Each year, thousands of students across the state compete in Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation competition. In February, each participating school will send their champion to one of three regional competitions to determine the nine students who will vie for the title of state champion in March.

The Arizona Commission on the Arts partners with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, as well as regional and local organizations, to administer the Poetry Out Loud program in Arizona. The contest encourages youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation and helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that begins at the classroom level. Winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, D.C., where the Arizona state champion competes against students from across the country.

The Poetry Out Loud regional and state-level competitions are open to public.

Regional Competitions

Northern Region
Saturday, February 15, 2020
1:00 – 3:00 pm
Native American Cultural Center
318 W. McCreary Dr.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Central Region
Saturday, February 15, 2020
1:30 – 4:30 pm
Mesa Arts Center
1 E. Main St.
Mesa, AZ 85201

Southern Region
Saturday, February 29, 2020
1:00 – 4:00 pm
UA Poetry Center
1508 E. Helen St.
Tucson, AZ 85719

State Competition

2020 AZ Poetry Out Loud State Finals
Saturday, March 7, 2020
2:00 – 4:30 pm
(Doors open at 1:30 pm)
Burton Barr Central Library
221 N Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004