Poetry Competition


2019 Arkansas Poetry Out Loud


The Arkansas Arts Council, a division of Arkansas Heritage, has partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to encourage students to learn great poetry and develop real-world skills. Poetry Out Loud is a free, high school program that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about poetry through memorization and recitation. The program helps students build self-confidence, develop public-speaking skills, learn literary history and compete for more than $20,000 at the national level.

Schools interested in getting their students into the competition must register with the Arkansas Arts Council. The form is available here (2021 POL School Form 2021 POL School Form (378 KB) ) or by contacting the education program manager. All materials and resources will be provided.

Schools must register by Dec. 18 to participate. Competitions at the school or classroom level begin fall 2020. The student winners will represent their schools at the state finals during a virtual event on March 13. The winner at the state level will compete at the national Poetry Out Loud competition, which also will be held virtually.

Each winner at the state level will receive

  • A $200 cash prize and an all-expense-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, D.C.                 
  • A $500 cash stipend for their school to purchase poetry materials


  • A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends awarded during the finals
  • A $20,0009 award for the National Champion, a $10,000 award for 2nd place and a $5,000 award for 3rd place
  • Awards of $1,000 will go to students who place 4th through 9th