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Program Services  
  Arts Education Program

New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud Program 2023-2024

Welcome to the 19th year of New Hampshire's Poetry Out Loud competition, which celebrates the diverse voices of our high school students. Poetry Out Loud aligns with Common Core standards for reading and language, in addition to the NCTE English Language Arts Standards.


NH POL Coordinators:

Kelly Delekta

Allison Hawkins
Arts Education, NH State Council on the Arts

Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation program that encourages the nation's youth to learn great poetry. Through depth of learning, memorization, and performance, the 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, contextual analysis, 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. There is no charge to compete and materials are provided. 

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 changes lives, broadens ideas about the future, bolsters confidence and provides a wonderful sense of accomplishments. To be invited to present and recite poetry at the NH State House, Representatives’ Hall is an honor and memory of a lifetime. 

General Information:POL logo

Important Dates:

  • August 24, 2023: POL registration opens
  • October 31, 2023: POL registration closes
  • September 2023 - February 2024: POL curriculum in schools; school competitions held
  • October 2023 - February 2024: NH Poets lead workshops in schools
  • November 2023: Teacher Orientations
  • January/February 2024: Judges' Orientation
  • February 5, 2024: Deadline to hold school competition
  • February 6, 2024: Deadline to submit champion and alternate information to NHSCA
  • POL Regional Semifinals in February 2024 – events starting at 6pm:  Regional Semi-Finals Competitions and school assignments (PDF)
    Tuesday, February 13 (Wednesday, 2/14 snow date) – Rochester Opera House, Rochester, NH
    Thursday, February 15 (Friday, 2/16 snow date) – Silver Center for the Arts, PSU, Plymouth, NH
    Tuesday, February 20 (Wednesday, 2/21 snow date) – Tupelo Music Hall, Derry, NH
    Thursday, February 22 (Friday, 2/23 snow date) – New England College, Henniker, NH
  • NH State Final:
    Friday, March 15, 5pm (Monday, 3/18 snow date) – State House, Concord, NH
  • National Finals: April 30 – May 2, 2024, Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, DC


Last updated: January 30, 2024

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