Poetry Out Loud

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  • Images from the 2019 Indiana Poetry Out Loud competition can be viewed on the ISL flickr page by clicking here.

Campbellsburg student picked to represent Indiana at Poetry Out Loud national finals

 Photo: 2019 Indiana Poetry Out Loud state champion, Madalyn Pedigo.Indianapolis – Feb. 19, 2018 - The Indiana State Library and the Indiana Arts Commission announced today that Madalyn Pedigo earned the honor of being named the 2019 Poetry Out Loud Indiana state champion. Pedigo will compete against representatives from all 50 states, plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, for the national Poetry Out Loud title on April 30 and May 1, 2019 in Washington, D.C. The event will be held at the Lisner Auditorium at The George Washington University. The semifinals and finals will be webcast live. The Midwest and South Central round, which includes Indiana, will be held on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, beginning at 1 p.m.

Pedigo, a sophomore at West Washington Jr./Sr. High School in Campbellsburg, qualified for the national finals by winning the Indiana state Poetry Out Loud championship held on Feb. 16, 2019 at the Indiana State Library. She edged out 14 other competitors to win the state title. In addition to the Washington, D.C. trip, Pedigo earned a $200 cash prize and $500 for her school to be used to purchase poetry books. 

Pedigo recited three poems to qualify for the trip to Washington D.C.: “Momma Said” by Calvin Forbes, "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold and "What Women Are Made Of" by Bianca Lynne Spriggs.

Si Hager of Herron High School in Indianapolis won the Poetry Ourselves competition, in which students submitted their own written or spoken word poems, with an original poem titled “Dental Dreams.”

Now celebrating its 14th year of national competition, Poetry Out Loud is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The program encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high school students across the country. For more information, visit the Poetry Out Loud website.

The Indiana State Library is dedicated to serving Indiana residents, leading and supporting the library community and preserving Indiana history.

How It Works

Competitions at the school or classroom level will be held during the fall semester to identify one student winner who will represent their school at the state finals and compete for the chance to represent Indiana at the National Finals in Washington, D.C. in April.

  • $200 cash prize
  • All expense paid trip to Washington, D.C.
  • $500 for their school to purchase literary materials
  • Opportunity to compete at the National Finals for college scholarship funds

How to Get Involved

For information and questions, contact the Poetry Out Loud State Coordinator Angela Downs at adowns@library.in.gov or 317-232-3692.


Find Poems & Poets
Past Indiana State Champions
School Registration
Student Registration
Vendor Form: Direct Deposit Authorization
W9 Form
Watch recordings of the National finalists

All materials and resources will be provided. Any public or private high school in the state is welcome and encouraged to participate. Homeschooled students may participate by joining in a registered high school's competition or by organizing a contest with other homeschooled students.


This event is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Special thanks to the Indiana Department of Education.