Poetry Out Loud

CA POL State Finals, Sacramento 2018

Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest is an arts education program created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Poetry Foundation that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation.

Mariposa County’s 2021 Poetry Out Loud contest is virtual and is open to all county high school students grades 9 – 12 – registration closed Jan. 28. Awards are $500 for 1st; $250 for 2nd; and $100 for 3rd place. The County winner will move on to compete in the California State Poetry Out Loud Finals, March 11, 2021.

To compete in this contest, you must select and memorize 2 poems and submit a video of your recitation performances to the Arts Council by Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. The Arts Council will provide learning resources and is available to assist all competing students.

Important Dates

January 29 // Last day to register for Mariposa’s POL Contest

February 8 // Last day to submit recitation videos

February 12 // Finalists announced

March 11 // California State Finals (virtual event)


Select + Memorize Poetry

Select 2 poems from the Poetry Out Loud official anthology, you’ll recite both for this contest.

One of your poems must be 25 lines or fewer, and one must be written before the 20th century.

Memorize these poems accurately and deliver a powerful recitation. (Watch Tips and Example here.)

Film + Submit Your Recitation

Take a video of your best recitations; one for each poem – filmed separately.

Save and title your videos and submit them via email to phillips@mariposaartscouncil.org by Monday, February 8, 2021

Emilee Cordero, 2020 Mariposa top 10 contestant. Photo by Gracie Tafoya

The winner of the Mariposa County contest proceeds to CA State virtual Finals (March 11) where they compete to receive a $200 cash prize, $500 stipend for their school, and the opportunity to earn up to 20,000 dollars at the POL National Contest.

Poetry Out Loud local and county competitions are presented in partnership with the California Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation, as part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry – both classic and contemporary – through memorization, performance and competition. Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has reached more than 3.3 million students and 50,000 teachers from 12,000 schools nationwide; the Arts Council will hold Poetry Out Loud in Mariposa County annually.