Wisconsin Poetry Out Loud

​​​​​Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a recitation contest for high school students that provides a highly adaptable context in which students can experience poetry at a very intensive level. It enhances their research skills and expands their presentation confidence.  Since POL operates in a bottom-to-top format, it may be worked into a regular classroom setting or be operated as an extra-curricular program.​

POL Plan 2023-24 

Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud (POL) is administered in the state of Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Arts Board (WAB). Dr. Penny Parsons is contracted by the WAB as the program's state coordinator. All Wisconsin high schools are eligible to participate. The Wisconsin champion will receive a $200 stipend plus an all-expenses-paid trip (along with an adult chaperone) to the National Finals. Their respective school's library will also receive $500 to purchase poetry materials. The State's runner-up will receive a $100 stipend and their school library will receive $200.​


  • Autumn, 2023: POL Coordinator is in touch with teachers and coordinators throughout the state.        

  • December 4, 2023: Lead teachers at schools sign-up with the State Coordinator and regional coordinators to participate in POL 2023-2024. Lead teachers will supply number of students and teachers expected to participate.

  • January 5, 2024: Regional coordinators set the time and place for regional competitions and inform POL State Coordinator Penny Parsons and thatioe Region's lead teachers of the date, location, and agenda. Deadline for reporting date of State Final to National POL.

  • January 26, 2024: Lead teachers register their school's highest-scoring contestants with regional coordinator. Those school champions must prepare two poems for the regional contest (regional winners will need three poems for State). School champions may wish to start preparing a third poem. POL Participation List send to National.

  • February 9, 2024: Regional contest must be completed; names of regional champs and their schools (with student email addresses) must be forwarded to State Coordinator.

  • February 20​, 2024: Regional champions must register with Penny Parsons with the order and names of the three poems for the state contest.

  • ​Saturday, March 9, 2024: STATE CONTEST -  Pyle Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison auditorium

  • March 21, 2024: Deadline for state champions and chaperones to register for the National Finals

  • April 30-May 2, 2024: NATIONAL FINAL CONVENTION (Washington D. C.)​

​For more info on National POL: www.poetryoutloud​​.org​.​


The geographic reach of WI POL spans the the state with four regions, ranging from Eau Claire to Racine and from Washington Island to Hillsboro.

Poetry Out Loud Coordinator/Contractor

Dr. Penny Parsons
5413 Hammersly Road
Madison, WI  56711

Wisconsin Arts Board Contact

George Tzougros
P.O. Box 8690
Madison, WI 53708-8690

SouthEast Regional Coordinator

Marjorie Struck
Riverside University High School
2822 N Frederick Avenue
Milwaukee, WI  53211
(815) 685-7955

NorthW​est Regional Coordinator

Angela Roloson
S 15725 County Road Z
Osseo, WI 54758

NorthEast Regional Coordinator

Paul Wiegel
Ripon High School
850 Tiger Drive
Ripon,  WI  54971

Capitol Regional Coordinator

Keri Hornung
La Follette High School
702 Pflaum Road
Madison,  WI  53716-2167
(608) 444-5622​