Wisconsin Poetry Out Loud
Poetry Out Loud is a recitation contest for high school students supported by the Wisconsin Arts Board, The Poetry Foundation, and The National Endowment for the Arts. Prizes totaling more than $100,000 are awarded at the state and national competitions each year. The state champion and runner-up receive $200 and $100 respectively, plus awards of money to their school libraries. Image left: Wisconsin's 2012 State Champion Anna Wolfs, a sophomore at Arrowhead High School (Hartland).
The poems that Wolfs recited from memory were: “The Death of Allegory,” by Billy Collins; “Lions” by Sandra McPherson; and “Hap” by Thomas Hardy. The runner-up was Rosalyn Gravrok, Holy Family School, Eau Claire.
Other state finalists who had won their regional contests were Lydia Wildes, Veritas Academy, Eau Claire; Annetta Martin, Milwaukee School of the Arts; Isabel Karp and Lily Veldran, James Madison Memorial HS; Esther O'Brien, Rhinelander HS; Natalie Steiner, Wrightstown HS.
WPR's Jim Fleming emceed the March event held at the Bartell Theater in Madison with Stephanie Klett, Secretary of WI Dept. of Tourism; Wendy Vardaman, Madison's co-Poet Laureate; and Bruce Dethlefsen, Wisconsin's Poet Laureate as the contest judges. Jacki Martindale is the program's state coordinator for the Wisconsin Arts Board. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation are the founders and national supporters for the contest. All Wisconsin high schools are eligible to participate. For more information, contact Martindale at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State Arts Agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
The Wisconsin Arts Board is the state agency that nurtures creativity, cultivates expression, promotes the arts, supports the arts in education, stimulates community and economic development and serves as a resource for people of every culture and heritage. Since 1973, the Arts Board has supported artists and arts organizations with funds from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information on the Wisconsin Arts Board, please visit http://artsboard.wisconsin.gov.
General questions can be sent to Jacki Martindale.
National POL Website
What you can find on the national website
• Excellent anthology of poems for recitation including classic poems and modern poems, American and world poems, multi-ethnic poems, traditional and free verse.
• Teacher’s guide with rules for the contest, conducting the contest, and lesson plans.
• Videos of the best performances.
• Audio introduction to poetry with guide. Excellent for use in presenting the value of poetry and recitation in the classroom. A great way to start your poetry unit with recitations and instruction from poets, well-known actors, and others.
Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English
For more information attend our session at the Wisconsin Council of English Teachers fall convention to be held in Madison on October 12, 2012. See above for WCTE website.
You and/or your department are urged to integrate POL into your curriculum and classes this fall and winter. The teacher’s guide has lesson plans that will help you adapt the program for your needs. As an adjunct to a poetry unit for freshman or sophomore English, it offers hands-on work, work in groups, and oral presentation. The POL model also fits into speech, AP-English, creative writing and other classes. The national POL website has an in-depth on-line anthology of excellent poetry which will interest your students and enhance your poetry units.
If your school signs up for the program, we can arrange for workshops in your classes with poets on reading and writing poetry, oral interpretation, and other related topics. See time line for more information.
Time Line 2012-2013
- September—November: Promote Poetry Out Loud in your school; make plans to integrate POL activities and contest into your classroom and curriculum; discuss recruitment with speech and forensics teachers; discuss benefits with your administrators. Contact Jacki Martindale, (email@example.com) state coordinator, or your regional coordinator, to plan a free poetry workshop in your school with a WI poet. (We have money for at least three of these workshops—first come, first served!)
- Second quarter-November—January (or earlier): Teach poetry units, hold poetry workshops, conduct classroom and/or school contests.
- Monday, January 21, 2013*: Deadline for school contests. Lead teachers inform regional coordinator (see below) and Jacki Martindale with the names of their two champions via e-mail.
- Friday, February 15, 2013: Regional contests must be completed.
- Monday, February 18, 2013: Regional champion names must be submitted to Jacki Martindale via e-mail.
- March 16, 2013: State Contest, The Pyle Center, UW-Extension, Madison, WI
- April 29-30*: Washington DC, National Contest. For more info on national POL: www.poetryoutloud.org.
*Dates are tentative
Regional borders are now informal as we continue to enlarge participation. Generally, schools will have a choice of which region they will participate in based proximity. General questions can be forwarded to Jacki Martindale (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ways to Contribute
POL in Wisconsin needs funds to enhance scholarships for local, regional, and state champions. Right now the state champion and runner-up win $200 and $100 respectively with their schools receiving $500 and $300 respectively. The state champion and chaperone also are given an all-expenses-paid trip to the national contest in Washington, DC.
Help local contests with your time or donations at your local school’s contest.
Updated: Wednesday, January 23, 2013