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Welcome to Alabama's Poetry Out Loud 2022-2023

Contact your regional coordinator to register

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 are strongly encouraged to be held live, if possible.
  • 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 Alabama Shakespeare Festival on Friday, March 3, 2023.
  • 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.
  • Stayed tuned and contact your regional coordinator for more information about regional workshops that are being planned!

PHASE I: CLASSROOM COMPETITIONS (November - December 2022)

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 (December 2022 - January 2023) 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 (January - February 2023)

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.



Regional participant list must be uploaded to portal by Regional Coordinators by January 27, 2023 (this is the list of those students registered to participate - even if your competition has not happened by this date ensure that registration is completed before January 27).

PHASE IV: STATE FINALS (Friday, March 3, 2023)

We will hold our State Finals on Friday, March 3, 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 am. In the afternoon, starting at 2:00 pm, 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, DC, May 8-10, 2023.


2022-2023 Calendar

Date Event
September - October 2022 School/Organization/Independent Student Registrations Open -- Contact Regional Coordinator to Register
November - December 2022 Classroom activities and competitions
December 2022 - January 2023 School/organization competitions
December 2022 - January 2023 Regional workshops and competitions*
January 27, 2023 Deadline to report participation lists
March 3, 2023 State Finals
May 8-10, 2023 National Finals
Washington, DC

* results due to Alabama State Council on the Arts no later than February 10, 2023.

Filming Guidelines

  • Read the guidelines for filming.

  • Resources

    Here are some lesson plan videos of experienced Poetry Out Loud teachers with students who have made it to the State or National Finals.

    Check out the Poetry Out Loud Judge's Guide for 2022-2023.

    Use this directory to contact your regional coordinators.

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

    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.