Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest seeks high school participants for the 2015-16 contest. The Poetry Out Loud program is designed to encourage students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance and competition, which gives them an opportunity to practice public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.

During this fall students are invited to participate in contests taking place in early 2016 through the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center. The Virginia State Poetry Out Loud final will take place March 18, 2016 and the state champion will advance to the National Finals on May 2-4 in Washington, D.C.

Each state champion will receive $200 and a paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete for the national championship. The state champion's school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state will receive $100 with $200 for his or her school library. Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in cash and school stipends at the national finals, including a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud national champion.

Learn more about Virginia's Poetry Out Loud competition.

This contest is presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in partnership with the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

Know a High School student who might be interested in participating?