Poetry Out Loud is a nationwide poetry competition for high school students initiated and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. South Dakota Arts Council, South Dakotans for the Arts and South Dakota Public Broadcasting are statewide sponsors of the event.

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

Press Release  

2015 Materials Order Form
2015 Recording Guide


KEG0067.jpg  At the end of April, Shivalo Soldier Wolf, a junior at Little Wound High School, took the stage at Lisner Auditorium on the Campus of George Washington University to recite poetry with 53 high school students from across the nation for the Poetry Out Loud National Finals.

Soldier Wolf represented South Dakota well, placing fourth and receiving the honorable mention recognition in the Western region, which includes the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. He won a cash prize of $1,000 plus $500 for his school, which is designated for the purchase of poetry books.

Top2.jpg In March, Soldier Wolf won the state Poetry Out Loud contest in Sioux Falls. Along with earning himself a $200 cash award and the trip to the national finals, he won $500 for his school to be used for poetry books. 

Seven students from high schools across South Dakota competed for the title. Second place in the competition went to Keana Jackson, a senior at Rosholt High School. Jackson was awarded $100 cash, and her school will receive $200 for the purchase of poetry books.

OriginalPOL.jpg Original poetry competition winners Hannah Lamberty, Sioux Falls Lincoln; Mark McLaughlin, Greater Sioux Falls Homeschoolers Association; and Ruth Murphy, Vermillion High School were awarded for their writing skills.

Four teachers were also awarded for their efforts in the classroom through Poetry Out Loud. Sharon Prendergast, Sisseton High School, and Daniel Snethen, Little Wound High School, were recognized as Poetry Out Loud Teachers of the Year and each received a $300 cash award. Kim Davidson, Rosholt High School, and Amanda Nelson, Sioux Falls Lincoln High School each received coach.jpg honorable mentions in the category and $200 cash.

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 South Dakotans for the Arts and South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

Program Materials

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. Fun.jpg  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.

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. (Press Release)