Artists in Schools & Communities

contests

Poetry Out Loud

PCA&M's Poetry Out Loud 2020-2021 will be taking place virtually, with regional judging taking place February 6-13, 2021. If you're a student, teacher, guardian, or administrator interested in participating or learning more, please scroll down to view this year's competition documents.

Lily Weatherford-Brown was the winner of the 2020 Regional Competition for Poetry Out Loud, held on Saturday February 8, 2020 at PCA&M. She competed with 14 other regional finalists at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg on March 9. Ms. Weatherford-Brown, a student at Pittsurgh CAPA 6-12, recited "Where the Wild Things Go" by D. Gilson, "Mrs. Kessler" by Edgar Lee Masters, and "Grief" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Gratitude and congratulations to all of the participating students for their wonderful recitations: Mya Swain (Urban Pathways 6-12), Zoe Koutavas (South Fayette Township High School), Luke Smarra (Montour High School), Shaiane Matotek (Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School), and Costello Keene (Westinghouse Arts Academy). Thank you to all of the teachers, families, friends, and judges who made this year's event a success!

2020 Poetry Out Loud Pennsylvania Championship competing students and judges
Governor Tom Wolfe with 2015 Pennsylvania State Finalists
poetry out loud, 2019-2020 participating students
poetry out loud, 2018-2019 participating students

About Poetry Out Loud

The Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in partnership with state arts agencies, such as the PA Council on the Arts, across the United States. Poetry Out Loud (POL) encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.

Poetry Out Loud was created in 2005. Since that time, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 4 million students and 65,000 teachers from 16,000 schools in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa.  In 2018-19 118 schools, 210 teachers, and 5,700 high school students across Pennsylvania participated in this engaging program.

Why is there so much participation and enthusiasm? Because the program works! Through a memorization, recitation, and contest format that starts at the classroom level and pyramids through school, regional, and state competitions students become engaged by and excited about poetry!

Some reasons why POL is so successful:

  • It can be run in as little as 2-3 weeks at the school level and does not require full class periods.
  • All program materials – poetry anthology, teacher’s guide, DVD, lesson plans, and promotional and media guides – are free and are provided online with hard copies also available.
  • Studying literature, including poetry, addresses at least three Anchor Assessments as per the PA Core ELA Standards: Speaking and Listening (SL. 9-10, SL 12-11), Reading (RL. 9-10, RL 11-12), and Language (L. 9-10, L 11-12).
  • The process helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

PCA&M’s Arts in Education and POL service region includes Allegheny, Beaver, Greene, and Washington counties.

Please note that community organizations, such as the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and/or Boys & Girls Clubs, as well as homeschoolers, may also participate in Poetry Out Loud.

Check out the Poetry Out Loud You Tube channel for tips, examples, recitations, and inspiration!

If you’re interested in participating, please feel free to contact Mary Brenholts, Director of Artists in Schools & Communities, at mbrenholts@pfpca.org or 412-361-0873, ext 404. Please submit your forms via email.

Documents & Forms

PCAM POL Fact Sheet 2020-2021
PCAM POL Policies and Information 2020-2021
PCAM POL Time Line 2020-2021
PCAM POL Intent to Participate Form 2020-2021
PCAM POL Student Regional Competition Registration Form 2020-2021
PCAM POL Student Finalist Biography 2020-2021
PCAM POL Checklist for Schools 2020-2021
POL Virtual Competitions & Filming Requirements 2020-2021
pdf
Poetry Out Loud Teacher's Guide 2020-2021
pdf

2018-2019

Participating students

We are proud to announce that Ceresa Morsaint is the winner of our 2019 Regional Competition for Poetry Out Loud! Congratulations to Ms. Morsaint, a sophomore from Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School, who recited “The World Is Too Much With Us” by William Wordsworth, “Through a Glass Eye, Lightly” by Carolyn Kizer, and “Winter” by Marie Ponsot. She competed with 14 finalists at The State Museum Auditorium in Harrisburg on March 4, 2019.

Congratulations to the other participating students for their amazing performances at PCA&M’s Regional Poetry Out Loud Competition: Angela Miller (Baldwin High School), Mya Swain (Urban Pathways 6-12 Charter School), Genesis Analisa Gore (Westinghouse Arts Academy Charter School), Zoe Koutavas (South Fayette High School), Emma Steckline (Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12), Zachary Esch (Seton LaSalle Catholic High School), and Sahana Rao (Montour High School). Thank you to all of the teachers, families, and friends for their support and to the judges for their talent and expertise.

