Poetry Out Loud Guidelines POL Participant site

Registration Deadline: Sept. 15, 2016

Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the Kentucky Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

The Kentucky Arts Council strongly encourages you to read and understand the Poetry Out Loud guidelines and instructions before accessing the registration form.

Core Values of the Kentucky Arts Council

Program Purpose

The purpose of the Poetry Out Loud Program is to promote the art of poetry in both the classroom and the community. This program is meant to directly benefit a broad population by including schools of assorted sizes from a variety of geographical regions and in both urban and rural areas.


To encourage students to learn poetry through memorization and performance, develop public-speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about our nation’s literary heritage.

Who May Apply

Any Kentucky high school, public or private, may apply. Home-schooled students may compete through a participating local high school or a home school regional competition hosted by a local library or community center. Participating students must be in grades 9 through 12 or a grade 8 student currently taking classes in a local grade 9 classroom. Multiple classes are encouraged to participate at each school.

Acceptance will be on a first-come-first-serve basis as program resources allow. Schools will be notified within two weeks after the deadline.

Program Description

This grant program enables Kentucky high school teachers to implement Poetry Out Loud in their schools. Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation competition funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and state arts agencies like the Kentucky Arts Council.

In Kentucky, every participating classroom receives an interactive workshop with an arts council teaching artist focusing on public presentation, suggestions for memorization as well as interpretation of the poetic structure. Participating schools will receive free multimedia curriculum materials including teacher guides, audio guides and posters. The state winner receives $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete for a $20,000 scholarship in the national competition. The state winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.

An important aspect of the program is long-term impact on all participants. To assess that impact, evidence will be gathered throughout the planning and implementation of the program to determine progress and to learn about and improve upon the work being done. Effective assessment will include a combination of quantitative (measured by quantity or amount) and qualitative (measured by quality or kind) measures.

Participating schools must:

Note: In the event that the school is closed on a day or days that the artist is scheduled to work, every attempt should be made to reschedule a makeup day or days. In the event of scheduling conflicts, see that your artist is paid for the work he or she has already completed and receives timely payment for the makeup days at the time of completion.

Participating in the State Finals

Each school participating in the program is expected (at minimum) to send their school champion to compete in the state finals on March 7, 2017, in Frankfort, Ky.


Program Timeline

Registration deadline Sept. 15, 2016
Deadline to submit school winner Feb. 14, 2017
State Finals, Frankfort, Ky. March 7, 2017
State finalist register for National Finals deadline March 16, 2017
Final Report deadline April 15, 2017
National Finals, Washington, D.C. April 24-26, 2017

Please fill out the registration form and submit by Sept. 15, 2016, to participate in the FY2017 Poetry Out Loud program.


There are no appeals in this program.

For More Information

The arts council welcomes all questions regarding this program and application. For more information, please contact:

Jean St. John
Arts Education Director
888-833-2787 (toll free)



Page last updated:June 6, 2017
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