the Social Justice Poem Competition.
  • Regional coordinators may allow school alternates (or 2 students per school per competition) to compete in the regional competition if they are able to handle the number of students involved. Regions with a lot of schools may not be able to handle more than one student.
  • Regional Coordinators may identify five students for each competition to move forward to the State finals without the restriction of only one winner per school.
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PHASE I: CLASSROOM COMPETITIONS (August-September)

We hope you will consider joining Alabama’s Poetry Out Loud program, as a great way to engage students as they return to your classrooms.

National Poetry Out Loud Competition: At this level students choose one poem from the poetryoutloud.org website to memorize and recite for the rest of the class.

State Original Poetry Out Loud Competition: students write, memorize, and recite their own poem.

Social Justice Poem Competition: students write, memorize, and recite their own poem addressing any topic relevant to social justice and to the student personally. At this level the Social Justice Poem and the Original Poem may be the same poem.

Students may opt to participate in one, two, or all three competitions. Schools that have at least 5 classes involving every student participating are eligible to receive a $75.00 grant to support Poetry Out Loud activities. Each participating school will receive materials supplied by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Additional resources may be found at poetryoutloud.org. It is recommended that the student research the poet and/or topic and biographical information on the website. Class champions move forward to a school wide competition to identify a school champion for each of the three competitions. If only one class is participating, the class champion becomes the school champion.


PHASE II: SCHOOL COMPETITIONS (October-November), and Individual Competitions

National Poetry Out Loud Competition: At the school level students choose two poems from poetryoutloud.org to memorize and recite for the school. Students should begin to consider the requirement for specific poems by the time they reach the regional level. One poem must be pre-20th century and one poem must be 25 lines or less. Whereas this is not required at the school level, it will be required at the regional level.

State Original Poetry Out Loud Competition: students write, memorize, and recite their own poem again. Students may revise and edit poems, but it is recommended they continue to use the poem that helped them get to this level.

The Social Justice Poem Competition: students write, memorize, and recite their own poem addressing any topic relevant to social justice and to the student personally. At this level the Social Justice Poem and the Original Poem should not be the same poem. School Champions move forward to the Regional Competitions.

Individual participating students will compete at this level by sending virtual entries to the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Guidelines for preparing and filming regional entries must be strictly followed to be eligible (See Guidelines for filming Alabama Poetry Out Loud recitations). Individual Champions will be notified and sent to a regional site for the regional competition. Individual students may not go straight to a regional competition without competing at this level.


PHASE III: REGIONAL COMPETITIONS (November-December)

All students are encouraged to compete live for the Regional Competition. However, individual students and schools with an accessibility issue may send virtual recitations. Guidelines for preparing and filming regional entries must be strictly followed to be eligible (See Guidelines for filming Alabama Poetry Out Loud recitations). Regions with 10 or more schools participating may decide to accept only one champion per school. Regions with fewer schools may opt to accept a champion and an alternate from each school. Please check with your regional coordinator for rulings concerning how many students may compete regionally. All schools are encouraged to identify alternates in case a champion is unable to participate at the regional level.

National Poetry Out Loud Competition: At the regional level students choose three poems from poetryoutloud.org to memorize and recite for the school. Students must select one poem pre-20th century and one poem 25 lines are less. Both criteria may be met with one poem.

State Original Poetry Out Loud Competition: students write, memorize, and recite two original poems. Social Justice Poem Competition: students write, memorize, and recite their own poem addressing any topic relevant to social justice and to the student personally. At this level the Social Justice Poem may not duplicate an Original Poem entry.

Five finalists for each competition move forward to the State Finals. Two alternates should be identified in case a finalist drops out.


PHASE IV: STATE FINALS (February 21, 2022)

Our current plan is to hold our State Finals on Monday, February 21, at Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery. Any regional winner not able to participate live should contact the Alabama State Council on the Arts to request accommodations. The Original Poetry Competition, the Social Justice Poem Competition, and an Award Ceremony will be held in the morning, starting at 8:00 a.m. In the afternoon, starting at 2:00 p.m., we will hold the National Poetry Out Loud Anthology Competition and award ceremony. The state champion from the National Poetry Out Loud Anthology Competition will compete in the National Finals in Washington, D.C. on April 25-27, 2022.


2021-2022 Calendar

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Date Event
Aug. 2, 2021 School/Organization Registrations Open
Aug. 2, 2021 Independent Student Registration Forms Open
Aug. - Oct. 2021 Classroom activities & class competitions
Oct. 29, 2021 Registration Deadline for Schools/Organization and Independent Students
TBD by regional coordinators Finding Your Voice, as offered and shared by teachers, regional coordinators, and Alabama State Council on the Arts
Nov. 8, 2021 School-level Competition Results Deadline
Nov. 15, 2021 Regional Student Entry Forms Deadline
TBD: Nov. 22 – Dec. 17, 2021 Regional Competitions, with results reported to Alabama State Council on the Arts by regional coordinators no later than December 20.
Jan. 7, 2022 State Finals Student Entry Forms
Feb. 21, 2022 State Finals: Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Montgomery, AL
April 25-27, 2022 National Finals: Washington, D.C.


Filming Guidelines


Resources

Click here to download all resources [PDF].

Check out the scoring rubric for original poetry.

Use this directory to contact your regional coordinators.

Watch the 2021 Poetry Out Loud state finals awards ceremony on YouTube.

Download the POL Zoom background! Add a dash of POL to your Zooms or other virtual gatherings! For any POL events you are organizing, feel free to use this background.

Download the free POL app! With this app, students can easily find, save, and practice poems for the competition on their phones or tablets.
Available for download:

Videos for the Classroom: Click here to view video workshops from the Alabama Arts Alliance on how to choose, interpret, read, and write a poem – and more!


a group of students smiling, Poetry Out Loud

About Poetry Out Loud™

A partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and the state and jurisdictional arts agencies, 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 to high schools across the country.