Arts Commission Invites Indiana High Schools to Participate in 2010 Poetry Out Loud Competition

The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) recently announced it will coordinate the fifth annual Poetry Out Loud Indiana State Finals competition, and encourages Indiana high schools to participate in the annual poetry recitation contest sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation.

Initial competitions are held at the high school level to determine one student that will represent the school in regional competition. There are no registration costs for high schools interested in participating in the Indiana Poetry Out Loud competition, and all resource materials will be provided. School competitions should be completed by January 2010.

Schools must register in advance to take part in the Poetry Out Loud competition. For more information on how to register for Poetry Out Loud, contact Susan Britsch, at 317-232-1281 or email

State competition will be held in late February to determine the Indiana state champion. The winner of the state championship will represent Indiana at the 2009/2010 Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, D.C. in late April.

A total of $50,000 in scholarship awards and school stipends will be awarded at the Poetry Out Loud National Finals, with a $20,000 college scholarship awarded to the national champion.

The state champion will receive a $200 cash prize and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals. The state champion's school will receive a $500 stipend to purchase poetry books.

The National Poetry Out Loud competition began in 2006.  The program is designed to encourage youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, which helps students master public speaking skills, build self-esteem, and internalize an appreciation for American literary heritage.