Poetry Out Loud Competition is Underway

Free Pizza and Gift Cards for All Participants

At Yuba Sutter Arts, the literary arts are high on our list of priorities. As a result, we sponsor the annual Poetry Out Loud competition in conjunction with the California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

There’s still plenty of time for our local high school English, Speech and Theatre teachers to encourage their students to participate. In the past, some very creative English teachers have told their students that they will award extra credit points or even accept student participation in the Poetry Out Loud competition in lieu of one essay assignment. This may help energize students and get them excited about memorizing a poem!

Here is additional information about the program including how it works and how students can participate. The structure of Poetry Out Loud is similar to a spelling bee. Yuba Sutter Arts will work with local English teachers, but students may compete regardless of whether or not Poetry Out Loud is part of their classroom studies.

Yuba Sutter Arts will host the bi-county competition on Thursday, February 9th on stage at its Burrows Center for the Arts in Marysville at 6pm. Our county winners will then be treated to an unforgettable two days at the California Poetry Out Loud State Finals in Sacramento in March.  The county champions are honored with a dinner reception and each receives a certificate of recognition from their legislative representative.

At the state level, one winner will be selected to represent California in the national competition. The California State winner receives a $200 cash prize and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., $500 for their school to purchase literary materials and the opportunity to compete at the National Finals for college scholarship funds. The National Finals in Washington D.C. will be at the end of April.

All currently enrolled students in grades 9-12 are eligible, including 8th-grade students participating in a 9th- through 12th-grade class. All poems must be selected from the Poetry Out Loud print or online anthology, which is updated every year. Visit www.poetryoutloud.org for the list of over 900 poems and more information about the competition. Only versions of poems from the official anthology may be used in the contest.

Judging is based on Physical Presence, Voice and Articulation, Dramatic Appropriateness, Level of Complexity, Evidence of Understanding and Overall Performance. Also, students may not use props or wear costumes during their recitations. Assistance with poem selection and recitation is readily available from various qualified Yuba Sutter Arts members. Do not hesitate to contact us for help! 530-749-8065.

All participants at the competition will receive pizza, soft drinks and gift cards! We look forward to welcoming students, teachers, parents and the entire community to this exciting event.