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.Read more
An overview of the Poetry Out Loud program in Arizona. This brochure includes a program description, ideas on how to implement Poetry Out Loud into your classroom, an easy to follow timeline, and award structure for winners at the local and national level. A sample class schedule and lesson plan give teachers an idea of the writing activities and curriculum available.
Program Structure and Curriculum
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. The curriculum for POL is designed to fit into a teacher’s busy schedule. The program takes place over the span of two to three weeks, according to each teacher’s interest and agenda, and does not require full class periods during that time. Poetry Out Loud satisfies most of the National Council of Teachers of English Language Arts Standards. In addition to memorizing and performing great poems, students have the opportunity to discuss poetry and – if the teacher wishes to use the supplemental lesson plans – to write poetry of their own.
Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, DC, (with an adult chaperone) to compete at the National Finals. The state winner’s school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. One runner-up in each state receives $100; his or her school receives $200 for the purchase of poetry books.
A total of $50,000 in scholarship awards and school stipends are awarded at the Poetry Out Loud National Finals, with a $20,000 college scholarship award for the National Champion.
Visit the National Endowment for the Arts’ official Poetry Out Loud website for more information.
To learn out more about Arizona Poetry Out Loud, contact the Arizona Commission on the Arts at 602-771-6502 or by email at [email protected].
The 2020 Arizona Poetry Out Loud school registration period is now closed. For information on late registration, please contact Arizona Poetry Out Loud Coordinator Anastasia Freyermuth
2019-2020 Arizona Poetry Out Loud Dates to Remember:
- August 26, 2019 – School Registration Opens
- October 31, 2019 – School Registration Closes
Saturday, February 15, 2020
1:00 – 3:00 pm
Native American Cultural Center
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Saturday, February 15, 2020
1:30 – 4:30 pm
Mesa Arts Center
1 E. Main St., Mesa, AZ 85201
Saturday, February 29, 2020
1:00 – 4:00 pm
UA Poetry Center
1508 E. Helen St., Tucson, AZ 85719
2020 AZ Poetry Out Loud State Finals
Saturday, March 7, 2020
1:30 – 4:30 pm
Burton Barr Central Library
1221 N Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85004
2020 Poetry Out Loud National Finals
April 27 – 29, 2020
Poetry Out Loud Website
The For Teachers section of the official Poetry Out Loud website provides program and classroom resources for teachers.
Arizona Poetry Out Loud Regional Partners are organizations with strong ties to their local literary and school communities, and are dedicated to creating opportunities for increased student and school involvement in the Poetry Out Loud program.
Northern Region Partner
Northern Arizona University
Central Region Partner
Southern Region Partner
University of Arizona Poetry Center
If you are unsure about your school’s region, or would like more information, please contact the Arizona Commission on the Arts at 602-771-6502 or [email protected].
The Poetry Out Loud website offers extensive learning tools, including eligible poetry for the competition, classroom ideas and teacher resources, and specific information about evaluation criteria. It also contains a highly-useful audio guide that includes excerpts of famous actors and poets reciting poetry, a great way to learn about dramatic appropriateness and articulation.
The Poems and Performance section of the Poetry Out Loud website provides access to the online anthology and other resources for students.
Journals, Books and Websites (61 KB PDF) – Explore more poetry through these web-based poetry resources, print and electronic journals, books and more.
2019 Arizona Poetry Out Loud
The 2019 Arizona Poetry Out Loud State Finals were held at Burton Barr Central Library in downtown Phoenix.
2019 State Champion: Edgardo Aguilar, Desert View High School (Tucson)
2019 State Runners-Up: Sylvia Dale, Ganado High School (Ganado); Helena Häber, Arizona School for the Arts (Phoenix); Sophie Weinzinger, Coconino High School (Flagstaff).
2019 State Finals Judges: Dr. Rosemarie Dombrowski, Dr. Laura Tohe, Cynthia Wheeler, and Joy Young.
2018 Arizona Poetry Out Loud
The 2018 Arizona Poetry Out Loud State Finals were held in the downtown Phoenix studios of Arizona PBS.
