Colorado Poetry Out Loud 2014 Competition Opens!

Colorado Poetry Out Loud is part of a national program sponsored by Colorado Creative Industries, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation.

Presented by Colorado Creative Industries and sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is a program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Schools are invited to participate in classroom and school-wide contests, advancing to a state competition on March 11, 2014. The state champion will advance to the National Finals on April 28-30, 2014 in Washington, DC.

For more information, contact your Colorado Coordinator, Andrea Doray at

Poetry Out Loud Registration Form
Although this is a free program, schools must register to participate no later than January 17, 2014. Unregistered schools cannot participate in the State Finals on March 11. Please complete your school’s registration form as soon as possible so that you’ll receive full support from your Colorado Poetry Out Loud Team.

  1. Get the latest version of  Adobe Reader to access the PDF. Please click here for the free download.
  2. Download the  2014 POL Registration Form  to your desktop (before you fill it out) and save the file under a name that includes your school, e.g. Lakeview HS_POL Reg.pdf.
  3. Fill out the form and email to Colorado POL Coordinator, Andrea Doray.

Poetry as an Oral Art Form
Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry: recitation and performance. The program builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of rap music among youth. Through Poetry Out Loud, students can master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

Colorado Champions
Alice Kilduff from Denver School of the Arts was selected as the 2013 Colorado Champion, and Claire Ragusin from Jim Elliot Christian School was runner up. Previous state champions include Samuel Opoku from Thornton High School (2012 and 2011), Ben Reilly from George Washington High School in Denver (2010), Kaleena Kovach from William J. Palmer High School in Colorado Springs (2009), Brittany Harden, also from William J. Palmer High School (2008), and Passion Lyons from Gateway High School in Aurora (2007). 

The State Champion will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. with an adult chaperone, to compete for the National Championship. The state winner‘s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. One runner-up will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library. Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends at the National Finals, including a $20,000 prize for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

Access Free Program Materials Now
The program offers free, standards-based curriculum materials and teacher guides including print and online poetry anthologies, a teacher‘s guide with sample lesson plans to help instructors teach recitation and performance, a best performances DVD, and an audio CD featuring well-known actors such as James Earl Jones. In addition, a Learning Recitation DVD is part of the curriculum materials. A mix of old and new performances, this DVD is a great tool for getting students involved with poetry and introducing them to the art of recitation.  Program materials are available for download here at Poetry Out Loud. To request a hard copy of a teacher kit, please contact Andrea Doray, Colorado Coordinator, at

Arrange for Poet and Performance Coach Classroom Visits
There will also be opportunities for professional poets and performance coaches to visit classrooms to support teacher implementation of Poetry Out Loud. These guest artists will inspire students and support Teacher’s activities around Poetry Out Loud, from helping develop recitation and performance skills to reading from their own work. You can view the roster of current Guest Artists available to visit classrooms and learn more about having an artist visit your classroom by contacting Colorado Coordinator Andrea Doray at