Poetry Out Loud

    Watch the full-length 2021 Colorado Poetry Out Loud Virtual State Finals, which premiered here Saturday, March 13th! We can't wait for you to see this year's talented competitors!

    Please also tune into the one-hour special, Words by Heart: A Showcase of the 2021 Colorado Poetry Out Loud Virtual State Finals, on PBS12, Thursday, March 18 at 7:00 PM. This film showcases the poetry recitation performances and hometowns of high school students from across the state as they compete for a chance to represent Colorado in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals. Kicked off by Governor Polis, emceed by CO Poet Laureate Bobby LeFebre, and judged by some of Colorado's finest poets and performers, this production imbues the spirit of competition and community of the live State Finals to the virtual competition, and celebrates the creativity, talent, and resilience of Colorado's teens despite the overwhelming adversities they face this year.

    Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a national arts education program created by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation and presented by Colorado Creative Industries and Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Poetry Out Loud encourages young performers to bring the words of great poets to life through memorization, recitation, and competitive performance. Since 2005, more than 4 million students and 65,000 teachers from 16,000 schools nationwide have participated in Poetry Out Loud. That’s more than 4 million students who have learned at least one poem by heart! In Colorado, approximately 38,500 students have participated in the program, learning the power of poetry first hand.

    Check out this video to hear from past Poetry Out Loud State Finalists about their experiences with the program. For more information about POL in Colorado, please contact the POL State Coordinator at [email protected]



    Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a free, national program offered by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation in partnership with Colorado Creative Industries and Lighthouse Writers Workshop, and is open to all Colorado high school students, grades 9-12. Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. Students who participate in POL develop and improve their public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and discover a love of poetry and the written word.

    2020-2021 Colorado POL

    The NEA has announced that the 2021 National Poetry Out Loud Finals will be held virtually as a video submission-based competition and strongly encourages contest organizers at all levels to hold virtual events in order to ensure the safety and well-being of students, parents, teachers, and everyone involved with POL.

    Important Dates

    All the dates you need for the 2020-2021 Poetry Out Loud season, in one place.

    Get Involved

    Whether you're a student, parent, teacher, librarian, or volunteer, there are many ways to get involved with Poetry Out Loud.

    Colorado POL Winners

    Congratulations to Colorado’s 2020 Poetry Out Loud Champion, Kiya Cockrell from Fountain Valley School in Colorado Springs.