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 competitions will have to be held between August 2021 and February 1st,  2022. The school level winners will represent their schools at the state finals on March 11th, 2022. You can find more detailed information on how to organize a POL contest for your school HERE.

Schools interested in getting their students involved must register with the Arkansas Arts Council using the School Entry form. Homeschools and organizations with interested high school students (9th-12th) may enter to compete in Poetry Out Loud as well.


  • 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