A National Poetry Recitation Competition for High School Students

| February 11, 2024 | 0 Comments

The Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, managed in California by the California Arts Council and regionally, by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture in association with Write Out Loud, presents Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation competition for high school students. San Diego Regional Finals take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday, February 6. The event is free and the public is encouraged to join our student participants and their families at the Neil Morgan Auditorium at San Diego Central Library.

Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about great poetry—both classic and contemporary—through memorization, performance, and competition. Since the program began in 2005, more than four million students across the country have participated in Poetry Out Loud. For the 2024 Poetry Out Loud, students will present their recitations of works selected from the Poetry Out Loud Anthology of more than 1,100 poems. Performances are judged on criteria including voice and articulation, evidence of understanding, and accuracy. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have created free, standards-based curriculum materials to support Poetry Out Loud including a teacher’s guide, lesson plans, an online anthology, posters, and video and audio on the art of recitation.  Write Out Loud offers in person and virtual poetry examination and performance workshops for students

At this year’s Regional Finals, poems will be presented by finalists representing Academy of Our Lady of Peace, Bayfront Charter High School, Canyon Crest Academy, Eastlake High School, Health Science High and Middle College, Otay Mesa High School, Pacific Ridge High School, and Valley Center High School, as well as an independent Write Out Loud group for students whose schools are not participating.

Judges for Poetry Out Loud include San Diego Poet Laureate, Jason Magabo Perez; poet/creative writing teachers – Brandon Cesmat, Gina M Jackson and Nicole Lewis; as well as Lamb’s Players Theatre Artistic Director Kerry Meads; and professional actor, Steve Smith. 

The San Diego winner, who will continue to the State Finals in Sacramento on March 17 through 18, 2024, will be announced at the end of the February 6 competition. The winner of the State competition will advance to the National Competition in Washington, DC April 30 through May 2, 2024. 

High school students learn about great poetry—both classic and contemporary—through memorization, performance, and competition. Photo is courtesy of Ron Logan.


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