Central City Opera hosts a virtual Poetry Out Loud student competition this winter in collaboration with Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. The winner of CCO’s competition will go on to compete at the Colorado state level.
For: 9-12 graders; 8th graders permitted if they are participating in a class with 9-12 graders
Fee: Free
Registration deadline: January 25, 2021
Learn more and/or register: https://forms.gle/XXestmm8Ny5v4Rd37


From the desk of Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts

Every year since 2005, the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation work with thousands of schools and organizations nationwide to bring students a unique way to learn and love poetry. Through Poetry Out Loud™, students read, memorize, and recite classic and contemporary poems. While Poetry Out Loud competitions have traditionally been held in-person, guidelines are now available to hold virtual competitions at all stages and all of the program materials, including an anthology of more than 1,100 poems, are free and available at poetryoutloud.org. We strongly encourage teachers and organizers at all contest levels to hold virtual competitions for the 2020–2021 Poetry Out Loud season.

Poetry Out Loud not only introduces students to a wide range of poems, but results in poetry becoming a deeply ingrained part of these young people’s lives, helping them understand the true power and weight that words can hold.Poetry Out Loud can also help students improve writing and analytical skills, master public speaking, and build self-confidence—all critical skills for young people to develop.

More than four million students have participated in Poetry Out Loud over the past 15 years, many advancing from classroom competitions to school competitions to state competitions to, finally, the national finals. Non-school organizations, such as after school clubs, libraries, or non-profit organizations, may also choose to run Poetry Out Loud and have students advance to state competitions.

The national finals, which will be held virtually in Spring 2021, is an opportunity for students representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa to compete for the chance to win a grand prize of $20,000. In total, Poetry Out Loud will award more than $100,000 to state-and national-level winners and their schools.

Visit poetryoutloud.org to learn more about this program and connect with your state Poetry Out Loud coordinator. We hope you will take part in our 2020–2021program and offer this opportunity to your high school students.

Mary Anne Carter | Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts