In 2005, the National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia, a poet, recognized the need to increase poetry as part of a well-rounded education and under his leadership, Poetry Out Loud held the first national competition in 2006.
New Hampshire students have been participating in the program since the beginning and this year, its 15th season, the program regularly sees more high school students annually participate in competitive poetry than interscholastic sports. Last year over 7,500 NH students and a total of 10,000 people in NH participated!
Year after year, students, parents and educators tell us that the most important aspect of the Poetry Out Loud program is the recognition and introduction to poetry. To be identified as a talented reciter and presenter of great poetry is an experience that broadens ideas about the future, bolsters confidence and provides a sense of accomplishment. To be invited to present and recite poetry at the NH State House is an honor and memory of a lifetime.
The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts invites you to attend a semi-final competition near your hometown and listen to students deliver contemporary and classic language on stage embodied in their chosen poems as they compete for the chance to represent New Hampshire in Washington, D.C. The competitions are free and open to the public.
NH Poetry Out Loud Semi-Finals
February 20, 2020 6pm - Rochester Opera House 31 Wakefield St, Rochester, NH
snow date February 21
March 2, 2020 6pm - Winnipesaukee Playhouse 33 Footlight Cir, Meredith, NH
snow date March 3
March 4, 2020 6pm - New England College 98 Bridge St, Henniker, NH
snow date March 6
March 5, 2020 6pm - Currier Museum of Art 150 Ash St, Manchester, NH
snow date March 6
NH Poetry Out Loud State Championship Finals
NH State House, Representatives Hall, Concord
March 13, 2020, 5pm
snow date March 16
Photos by Cheryl Senter