Watch the 2023 San Diego Regional Poetry Out Loud Event:

Find your voice through poetry!

Build confidence, communication, empathy, close reading, and analysis skills.

Poetry Out Loud is a FREE program for High School students. Students select poems from the National Poetry Foundation Anthology, and memorize, interpret, and recite their poems in a competition at the entry level. Two winners from each competition advance to the Regional Competition and one Regional winner advances to the State Competition.

The State Winner competes at the National Level. Cash prizes are available at the Regional, State and National levels.

Independent Students


If you would like to participate in Poetry Out Loud, but your school is not participating, you may join the Write Out Loud Independent Student Poetry Out Loud Competition!

  • FREE to participate
  • All Poetry Out Loud participation requirements apply:
    • Two memorized poems
    • Poems must be selected from the Poetry Out Loud Anthology.
    • See Registration Form for more information.
  • 2 Workshop Meetings will be held on Zoom on 01/07 and 01/14 from 10:00 – 11:00 AM.
  • 1 In Person Workshop Meeting will be held on 01/21 from 10:00 – 11:00 AM. Please reach out for location details.
  • The Competition Event will be held In Person on Saturday, 01/27 from 10:00 – 11:00.
  • Attendance and participation in one or more workshops is voluntary but highly recommended.
  • You must be registered by 01/15/2024 in order to be eligible to participate in the competition.

For more information, please contact Education Coordinator Rachael at

To register, fill out this form:

Working with your school


Poetry Out Loud may be incorporated into your class, club, group, or curriculum in many ways: an entire class, grade level, or school may participate as part of the curriculum or for extra credit, or clubs or after school/extra-curricular groups may participate. Write Out Loud is here to help you bring Poetry Out Loud to your school, library, club, or student group. We provide free workshops, guidance for students and teachers, contest coordinating, and judges.



Q: How can I incorporate Poetry Out Loud into my classes or group?
A: Click here for Teacher Resources including Lesson Plans, Curriculum Standards, and a downloadable Teacher’s Guide.

Q: How can Write Out Loud assist me?
A: Pretty much in every way. Write Out Loud is happy to offer Poetry Workshops, to provide judges and paperwork, to schedule, organize, or run your competition, to work with students one-on-one or in groups to prepare them for their competitions…or anything else you may need. Please feel welcome to be in touch at any point with questions, ideas, challenges, or solutions. We are here to make this happen!

Visit the National Poetry Foundation Poetry Out Loud Website for even more resources: Competition Requirements, Poetry Anthology, Sample Videos of Student Submissions, Recitation Tutorials, Timelines, Tips, Encouragements etc!

Poetry Out Loud in the News!


Anything else?

Poetry Out Loud is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, managed in California by the California Arts Council, and regionally, by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture in association with Write Out Loud.