Poetry Out Loud

The Massillon Museum has been named 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 within the region who are interested in hosting a school championship at their high school are able to register by December 1, 2022. Visit OAC.Ohio.Gov/Programs/Poetry-Out-Loud/POL-Register to register your high school. OAC may be able to accommodate registrations after the December 1 deadline.

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. 

Important Dates for the Northeast Ohio Region

  • Saturday, October 1, 2022, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: Teacher Workshop via Zoom
    • This informational workshop is geared toward educators who are interested in learning more about hosting a Poetry Out Loud competition at their public, private, or parochial high school. Attendees are able to join the workshop via Zoom. 
    • Visit https://youtu.be/UCjoa-l9uZ4 to view the recording of the workshop.
  • Thursday, December 1, 2022: Registration deadline for school-level contests
  • Saturday, January 14, 2023, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.: School Champion Workshop via Zoom
    • This virtual workshop for school champions, school and organization staff, and parents/guardians of school champions took place via Zoom.
    • A recording of the workshop is available at https://youtu.be/31YjI8LLWbU
  • Saturday, February 18, 2023, at 2:00 p.m.: Northeast Ohio Regional Semifinals Championship at the Massillon Museum in Gessner Hall
    • Join the Massillon Museum for the Northeast Ohio Regional Semifinals! Student champions from high schools and organizations throughout the region will compete in Gessner Hall.
    • Registered high school and arts organization contacts were sent an email directly from Poetry Out Loud Coordinator Mary Ruth Kamp with further instructions for school champions.
  • Friday, March 10, 2023, at 6:00 p.m.: State Finals in Columbus
    • Support Northeast Ohio Regional Semifinalist Emily McNeal from Stage Left Players in Lisbon, OH!
    • The event will take place in the Ross Community Room at WOSU Public Media (1800 North Pearl Street, Columbus, OH 43201). It is free and open to the public. More information is available at oac.ohio.gov.
  • Monday, May 8, through Wednesday, May 10, 2023: National Finals in Washington, DC
    • More information will be announced by the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation closer to the competition date.

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, 2022.
  • For more information about student, poem, and competition rules and eligibility, please visit PoetryOutLoud.org/About-Poetry-Out-Loud/Rules-Eligibility/.


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.

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