This innovative program encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance of the written word. It incorporates the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the English and drama class. Poetry Out Loud, which began in 2005, helps students improve public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn great poetry in literature.
Functioning much like a spelling bee, the POL competition uses a pyramid structure that begins in the classroom. Winners of each classroom recitation competition advance to a school-wide contest, then each school’s top winner goes to a semi-final competition. Semi-final competitions take place locally in February and March. Finalists from the semi-final competitions will advance to the state finals in March. Finally, one Georgia winner competes at the National Finals in Washington, D.C.
School registration for Poetry Out Loud is currently underway and the deadline to register is Friday, December 18, 2020. This year, schools are encouraged to hold their school-level competitions virtually – either streaming live or by video submissions. The four regional POL competitions will be held through video submissions in February 2021, the state final will be held as a livestreaming competition on March 13, 2021, and the national finals will be held through video submissions in April 2021. Georgia POL state champs have finished in the top three nationally for four of the last six years, with one national champ, two national runners up, and one third place finisher. Click the first link below for information on school registration and the timeline for POL program dates.