In the Spotlight

Join us at the National Book Festival!

On Labor Day weekend, the Library of Congress will host the 15th annual National Book Festival  at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown DC.  The NEA has a longstanding tradition of inviting POL students to recite at our Poetry and Prose Pavilion, and this year we're excited to announce that Maeva Ordaz (AK), Paris Stroud (GA), and Ian Walls (WI) will be joining us for this year's festival!

If you're in the DC area over Labor Day, please join us as the book festival. It's free and open to the public. The POL students will recite at 10am on Saturday, September 5th at the NEA's Poetry and Prose Pavilion.  

We have a winner!

On April 29, 2015, Maeva Ordaz, age 18, a senior at West Anchorage High School in Anchorage, Alaska won the title of 2015 Poetry Out Loud National Champion. Ordaz won the final round with “Zacuanpapalotls,” by Brenda Cárdenas

The second-place winner was Paris J. Stroud, 18, a senior at Paulding County High School in Dallas, Georgia.  The third-place winner was Casey Ryan Goggin, age 17, a senior at Pinecrest High School in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

Students and schools received $50,000 in awards and school stipends at the National Finals, including $20,000 for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion, and $10,000 and $5,000 for the second- and third-place finalists. The fourth- to ninth-place finalists each received $1,000. The schools of the top nine finalists received $500 for the purchase of poetry books.

Now celebrating its tenth 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. The Poetry Out Loud National Finals are the culmination of a yearlong poetry education program involving some 365,000 students, 9,000 teachers, and 2,300 high schools across the country. High school teachers who want to learn how to get involved in next year's program can contact their state arts agency at poetryoutloud.org/state-contacts. 

Hear more from the 2015 Poetry Out Loud National Champion Maeva Ordaz at the NEA Art Works blog.  

Photos and video of the nine finalists from the April 28 semifinals and April 29 finals are available at this link.