Skip Navigation LinksPCA > WHAT WE DO > POETRY OUT LOUD



About the Program

The Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. More than 2.4 million high school students from more than 4,000 high schools across the United States have discovered the magic of beautiful language through Poetry Out Loud. 

Over the past ten years, more than 100,000 high school students from 320 in Pennsylvania have participated in Poetry Out Loud. This year, 7,000 students from 108 high schools across the commonwealth participated in this exceptional contest.


2017 POL News and Results

The 2017 Pennsylvania Poetry Out Loud State Finals took place on Monday, March 6 at The State Museum of Pennsylvania's Auditorium in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Madalina Richardson, a junior at Julia R. Masterman School in Philadelphia County is Pennsylvania's 2017 Poetry Out Loud state champion. She represented Pennsylvania in the national contest in Washington, D.C. on April 24-26.

Second Place at the PA State Finals went to Tahj Morales, a senior in the Reading School District in Berks County.


2017 Pennsylvania Poetry Out Loud state champion, Madalina Richardson

Photo courtesy of Commonwealth Media Services

Poetry Out Loud State Manager: Gayle Cluck


Judges for the state and regional finals include performers, poets and cultural and business leaders from across the state. The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) sponsors the statewide competition along with its regional partners and arts organizations.

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with U.S. state arts agencies to support Poetry Out Loud, a contest that encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

Poetry Out Loud is part of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA)’s ongoing efforts to foster educational excellence for Pennsylvania’s students through participation in the creative process. 

The PCA collaborates with 15 regional partners who administer the regional competitions from the classroom to the state championship.