Poetry Out Loud

CA POL State Finals, Sacramento 2018

Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest is an arts education initiative created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Poetry Foundation that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry – both classic and contemporary – through memorization, performance and competition.

Contestants are required to select and memorize 2 poems from the Poetry Out Loud official anthology – one 25 lines or fewer and one written before the 20th century. Competitions are held at participating schools, where students deliver recitation performances to the Arts Council’s panel of local judges. Each recitation is evaluated on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, overall performance and accuracy.

Poetry Out Loud is held annually in participating Mariposa high schools, January – March.

Poetry Out Loud 2023

The winner of this year’s County Champion title was Daniele Mattocks Turck, a Mariposa County High School Sophomore whose vibrant and nuanced performances of ‘What to say upon being asked to be friends’ by Julian Talamantez Brolaski, ‘And Soul’ By Eavan Boland and ‘A Poison Tree’ by William Blake scored very highly with the judges. Daniele moved on to compete in the California State final in Sacramento in March.

Runner-up performers were Sage Hawley and Sage DiMorenti.

Past Finalists

Annie Bryant – 2023

Maegan Matchett – 2022

Sydney Jacobs – 2021

Nia Bothwell – 2020

Hannah Swiecki – 2019 + 2018

Hannah Swiecki

The winner of the Mariposa County contest proceeds to CA State Finals 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.