In the Spotlight

2014 Recitations now on YouTube!

Select recitations from the 2014 National Finals are now up on YouTube!

National Champion Anita Norman (TN) recites "The Layers" by Stanley Kunitz

3rd Place Winner Natasha Vargas (NJ) recites "Ecology by Jack Collom

MO Champ and Nat'l Finalist Thomas Fields recites "The Canonization" by John Donne

TX Champ and Nat'l Finalist Kristina Watkins recites "The Pomegranate and the Big Cowd" by Alberto Rios

WV Champ and Nat'l Finalist Austin Gage recites "Strange Meeting" by Wilfred Owen

WA Champ and Nat'l Finalist Elizabeth Mo recites "The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee" by N. Scott Momaday

MI Champion Matthew Webb recites "The Empty Dance Shoes" by Cornelius Eady 

Also be sure to check out our new video to celebrate 10 years of Poetry Out Loud!

Anita Norman is the 2014 POL National Champion!

From a competitive field of 365,000 students nationwide, Anita Norman, a student at Arlington High School in Arlington, Tennessee, won the title of 2014 Poetry Out Loud National Champion at the National Finals held in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. With this achievement, Norman received a $20,000 award and her high school received a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. 

Norman’s final recitation Wednesday evening was “Let the Light Enter,” a poem by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. Norman also recited Stanley Kunitz’s “The Layers” and Robert E. Hayden’s “Mourning Poem for the Queen of Sunday” at the Wednesday evening finals. When asked about which poem a person should recite, Norman said, “The poem should make a statement and be a piece of who you are.” Listen to a conversation with the 2014 Poetry Out Loud champion at

The second-place winner in the 2014 Poetry Out Loud national competition was Lake Wilburn of Columbus, Ohio, who received a $10,000 award. Natasha Simone Vargas of Lawrenceville, New Jersey, received the third-place prize and a $5,000 award.

Read more on the National Finals here