Poetry Out Loud Updates from the NEA and the Poetry Foundation

From Michelle Sipes, Arts Learning Specialist –

Are you considering running Poetry Out Loud (POL) in your school? Here is the latest POL update with information from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation.

Based on guidance received from the NEA, we continue to encourage teachers and organizers at all contest levels to hold virtual competitions for the 2020-2021 POL season. If you believe you will require technical assistance in order to run a virtual competition, please contact me at The NEA has also created a Virtual Competitions & Filming Requirements Document which contains tips and suggestions for teachers holding virtual competitions.

Listed below are the key dates for the 2020-2021 Poetry Out Loud Season:

  • Tuesday, January, 12th, 2021: Deadline to send school registrations to TN Arts Commission
  • Monday, February, 1st, 2021: Deadline to register your school’s champion for the state competition
  • Friday, Friday, March 12, 2021: Tennessee Poetry Out Loud State Finals – This will be a virtual competition. Details to come.

As in previous years, free Poetry Out Loud teaching materials may be requested by completing the form found here. Also, download the 2020-2021 Teachers Guide, an excellent resource for organizing your school competitions.

For more information, visit here or at the national Poetry Out Loud website.

About Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud is a nationwide program created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, encouraging the study of poetry to high schoolers through a unique competition. This program is sometimes a student’s first interaction with poetry and serves as an incredible tool for ALL students to learn useful public speaking and presentation skills. Poetry Out Loud is a fun, dynamic platform for ALL students to participate in a school activity and learn useful public speaking and presentation skills.