Poetry Out Loud

The Massillon Museum is the Ohio Arts Council’s Northeast Ohio regional partner for Poetry Out Loud. A partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and the state and jurisdictional arts agencies, Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. Visit PoetryOutLoud.org to learn more about the program.

Counties in the Northeast Ohio region are: Ashland, Ashtabula, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, and Wayne. Teachers and arts organizations leaders within the region who are interested in hosting a school championship at their high school or organization will be able to register for the 2024 to 2025 schoolyear in May 2024.

Please email Poetry Out Loud Coordinator Mary Ruth Kamp at POL@MassillonMuseum.org with any questions about registration or to learn more about the Poetry Out Loud program. 

Ohio Arts Council Announces 2024 POL State Champion

Amanda Braig (top image), a senior at McNicholas High School in Cincinnati, has been named Ohio’s 2024 Poetry Out Loud (POL) State Champion after three rounds of competition at the State Finals on Friday, February 9, 2024. This was Braig’s second year reaching the State Finals, after placing third in 2023. Her winning performance this year included the following poems: “All This and More” by Mary Karr, “Amor Mundi” by Christina Rossetti, and “Self-Inquiry Before the Job Interview” by Gary Soto.

Joining Braig (bottom image, center) as a top three finalist are Daphne McCombs (right), a freshman at River Valley High School in Bidwell who earned second place, and Tori Negroni (left), a senior at Upper Arlington High School who earned third place.

Read the full press release at OAC.Ohio.gov.

Images from the event courtesy of Terry Gilliam and the Ohio Arts Council.

Important Dates for the Northeast Ohio Region

  • Registration for the 2023–24 program was open through December 1, 2023.
  • Workshop Dates
    • Wednesday, September 13, 2023, at 4:00 p.m.: Statewide Teacher Workshop via Zoom
      • This informational workshop is geared toward teachers and arts organization leaders from throughout Ohio who are interested in learning more about hosting a Poetry Out Loud competition at their arts organization or public, private, or parochial high school. Current registrants are also welcome, as well as past participants interested in sharing their Poetry Out Loud experiences. Representatives from MassMu and the Ohio Arts Council's other five regional partner organizations will be on the call, as will Ohio Arts Council Arts Learning Coordinator Chiquita Mullins Lee.
      • A recording of the workshop is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUwE-Oj2MWc.
    • Saturday, September 23, 2023, at 11:00 a.m.: Northeast Ohio Teacher Workshop via Zoom
      • This informational workshop is geared toward teachers and arts organization leaders from Northeast Ohio who are interested in learning more about hosting a Poetry Out Loud competition at their arts organization or public, private, or parochial high school. 
    • Sunday, October 22, 2023, at 2:00 p.m.: Student Workshop at the Massillon Museum in Gessner Hall
      • This workshop is for school and arts organization champions, school/organization staff, and parents/guardians of student champions
      • A recording of the workshop is available at www.youtu.be/LfDDYIHA-h8.
  • Northeast Ohio Regional Semifinals
    • Saturday, November 11, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at the Massillon Museum in Gessner Hall
      • Congratulations to NEO Poetry Out Loud Regional Semifinalist Tamia Christian from Cleveland Heights High School!
  • State Finals presented by the Ohio Arts Council
    • Friday, February 9, 2024, at 6:00 p.m.
      • The Ohio Arts Council held the State Finals in the Ross Community Room at WOSU Public Media (1800 N. Pearl St., Columbus). This event was free and open to the public. 
      • Learn more at OAC.ohio.gov
  • National Finals in Washington, DC, presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation
    • Tuesday, April 30, through Thursday, May 2, 2024
      • Support Ohio Poetry Out Loud State Champion, Amanda Braig, as she competes in the National Finals
      • More information will be available at PoetryOutLoud.org soon
Rules and Eligibility Requirements
  • Only currently enrolled students in grades 9 through 12 are eligible, with an exception made for 8th-grade students participating in a 9th- through 12th-grade class.
  • No student may be excluded from participating in Poetry Out Loud on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. Schools may determine eligibility for classroom and school level Poetry Out Loud programming pursuant to local and state law.
  • Homeschooled students may participate by competing in a contest at a local school (at the school’s discretion) or with other local homeschooled students. Contact your state coordinator for specific guidelines.
  • Only versions of poems from the official print or online Poetry Out Loud anthology may be used in the contest. The official anthology will be made available on the Poetry Out Loud website by September 1, 2023.
  • For more information about student, poem, and competition rules and eligibility, please visit PoetryOutLoud.org/About-Poetry-Out-Loud/Rules-Eligibility/.
Prizes

Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip (with an adult chaperone) to Washington, DC, to compete at the National Finals. The state winner’s school/organization receives $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for their school/organization. At the national finals, a total of $50,000 in awards and school/organizational stipends are awarded annually including a $20,000 award for the National Champion, $10,000 for 2nd place, $5,000 for 3rd place, and $1,000 for 4th-9th places. The representing schools/organizations of each of the top nine finalists receive $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. Visit PoetryOutLoud.org/FAQ/ for more information.