2018 State Champion: Sophie Weinzinger, Coconino High School (Flagstaff)
2018 State Runners-Up: Victoria Aiken, North High School (Phoenix); Paul Cassidy, Brophy College Preparatory (Phoenix); Antonio Juarez, Willow Canyon High School (Surprise)
2018 State Finals Judges: Dr. Rosemarie Dombrowski,Monique Espinoza, Hunter Hazelton, Caress Russell, Dr. Laura Tohe
2017 Arizona Poetry Out Loud
The 2017 Arizona Poetry Out Loud State Finals returned to the downtown Phoenix studios of Arizona PBS.
2017 State Champion: Kellen Vu, Arizona School for the Arts (Phoenix)
2017 State Runners-Up: Paul Cassidy, Brophy College Preparatory (Phoenix); India Harris, Desert View High School (Tucson); Sophie Weinzinger, Coconino High School (Flagstaff)
2017 State Finals Judges: Ernesto L. Abeytia, Carly Bates, Angie Dell, Dr. Laura Tohe, Joy Young
2016 Arizona Poetry Out Loud
The 2016 Arizona Poetry Out Loud State Finals returned to the downtown Phoenix studios of Arizona PBS.
2016 State Champion: Hunter Hazelton, Betty Fairfax High School (Laveen)
2016 State Runners-Up: Deja Brown, Sonoran Science Academy (Tucson); Caitlin McCormick, The Gregory School (Tucson); and Sophie Weinzinger, Coconino High School (Flagstaff)
2016 State Finals Judges: Jia Oak Baker, Fatimah Halim, Leah Marché, Pamela Sterling, and Dr. Laura Tohe
2015 Arizona Poetry Out Loud
The 2015 Arizona State Finals were held at the Herberger Theater Center.
2015 State Champion: Zaskia Villa, Nogales High School, Nogales
2015 State Runners-Up: Lena Blackmon, University High School, Tucson; Jessica Han, Coconino High School, Flagstaff; and Adriana Hurtado, Tri-City College Prep, Prescott
2015 State Finals Judges: Carly Bates, Melissa Dunmore, Dr. Matthew Helmers, Melanie Madden and Kim Willey
2014 Arizona Poetry Out Loud
The 2014 Arizona State Finals were hosted by the University of Arizona Poetry Center and held at the Tucson Festival of Books.
2014 State Champion: Matthew Kaplan, Tesseract School, Phoenix
2014 State Runner-Up: Leah Weinzinger, Coconino High School, Flagstaff
2014 State Finals Judges: Shelley Cohn, Russ Kick, Pat McMahon and Seth Muller
2013 Arizona Poetry Out Loud
2013 State Champion: Cassandra Valadez, Sunnyside High School, Tucson
2013 State Runner-Up: Nathan Poston, Glendale Preparatory, Glendale
2013 State Finals Judges: Korbi Adams, Roberto Bedoya, David Britton, Phyllis Bunch and Linda “Mac” Perlich
2012 Arizona Poetry Out Loud
The 2012 Arizona State Finals were held at the Phoenix Center for the Arts and hosted by Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch.
2012 State Champion: Joshua Furtado, Tucson Magnet High School, Tucson
2012 State Runner-Up: India Parsons, Westview High School, Avondale
2012 State Finals Judges: Dr. Robert Breunig, Jaime Dempsey, Carole FitzPatrick, Charles Jensen, David Mittel and Kelly Nelson
2011 Arizona Poetry Out Loud
The 2011 Arizona State Finals were hosted by Eight, Arizona PBS and filmed for later broadcast.
2011 State Champion: Steffi McNerney, St. Gregory College Preparatory High School, Tucson
2011 State Runner-Up: Naomi Blackwell, Tucson High Magnet School, Tucson
2011 State Finals Judges: Alberto Rios, Beth Staples, Christopher Lane, Logan Phillips and Robert X. Planet
For a complete history, images and other Arizona Poetry Out Loud promotional materials, please contact the Arizona Commission on the Arts at 602-771-6502 or by email at [email protected].