Poetry Out Loud (1.)

Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is a national program that encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. The aim is to help students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

Poetry Out Loud Colorado is presented by Colorado Creative Industries in partnership with Lighthouse Writers Workshop. High schools throughout the state are invited to use Poetry Out Loud’s free curriculum and participate in classroom and school-wide contests, with top students advancing to a state-wide competition in March. The state champion advances to the National Finals in Washington, D.C. Poetry Out Loud grants a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends at the National Finals, including a $20,000 prize for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

The 2020-21 Colorado Poetry Out Loud State Finals will be held virtually as a video submission-based competition and streamed live in early March 2021. Check back soon for more updates!

For more information, contact Poetry Out Loud state coordinator Roxanne Banks Malia at [email protected].

Previous Colorado Champions

  • 2020: Kiya Cockrell, Fountain Valley School
  • 2019: Jesca Gilbert, Valor Christian High School
  • 2018: Hannah Alexander, Niwot High School
  • 2017: Will Edelson, Fountain Valley School
  • 2016: David Cendon Garcia, Fountain Valley School
  • 2015: Jeana Lovett, Liberty High School
  • 2014: Alice Kilduff, Denver School of the Arts
  • 2013: Alice Kilduff, Denver School of the Arts
  • 2012: Samuel Opoku, Thornton High School
  • 2011: Samuel Opoku, Thornton High School
  • 2010: Ben Reilly, George Washington High School
  • 2009: Kaleena Kovach, William J. Palmer High School
  • 2008: Brittany Harden, William J. Palmer High School
  • 2007: Passion Lyons, Gateway High School
2019 Poetry Out Loud Colorado State Champion, Jesca Gilbert