Welcome to Poetry Out Loud in New York!

UPDATE: The Semifinals registration/video submission deadline has been EXTENDED to Monday, January 24th, 11:59pm.

Due to a rise in Covid19 cases in New York State, the Poetry Out Loud 2022 Semifinal and Final competitions in New York will be VIRTUAL, submission-based events.

All student performances submitted for the Semifinals will be broadcast on February 26-27th in a livestream Poetry Out Loud marathon.  Check this page for updates on broadcast dates and times!

Important Information for Schools & Students Participating in 2022 Poetry Out Loud


DEADLINE TO REGISTER for the 2022 Semifinals: Monday, January 24th, 11:59pm.


Coordinators & Students: Please review "How to Submit to the NYS Poetry Out Loud Competition"

Students: Please review Poetry Out Loud Virtual Competition and Filming Requirements



1) Have a parent or guardian complete the Media Release form.

2) Submit your poem titles, poem order, personal bios for each round and upload the signed media release form on the Survey Monkey Registration form.

3) Record your three poem performances as separate videos.  Students may record videos at home and can use a smart phone or any other recording device. The videos should be saved as MP4 files.  **Important!** The filename should include your last name, first name and the Round in which you want the performance to be included.  Example:  Smith, Jane - Round 1

4) Upload your three videos to the Regional Competition Dropbox folder by Friday, January 24, 2022. The link can also be found on the Survey Monkey registration page.


Please Note: The Semifinal Registration form is only for pre-registered schools and independent students. If you want to participate, but you did not register this fall, please contact us: Pol@twc.org.

Screenshot 2021-07-22 143836

What is Poetry Out Loud?

Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation competition, open to students in grades 9-12. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about diverse poets and their work. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation partner with US state arts agencies to support Poetry Out Loud, which encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation.

Teachers & Writers Collaborative manages Poetry Out Loud in New York state, in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts.

Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid competition structure that starts at the classroom level.

Preliminary Competitions at Schools and for Independent Students Classroom

  • Schools conduct classroom and school-wide competitions to identify 1 or 2 POL champions to represent the school at the Semifinals.

Regional Semifinals 

  • Students participate in one of the 9 Semifinal competitions, according to their region.  The winner and runner-up of each Semifinal competition will move on to compete in the New York State Final.

State Final and National Final 

  • Winners and runners-up from the Semifinals will compete at the State Final.  The New York State POL Champion will move on to compete in the National Poetry Out Loud competition.


To view the PowerPoint presentation from the 2022 Poetry Out Loud Webinar for Coordinators, click the image above.

Student participant in Poetry Out Loud

2021-2022 REGIONS

Join us on YouTube and Facebook for a virtual Poetry Out Loud Marathon weekend, February 26-27, 2022.  Student performances from each region will livestreamed and winners from each region will be announced.  Check again soon for exact broadcast dates and times.

Long Island - Nassau County 

Long Island - Suffolk County 

Hudson Valley - New Paltz

Capital Region - Troy 

Finger Lakes - Syracuse 

Western New York 

New York City

Calendar of Events

September - November 2021

  • Schools register to participate in Poetry Out Loud and begin school wide competitions.

  • Students whose schools are not participating in Poetry Out Loud register as independent participants.

  • Dates announced for Semifinal and State Final competitions.

Poetry Out Loud performers
Student reciting in Poetry Out Loud event

November 2021

  • Deadline for schools or students to register: Monday, November 15, 2021

December 2021

  • Schools hold school-wide competitions to select their POL champions

*All students competing in a virtual competition must complete a Media Release Form in order for their video submissions to be considered.

January & February 2022

Students who will be representing their schools in the Semifinals or who will be competing independently register for the Semifinal competitions.  The Poetry Out Loud 2022 New York State Semifinal Regional Competitions will be Virtual.

The stage at the 2020 Poetry Out Loud final
Winners of the 2020 New York State Poetry Out Loud competition

March 2022

  • New York State Final Competition: March 12, 2022

About the Virtual Semi-final Competition

We want to give every student an opportunity to participate in Poetry Out Loud in a way that is safe, fair and fun!  To ensure student safety, the 2022 Poetry Out Loud competition in New York State will be VIRTUAL, with students participating by video submission.  The National Poetry Out Loud competition will also be submission-based.

