Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud is open to high school students in all kinds of schools — public, private, parochial, independent, charter and home schooled students. THIS YEAR WE ARE BACK TO AN IN-PERSON COMPETITION!

Poetry Out Loud builds on the recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as demonstrated by the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of rap music among our youth. The program encourages students, though the study of poetry, to master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and internalize our rich literary heritage.

Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that starts at the classroom level. In California, winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a county and possibly district competition, then to the state competition in Sacramento, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington DC.

This year it will be an IN-PERSON COMPETITION! Once you have submitted your entry form, get to work on practicing for the February 2023 competition at the Sutter Theater Center for the Arts at 754 Plumas Street in Yuba City.

  • Step 1: To participate in the official 2022-2023 program, go pick your poem from the poetryoutloud.com site.
  • Step 2: head to the online form and complete it. 
  • Step 3: Practice, Practice, Practice! If you need coaching, please reach out to me via text (530)300-6505 or email shawntay@yubasutterarts.org
  • Step 4: Check emails for information on the in-person competition at the Sutter Theater Center for the Arts in February 2023!


For more than 15 years, Poetry Out Loud™ has given millions of high school students a similar platform through a national poetry recitation competition. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is organized at the local level by schools or organizations, and coordinators have access to a free teacher’s guide and an online anthology of classic and contemporary poetry.

With more than 1,100 poems in the anthology, students gain an understanding of the breadth of poetry, while having the freedom to discover poems with which they feel a connection. As students participate in Poetry Out Loud, not only do they develop a deeper appreciation for poetry, they also improve their analytical skills while building self-confidence and public speaking skills.

More than four million students have participated in Poetry Out Loud since 2005, many advancing from classroom competitions to school competitions to state competitions and ultimately to the national finals where students compete for the 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 in 2022.

Roxanne Wright, Sutter County Winner 2021-2022

Roxanne Wright

Salma AlfaQeeh, Yuba County Winner 2021-2022

Salma AlfaQeeh


  • All participating students will receive a $20 gift card to Dutch Bros!
  • 1st place winners will receive $150 check
  • 2nd place will receive a $75 check
  • 3rd place will receive a $50 check

Visit PoetryOutLoud.org to learn more about this program and Find Out What It's Like to Compete in POL!

To participate in the official 2022-2023 program, head to the online form or copy and paste this link: https://yubasutterarts.org/poetry-out-loud-submission-form/


There is also a free POL app! With this app, students can easily find, save, and practice poems for the competition on their phones or tablets. Many thanks to our wonderful partners at the Poetry Foundation for developing this.
Available for download:

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