Poetry Out Loud is a national competition in which various students compete in poetry memorization and recitation. The program starts at the classroom and moves onto the regional level in partnership with an area organization — in our case, Ohio Arts Council. Qualifying students have the chance to compete at a state level, and even a national level (held at Washington D.C.), where the winner takes home a $20,000 cash prize.
Students in grades 9 - 12 across a 12 county region compete in their local school competition and then come to Piqua for the West Central Ohio Regional Competition. In the past, Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School, Piqua High School, Lehman Catholic High School, Xenia High School, Sidney Christian School and more have participated.
The Poetry Out Loud West Central Ohio Regional Finals was held at Edison State Community College in Piqua, Ohio.
The 2022-2023 competition took place in February of 2023. For 2023-2024, the Ohio Arts Council has moved up the timeline and this year's West Central Ohio Regional Competition will take place on Thursday, December 7, 2023 at Edison State Community College at 7:00PM.
The national arts education program encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials in stride of the national competition. The program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 4.1 million students and 68,000 teachers from 17,000 schools and organizations in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa.
For schools looking to participate, the link below will allow you to enter your students for the competition.