Arts Education Program
Poetry Out Loud
Many may recognize the line:
“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
as the work of New Hampshire poet Robert Frost. The Poetry Out Loud competition is designed to present poetry to high school aged students across the United States, so they too will recognize Frost’s, and many other poet’s words.
The goal of the Poetry Out Loud competition and accompanying curriculum is to encourage the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.
Poetry Out Loud builds on the spoken word as an art form, inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the classroom.
Nationwide, the program involves 365,000 students annually and awards $50,000 in scholarships. Funding comes from The Poetry Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts, and is awarded to each State Arts Council to carry out a statewide program.
In New Hampshire, any high school — public, private, or parochial, as well as home school groups — are welcomed to participate. The Keene Public Library has been a host site for POL for the past several years. There is no charge to compete and materials are provided.
August 9, 2016