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 $50,000 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.
Wisconsin's 2013 State Champion is Nayeli Itehua, a
Junior at Durand High School. The runner-up was Isabel Karp, J
M Memorial High School, Madison.
Wisconsin Public Radio's Jim Fleming emceed the March event held at the Pyle
Center in Madison. Max Garland, Wisconsin's Poet Laureate, Wendy
Vardaman, Madison's Poet Laureate, and Oscar Mireles, a Madison poet and
educator, judged the event. 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
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.
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.
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 10-11, 2013. 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
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 2013-2014
- September—November: Promote Poetry Out Loud in your school;
discuss with your fellow Engish teachers; 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, stressing
that the program will cost you virtually nothing. Contact Jacki Martindale, (email@example.com) state
coordinator, to plan a no-cost poetry workshop in your school with a WI
- Wednesday, November 27, 2013: Deadline for schools to
register. Email Martindale with lead teacher information (name, school,
address, phone number, email address).
- Second quarter-November—January (or earlier): Teach poetry
units, hold poetry workshops, conduct classroom and/or school contests.
- Monday, January 27, 2014: Deadline for school contests.
Lead teachers inform regional coordinator (see below) and Martindale
of the names and contact information of their two champions via e-mail.
- Friday, February 14, 2014: Regional contests must be
- Monday, February 17, 2014: Regional champion names
must be submitted to Martindale via e-mail.
- March 8, 2014: State Contest, Venue TBA by 10/1/2013.
- April 28-30, 2014: 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
Updated: Tuesday, August 19, 2014