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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 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.

Please email Poetry Out Loud Coordinator Mary Ruth Kamp at 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 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 at the Massillon Museum
    • This virtual workshop for School Champions will take place via Zoom
    • A registration link is forthcoming
  • Saturday, February 18, 2023, at 2:00 p.m.: Northeast Ohio Regional Championship at the Massillon Museum in Gessner Hall
    • More information is forthcoming
  • Friday, March 10, 2023: State Finals in Columbus
    • More information is forthcoming from the Ohio Arts Council
  • 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


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 for more information.

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