You're invited to join other high schools in Pennsylvania and across the country for Poetry Out Loud, the annual national recitation contest for students.

Poetry Out Loud (TM) LogoPoetry Out Loud (POL) is a completely free program that encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. It is presented through the partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

The ArtsPath POL region comprises five counties: Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana, and Jefferson, as well as the DuBois Area School District.

While schools still have the option of holding virtual competitions at the classroom and school levels, all Pennsylvania regional competitions, including ArtsPath, and the state competition will be in-person, as well as the national competition.

For more information on holding your competition virtually, including filming requirements, tips, reminders, accessibility, as well as guidance in ensuring you have permission from the poem's rightsholder to stream the recitations—whether public or private—be sure to see the comprehensive Virtual Competitions Guide or get the information as separate files from the POL website. For the POL Streaming-Copyright Permissions List, email ArtsPath at

Your high school's champion will attend the ArtsPath regional competition, held at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, February 5, 2024, on the main Indiana campus. In the event of inclement weather, it will be on Wednesday, February 7, at the same time. The location will be either the upper lobby of the Performing Arts Center or in Gorell Recital Hall, second floor of Sutton Hall. TBA in January.

Register your school by completing the 2024 Registration Form and returning it by Friday, January 14, 2022. For additional information on the ArtsPath regional or Pennsylvania state contests, download a teacher's email packet.

David "Dj" Gress, Philip Horne, and Susan CorbettWinner David "Dj" Gress, pictured here with Philip Horn, former executive director of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and Susan Corbett, the former executive director of Pittsburgh Arts and former First Lady, was the 2012-13 ArtsPath regional winner. From the Kiski School in Saltsburg, Gress also won at the state level and went on to represent Pennsylvania in the Washington, DC national finals.

For more information on Poetry Out Loud, visit the comprehensive POL website, call Jeff Wacker at 724-357-4565, or email us at

Molly Stoltz with former Governor Ed RendellAbout Poetry Out Loud

  • Standards: POL satisfies more than half of the English Language Arts from the National Council of Teachers of English Standards, as well as at least three Anchor Assessments per the PA Common Core ELA Standards: Speaking and Listening (SL 9-10, SL 12-11), Reading (FL 9-10, RL 11-12), and Language (L9-10, L 11-12).
  • The teachers' guide suggests ways to customize the program to meet your schedule constraints.
  • Teachers use the comprehensive POL website, which has everything needed, including all support materials, poems, teachers' guide, media guides, videos, and more.
  • Free, standards-based curriculum and lesson plans are available for schools, teachers, and students. There is also a section where teachers have submitted their own lesson plans for others to use.

Getting Your School Involved

The 2019 Poetry Out Loud winner with Rep. GablerIndividual or groups of teachers, a school club, or the entire school may participate. Teachers can determine the extent of their participation. For example, they may...

  • Incorporate POL into a unit of study, perhaps culminating in recitations by each student in front of the class;
  • Offer the program as an extra credit project or after-school program's project; or
  • Use some or all of the lesson plans offered online or in the free teacher's guide.

Whatever you plan, the end result should be one winner from your school who will participate in the ArtsPath regional competition (6:00 p.m., February 5, at IUP).

What Must Students Do?

  • Choose poems from the hundreds of eligible poems at the POL website to memorize and recite for a class and then a school competition. All poems must be selected from the Poetry Out Loud print or online anthology, which is updated every summer. Check the website after September 1 to view the official POL anthology for the current school year. Only versions of poems from the official anthology may be used in the contest. Note: If you have a question on a poem's eligibility, be sure to email Jeff Wacker at for guidance.
  • Recitations may not include properties, costumes, or music.
  • Some gestures and minimal movement may, however, be appropriate to a given poem. Be sure to study the recitation guidelines found online or in the Teacher's Guide.

What Must Teachers Do?

Your School's Winner

Each school's winner will participate in the ArtsPath regional competition by:

  1. selecting and memorizing three different poems,
  2. attending the ArtsPath regional competition on the IUP main campus.

The ArtsPath regional winner will be awarded an expense-paid trip to the site for the state competition to compete with 13 other regional champions in the state finals on March 4 and the right to represent Pennsylvania in the national final.

The state winner will receive $200 and compete in person April 30–May 2, 2024, in Washington, DC. The winner's school will receive a $500 stipend to purchase poetry books. A runner-up in each state will receive $100, with $200 for the school to purchase poetry books.

Social Media

Poetry Out Loud is on the social media platforms of X (formerly known as Twitter), Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

POL Mobile App

Developed by the Poetry Foundation, this free POL app gives students the ability to easily find, save, and practice poems for the competition on their phones or tablets. It is available for download at both the App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android.

Having POL Website Issues?

The National Endowment for the Arts is aware that some users of the POL website are having difficulty with their browser not loading the site’s stylesheets. If you're having this issue, please try the following potential solutions. As always, ensure you're using the most recent version of your browser.

  • A hard refresh of the page (pressing CTRL+F5, or holding down shift while reloading the page).
  • Opening the page in an incognito window (pressing control + shift + N, or select "New Incognito Window" from the file menu in Chrome).
  • Double-check that there aren't any extensions or plug-ins installed that might affect how pages display.
  • Open the page in a different browser.

If you continue to have issues, please email

Additional Questions?

For more information on running a Poetry Out Loud competition in the ArtsPath service region of Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana, and Jefferson counties, call Jeff Wacker at 724-357-4565 or email us at either or

Poetry Out Loud is brought to Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by an annual appropriation from the state legislature, and in partnership with the 14 organizations in the state that constitute the Arts-in-Education partnership. Further support comes from the National Endowment for the Arts.