Poetry Out Loud Competition




The Arkansas Arts Council, a division of Arkansas Heritage, has partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to encourage students to learn great poetry and develop real-world skills. Poetry Out Loud is a free, high school program that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about poetry through memorization and recitation. The program helps students build self-confidence, develop public-speaking skills, learn literary history and compete for more than $20,000 at the national level. 

There are three parts to the competition: school level, state level, national level. The school level winners will represent their schools at the state finals on Saturday, March 2, 2024 in Little Rock. You can find more detailed information on how to organize a POL contest for your school HERE.

Homeschools and organizations with interested high school students (9th-12th) may enter to compete in Poetry Out Loud as well.

For information on how to get your school involved, please contact the arts and education program manager.

Drew Pirtle Poetry Out Loud 2023

2023 Finalists

Drew Pirtle - Ark. School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts (ASMSA), Champion

Artlanda Mallett - Little Rock West HS of Innovation, Champion

Ariya Williams - Warren High School, Champion

Matthew Greenhill - Ark. School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Champion

Emma McDaniel - Bigelow High School, Champion

Arely Salazar - Bigelow High School, Alternate

Layla Lammers - ASMSA. Alternate


  • A $200 cash prize and an all-expense-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, D.C.                 
  • A $500 cash stipend for their school to purchase poetry materials


  • A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends awarded during the finals
  • A $20,000 award for the National Champion, a $10,000 award for 2nd place and a $5,000 award for 3rd place
  • Awards of $1,000 will go to students who place 4th through 12th



Poetry Out Loud Competition



poetry out loud 2023 program