Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud is a nationwide poetry competition for HS students supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. South Dakota Arts Council, SD for the Arts and SDPB are statewide sponsors of the event.



Program Materials

Icon 2017 Materials Order Form (139.6 KB)

Icon 2017 Recording Guide (67.6 KB)

Poetry Out Loud curriculum materials include the online poetry anthology, a comprehensive teacher's guidevideo of the National Finals performances, lesson plans, and promotional and media guides. Hard copies of materials are free for teachers participating in the official program.

While teachers, students, and poetry lovers everywhere can use this website and its free materials to organize their own contests, the official contest is limited to the programs run by each state's arts agency. If you are interested in participating in the official program, please contact your state arts agency.

Thank you to KLRN of the Sioux Falls School District for providing the live webcast of the Poetry Out Loud State Contest.   


Poetry-Out-loud.gifPoetry Out Loud

Maddie Lukomski, a senior at Lincoln High School, won the state Poetry Out Loud  (POL) competition, March 21, in Sioux Falls. Lukomski will travel to Washington, D.C., to represent South Dakota at the Poetry Out Loud National Finals May 2-4, where she will compete for a $20,000 top-prize.


Update from Nationals: Poetry Ourselves Winner from Sioux Falls, SD! Maddie Lukomski won the Poetry Ourselves spoken word competition at the Poetry Out Loud contest in Washington, D.C.  View her poem at arts.gov.  

Dakota Midday Interview: with Maddie Lukomski and Libby Murphy

In addition to the trip to the National Finals, Lukomski also won a $200 cash award, a $250 Barnes & Noble gift card, a poetry anthology; and her school will receive $500 to be used for poetry books.

Students who qualified for state recitation competition.

Eight students from high schools across South Dakota competed for the title. Second place in the competition went to Miliyna Megosha, Washington High School, Sioux Falls.  Megosha was awarded $100 cash, a $150 Barnes & Noble gift card, a poetry anthology, and her school will receive $300 for the purchase of poetry books. The following students received poetry anthologies for qualifying as state finalists, but the remaining scores were not ranked: Marie McLaughlin, Greater Sioux Falls Homeschool Association; Gabe Pulliam-Sanchez, Little Wound High School, Kyle; Brianna Anderson, Rosholt High School; Mary Albright, Sisseton High School; Natalie Swanson, Vermillion High School; and Brett Ries, Watertown High School.

Original Poetry Winners

Anna Koeppe, Rosholt; Libby Murphy, Sioux Falls Lincoln, and Meredith Erickson, Watertown, were awarded for their original poems in a separate component of the competition. Each received $100.

2016POL_U.jpgPOL Teachers of the Year

Two teachers were also awarded for their efforts in and out of the classroom as Poetry Out Loud coaches. Kim Davidson, Rosholt High School, and Daniel Snethen, Little Wound High School, each received $200 awards.

Poetry Out Loud is a recitation program and competition that urges the teaching of poetry as an oral art form in high schools. Schools that participate in Poetry Out Loud enter students into a preliminary round, from which the state finalists are chosen. Poetry Out Loud was created in partnership by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, with the collaboration of State Arts Agencies. Through Poetry Out Loud, students master public-speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

In South Dakota, POL is a program administered by the South Dakota Arts Council, an office of the state Department of Tourism, in partnership with Arts South Dakota and South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

Content provided by Rebecca Cruse, SDAC

2016 SD Poetry Out Loud

Watch the National Finals Live

America’s Next Poetry Out Loud Champion Named at National Finals, May 3-4, 2016, Live Webcast

WASHINGTON, DC – Poet Edgar Albert Guest once asked “How much grit do you think you’ve got?”  On May 3 and 4 in Washington, DC, high school students from every state will test their grit and wit in the national finals of Poetry Out Loud, the nation’s largest youth poetry recitation competition. Poetry Out Loud is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation that encourages high school students around the country to learn great classic and contemporary poetry through a recitation competition that culminates with the national finals.  

Fifty-three state champions will face off, after advancing from a field of more than 317,000 competitors in every state; Washington, DC; Puerto Rico; and the U.S. Virgin Islands. They will vie for the title of National Champion and a $20,000 prize. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be awarded to the top nine finalists and their schools. The Poetry Out Loud national finals are free and will be hosted by poet Elizabeth Acevedo and feature a performance by hip-hop artist and multi-instrumentalist Christylez Bacon.

Competition Schedule - The Poetry Out Loud semifinals will be on Tuesday, May 3, from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm at Lisner Auditorium at The George Washington University, 730 21st Street NW, Washington, DC. Nine finalists will advance to the national finals, also held at Lisner Auditorium, on Wednesday, May 4, from 7:00 to 9:15 pm. Both events are free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.

Live Webcast and Viewing Parties - Poetry fans who can’t attend the live event can cheer on their state champions with a live, one-time only webcast of both the semifinals and the finals.  Make it social by organizing a Poetry Out Loud Webcast Viewing Party. Register at arts.gov and find tips on hosting your party, promotional materials, and details on other viewing parties around the country. Follow the Poetry Out Loud National Finals on Twitter at @PoetryOutLoud and @NEAarts, #POL16. For more information on the event, webcast, or viewing parties, visit arts.gov or call 202-682-5606.

Content provided by Sally Gifford, National Endowment of the Arts 

Contact Rebecca Cruse, Assistant Director South Dakota Arts Council, at (605)773-3301 or sdac@state.sd.us if you would like to participate or learn more about this contest. 

Materials Order Form

Recording Guide (Entry Form)