Joao Victor, Maine’s 2019 Poetry Out Loud state champion, poses with Allan Monga the runner-up and previous year’s state champion. Photo courtesy Maine Arts Commission.


AUGUSTA — The Maine Arts Commission has opened registration for the 2019-20 Poetry Out Loud program. Poetry Out Loud is a student recitation contest that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.

The Maine Arts Commission is proud to partner once again with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation to give Maine schools the opportunity to participate in Poetry Out Loud in 2019-2020. Last year 32 Maine schools participated in the program.

Educational materials and resources for Poetry Out Loud are provided at no cost to teachers or students, and registration is available Schools must register before December 1 to participate in the 2019-20 program.

Student champions from each participating school will advance to either the Northern Regional Finals at Hampden Academy or Southern Regional Finals at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center. The State Finals will take place at the Waterville Opera House on March 2, 2020.

Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, DC to compete for the national championship. The state champion’s school receives $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for their school. At the national finals, a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually.

For more information about Poetry Out Loud in Maine, contact Brita Wanger-Morier, Director of Media and Performing Arts for the Maine Arts Commission at (207) 656-2750, or [email protected].

The Maine Arts Commission supports artists, arts organizations, educators, policy makers, and community developers in advancing the arts in Maine. For more than 50 years the Commission has encouraged and stimulated public interest and participation in the cultural heritage and programs of our state; has worked to expand the state’s cultural resources; and has encouraged and assisted freedom of artistic expression for the well-being of the arts, to meet the needs and aspirations of persons in all parts of the state.

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