Poetry Out Loud: What’s Different This Year?

How is the annual Poetry Out Loud competition at Dowling being held this year?


Sarah Wicker

Find out about what has changed this year for Poetry Out Loud

Sarah Wicker, Staff Writer/ Funny Person

Poetry Out Loud is a competition that encourages students to study the art of poetry and reciting it. Students who decide to enter the competition are to choose one poem to memorize and recite in front of their peers.


Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 4 million students and 65,000 teachers from 16,000 schools in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa,” the Poetry Out Loud website said. 


Usually, the competition is held in the Dowling auditorium during the school day. English teacher and Poetry Out Loud moderator Mrs. Pierce explains what’s different about the competition this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


“Yes, Poetry Out Loud is still on for Dowling this year, just in a little different form,” Pierce said. 


Instead of the usual competition, competitors are to record a video of themselves reciting the poem and send it into the foundation on Friday, February 5th.


“Poetry Out Loud can be conducted virtually or in-person. The program starts at the classroom, school, or at the local level with an area organization,” the website said.


Winners advance to a regional competition and then onto the national finals. As the competition proceeds, the bigger the prize is.


So, what is the prize? The award is college scholarship money all the way up to $20,000!


“The top 12 scoring students from semi-finals will advance to the State Competition. Students will be notified by Friday, February 19th if they are invited to participate in State. The State winner goes on to National Finals, where they compete for a $20,000 college scholarship,” Pierce said. 


If you are interested in participating in the annual Poetry Out Loud competition, message Mrs. Pierce for more details. Videos must be in by February 5th, 2021. All are welcome to join and learn about this art form, no matter your abilities!