Poetry Out Loud 2021

Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation competition which encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Participants master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.

The structure of Poetry Out Loud is similar to a spelling bee. Typically the contest starts in the classroom/school, then moves to the county, state, and finally national level. This year all levels of the competition will be held virtually.

El Dorado County's Poetry Out Loud competition will be structured a bit differently this year, with students submitting their entries directly to Arts and Culture El Dorado.

El Dorado County contest prizes:

  • Every participant receives a $10 gift card
  • 1st place: $100 cash prize, and moves on to State Finals
  • 2nd place: $75 cash prize
  • 3rd place: $50 cash prize

California state contest prizes:

  • $200 cash prize and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
  • $500 for their school

National contest prizes:

  • 1st place: $20,000
  • 2nd place: $10,000
  • 3rd place: $5,000
  • 4th-12th places: $1,000

Poetry Out Loud 2021

Impact of POL

Understanding the Impact of POL

Find Poems

All poems must be selected from the Poetry Out Loud print or online anthology, which is updated every summer. Only versions of poems from the official anthology may be used in the contest. Click here to browse the anthology.

With the Poetry Out Loud app, you can easily find, save, and practice poems for the competition on your phone. Now available for download:

Poetry Out Loud Rules

  • Poetry Out Loud is open to all El Dorado County high school students.
  • All poems must be selected from the Poetry Out Loud print or online anthology.
  • All students must choose two poems from the official anthology to recite.
  • Videos must be uploaded to a file sharing platform with a link when submitted to us (ie: YouTube, Google Drive, Drop Box etc), and each recitation must be a separate link.
  • Students must recite their poem from memory.
  • Students may not use props or wear costumes during their recitations.

Recitation Requirements:

  • Students must begin by stating the title of the poem and the poet’s name, and the translator, if applicable.
  • A student’s own editorial comments before or after the poem are not allowed.
  • Poems must be recited from memory.

Filming requirements:

  • Film with a horizontal orientation.
  • Face the camera so it captures your head to mid-torso (medium shot).
  • Each recitation should be filmed in one single shot from one static angle.
  • Each recitation should have its own link when submitted to us.
  • Videos must be uploaded to a file sharing platform with a link when submitted to us (ie: YouTube, Google Drive, Drop Box etc), and each recitation must be a separate link.
  • The sound and picture must be clear.
  • Videos cannot be edited. Do not add music, graphics, titles, virtual backgrounds, or computer animation.
  • Use of professional recording studios is prohibited.
  • Each recitation requires its own separate video.

Apply for POL 2021

Deadline to apply: January 4, 2021

Submit your recitation videos

Deadline to submit videos: February 1, 2021

Poetry Out Loud 2021 Resources

Helpful Tips

Tips on reciting:

Tips for video recording:

Basics to keep in mind while recording:

  • Stand in front of a neutral background, if possible. Try to avoid wearing clothing in similar colors to the background.
  • Do not place light sources behind you to avoid being backlit.
  • Students may look directly into the camera, at a fixed spot, or at an imagined audience.
  • Make sure you are the only visible and audible person in the video.
  • Use a microphone, if possible. If the microphone is on the camera, position the camera close to you.
  • Start recording a few seconds before the recitation and stop recording a few seconds after the end.
  • Examples of student filmed POL recitations can be found on the POL YouTube page.

 

Calendar

Participation application submission deadline
January 4, 2021

Video submission deadline
February 1, 2021

El Dorado County finalist announced
TBD

California Poetry Out Loud 2020 State Finals
TBD

Deadline for state champs to register for National Finals
March 2021 TBD

Virtual Poetry Out Loud National Finals
Spring 2021 TBD

2021 Poetry Out Loud California State and National Finals to be held virtually
In order to ensure the safety and health of participating students and staff, the 2021 POL California State Finals will be held virtually in lieu of holding them on-site in Sacramento as previously planned.