2017-2018

Participating students and judges

The winner of Pittsburgh Center for Arts and Media’s (PCA&M’s) 2018 Regional Competition for Poetry Out Loud was Susan Betten of Montour High School. Ms. Betten, a sophomore, recited “A Birthday” by Christina Rossetti, “Quite Frankly” by Mark Halliday, and “The Bookshelf of the God of Infinite Space” by Jeffrey Skinner.

Congratulations to all of the participating students for their incredible performances at PCA&M’s Regional Poetry Out Loud Competition: Faith Kisker (Seton LaSalle High School), Genesis Analise Gore (Westinghouse Arts Academy Charter School), Dametria Hanner (Urban Pathways Charter School), Zoe Koutavas (South Fayette High School), and Isabella Bradbury (Hope Academy of Music and the Arts).

2016-2017

Participating students

The winner of Pittsburgh Center for Arts and Media (PCA&M)’s 2017 Regional Competition for Poetry Out Loud was Greer LeRoy from Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School. Ms. LeRoy, a junior, recited “Holy Sonnets: Batter my heart, three-person’d God” by John Donne, “What my lips have kissed, and where, and why” by Edna St. Vincent Millay, and “They are hostile nations” by Margaret Atwood.

Congratulations to all of the participating students for their incredible performances at PCA&M’s Regional Poetry Out Loud Competition: Gabrielle Feldman (Gateway High School), Patrick Caroff (Pittsburgh Allderdice High School), Liz Druschel (Beaver Area High School), Kierra Mitchell (Urban Pathways Charter School), Henry Schultz (Hope Academy of Music & the Arts), Robert Gigliotti (Seton-La Salle High School), and Jimmy Coblin (Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12).

2015-2016

Participating students

The winner of Pittsburgh Center for Arts and Media (PCA&M)’s 2016 Regional Competition for Poetry Out Loud, Greer LeRoy from Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School, was named the Pennsylvania State Champion and competed at the National Finals for Poetry Out Loud, held May 2-4 in Washington D.C. at George Washington University.

Ms. LeRoy, a sophomore, recited “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats, “The World Is Too Much With Us” by William Wordsworth, and “Love Song” by Dorothy Parker.

Congratulatons to the other participating students for their amazing performances at PCA&M’s Regional Poetry Out Loud Competition: Ivan Gunn (Urban Pathways Charter 6-12 Charter School), Katie Carlson (Avonworth High School), Victoria Cheng (Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12), Liz Druschel (Beaver Area High School), and Alyssa Melani (Fox Chapel Area High School).

2014-2015

Participating students and judges

The winner of Pittsburgh Center for Arts and Media (PCA&M)’s 2015 Regional Competition for Poetry Out Loud, Drew Praskovich a senior from Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, participated in the 10th Anniversary Poetry Out Loud Pennsylvania state-wide competition in March. Find out more about the Finals competition here on the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts website.

Congratulations to all of the participants of the 2015 Regional Poetry Out Loud Competition: junior Ivan Gunn (Urban Pathways 6-12 Charter School), senior Savannah Stewart (South Fayette High School), freshman Madeline Macek (Fox Chapel Area High School), sophomore Sophie Thompson (Avonworth High School), and senior Drew Praskovich (Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12).

At PCA&M’s 2015 Regional Competition, Drew Praskovich recited “Cadillac Moon” by Kevin Young, “Idea 20: An evil spirit, your beauty, haunts me still” by Michael Drayton, and “Peach” by Jennifer Tonge.

2013-2014

Participating students and judges

Congratulations to Anna Voelker, the winner of PCA&M’s 2014 Regional Competition for Poetry Out Loud. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette featured Anna, a senior at Hampton High School, in their “Person of Interest” column in March 2014.

Anna recited “I Am the People, the Mob” by Carl Sandberg, “An Autumn Sunset” by Edith Wharton, and “I Am Offering this Poem” by Jimmy Santiago Baca.

Anna was joined in competition by Sam Ferguson (Fox Chapel Area High School), Chloe Mellon (Avonworth High School), Victoria Cheng (Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12), Ivan Gunn (Urban Pathways Charter School), Savannah Stewart (South Fayette High School), and Carolyn Zsamboky (Trinity High School). Thank you to all the participants for their amazing recitations.