Here is a summary of what to expect:

  • By the competition deadline, students will submit three (3) video recordings of themselves reciting their POL poems.
  • As in past competitions, there will be 3 rounds of recitation to arrive at the winner. View the complete rules for details.
  • The recitation recordings must adhere to the guidelines we will provide to ensure that all recordings are consistent in quality.  We will also provide technical assistance to anyone who needs it.

Curriculum Materials


  • Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington to compete for the national championship. The state winner’s school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.
  • The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for his or her school library. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the National Finals.

Awards are made in the form of lump sum cash payouts, reportable to the IRS. Tax liabilities are the sole responsibility of the winners and their families.

The 2021 Poetry Out Loud New York State Final Competition was broadcast on Saturday, March 13, 2021. Twelve talented students took the virtual stage to recite classic and contemporary poems for the chance to represent New York as our Poetry Out Loud State Champion. The winner will move on to compete with other state champions from across the country for $50,000 in prizes.

We congratulate:

Runner up

Rachel Lin, Syosset High School

2021 NYS Poetry Out Loud Champion

Zaida Polanco, White Plains High School

On behalf of Poetry Out Loud, thank you to all of the students, school coordinators, parents, judges, and others who made the Poetry Out Loud possible this year!

To view the 2020-2021 Poetry Out Loud State Final Competition video
visit the T&W YouTube Channel. 

View the event program for a list of students participating and their poems. 

2021 New York State Final - Program

2020 New York State Poetry Out Loud Champion!

From a competitive field of more than 6,500 students across the state, Zaida Polanco from White Plains NY, won the title of 2020 Poetry Out Loud™ NY State Champion at the state finals held at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City on March 7, 2020. The first runner-up was Mekhala Mantravadi from Horace Mann School in New York, NY.  Zaida Polanco’s final recitation was How to Triumph Like a Girl by Ada Limón. In the poem, Limón celebrates the power of women and girls.

Bring a virtual POL poetry-writing program to your school or community center. 

In our workshops, students create original poems inspired by the poems in the POL collection. Through this creative practice, student deepen their comprehension and personal connection with the POL poems.

Ways to Participate

Get started by registering with us and start a program in your high school or community.

An entity needs at least two students to participate in the national program. Individual or groups of teachers, a school club, the entire school, or an out-of-school program for high school-aged individuals may participate. Please register by November 15, 2021.

Poetry Out Loud (POL) can be a boost in your community and a great addition to your current curriculum or programs. Here are examples of ways you can start a local program:

  • English teachers at a school can implement the POL curriculum in their classrooms by setting aside two weeks to analyze and recite poems from the anthology. Each classroom teacher uses the POL rubric to determine a winner who advances to the school contest. The school contest is a mix of ages and skill levels, presented at an all-school assembly with a panel of judges from the community.

  • The drama or theater teacher uses POL to help students strengthen public speaking and performance skills. After participating in open mic poetry recitations and mock contests, a school contest is held in the library during lunch. An AP English teacher and the school literacy coach serve as judges.

  • A parent volunteer convenes a poetry group after school, under the supervision of a teacher. Students have the opportunity to receive peer feedback and coaching from the teacher on their presentations. The contest is held in a classroom after school, judged by a local community theater director and the school’s writer-in-residence. The winner presents their poems at a faculty meeting to celebrate.

  • In a home school group, a single family, or small group of families, recite poetry together. Competing students are scored by at least two non-biased (not family members) judges. The winning students present at the local Rotary Club to celebrate.

  • A community-based organization or literary center can build POL lesson plans into their existing programming for after-school or weekend teen workshops. The culminating contest could be held on a Saturday at their local center or meeting room with a public audience including parents, teachers, and friends.

For any questions or information, or to let us know you’re interested in registering for the next school year, contact us at pol@twc.org.

New York Poetry Out Loud Partners

  • The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.

  • The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It has embarked on an ambitious plan to bring the best poetry before the largest possible audiences.

  • New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, is dedicated to preserving and expanding the rich and diverse cultural resources that are and will become the heritage of New York’s citizens.

2018-2019 Poetry Out Loud New York Sponsor:  Con Edison

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