Florida Division of Cultural Affairs

Promoting arts and culture through programs, services and the Museum of Florida History.


Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud

What is Poetry Out Loud?

Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest is a literature program for high school students in every state in the country. Poetry Out Loud participants master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage through poetry recitation.

How it Works

The Florida Division of Cultural Affairs works with the National Endowment of the Arts to distribute poetry study materials to participating high school Language Arts teachers. These teachers use the materials to prepare for school-wide poetry recitation competitions. Each school's winner then comes to Florida's capital with a chaperone to participate in the Poetry Out Loud State Finals contest. This year's contest will be on March 1, 2014 in the Heritage Hall Auditorium at the R.A. Gray Building, 500 South Bronough Street, Tallahassee FL.

The winner of the Poetry Out Loud State Finals for Florida will be awarded $200 and given an all-expense paid trip (with an adult chaperone) to Washington, DC to compete in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals. The national winner will receive $20,000 in college scholarship funds and national media recognition.

How to Participate

Interested teachers may review the Poetry Out Loud classroom materials, poems, instructions and other resources at http://www.poetryoutloud.org/. Teachers who would like to initiate a Poetry Out Loud program in their school can contact Alison Schaeffler-Murphy, State Program Coordinator, to receive the Poetry Out Loud Teachers Guide. The Teachers Guide also includes the DVD and Companion Guide: "Learning Recitation," lessons plans, and promotional posters.

Register your School for the State Finals

In order to participate in the State Finals, it is advised that all school-wide contests be completed by February 1, 2014. Once each school has determined the date of their school-wide competition, they must register to participate in the official program. Poetry Out Loud School Coordinators (lead teachers) should register their school by December 30, 2013 at the link below:

Register your School

Register Student Winners for the State Finals

Once the school-wide competition has been held and school winners have been determined, eligible students participating in the Florida's Poetry Out Loud State Finals should be registered by Poetry Out Loud School Coordinators by February 5, 2014 using the link below:

Register Students

Contact the Division of Cultural Affairs' State Program Coordinator, Alison Schaeffler-Murphy at 850.245.6462 or alison.schaefflermurphy@dos.myflorida.com for more information.

About the Program

Poetry Out Loud was started by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Beginning with a very successful pilot program in 2005, the program in Florida has expanded to include additional Florida school districts, including public schools, private schools, parochial schools and home-schooled students, throughout the state.

Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State Arts Agencies of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Poetry Out Loud program awards a total of $100,000 in prizes to high school students and their schools each year.

For additional information, please check the program’s official website at www.poetryoutloud.org or contact Florida's State Program Coordinator via the information given below.


Alison Schaeffler-Murphy
Florida Poetry Out Loud Program Coordinator

News and Media

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Poetry Out Loud 2013 participants

View contest photos and our Poetry Out Loud trailers in the media gallery

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