National Finals

The 2017 National Finals will be held April 25-26, 2017 at the Lisner Auditorium at The George Washington University. The semifinals and finals will be webcast live.

2016 Poetry Out Loud National Finalists:

Georgia State Champion Marta Palombo, Cambridge High School, Alpharetta, GA

•Hawaii State Champion Nicholas Amador, Punahou School, Honolulu, HI

•Louisiana State Champion Kyla Rose Bates, Zachary High School, Baton Rouge, LA

•Maryland State Champion Sharese Acheampong, New Town High School, Owings Mills, MD

•Montana State Champion Savannah Smith, Helena High School, Helena, MT

•Puerto Rico State Champion Wenmimareba Klobah Collins, University High School, San Juan, PR

•Texas State Champion Madison Heggins, Lewisville High School, Lewisville, TX

•Virginia State Champion Ahkei Togun, Tallwood High School, Virginia Beach, VA

•West Virginia State Champion Neely Seams, Greenbrier East High School, Lewisburg, WV

FOLLOW: Poetry Out Loud is on Twitter at @PoetryOutLoud and @NEAarts, #POL17.

Fast Facts About #POL15

Poetry Out Loud participation 2005-2015: 2.7 million students and 9,500 schools.

2014-2015 participation stats: 365,000 students, 9,000 teachers, 2,300 high schools.

Top three most popular poems for 2014-15 season: “Abandoned Farmhouse” by Ted Kooser, “Across the Bay” by Donald Davie and “Fire and Ice” by Robert Frost.

Number of repeat state champs at National Finals, 2005-2014: 42. Number of repeat schools at National Finals: 81, including five-timer Arvada/Clearmont High School (WY).

States with the highest number of participating students in 2015: New Jersey, California, Washington, Massachusetts, and Maryland.

Oldest and youngest poets represented in the 900+ poem anthology are Queen Elizabeth I (b. 1533) and Jamaal May (b. 1982).

Schools interested in registering for the 2016-2017 Poetry Out Loud contest should contact their state arts agency.

What People are Saying

"I did not expect to fall in love with poetry. I just expected to recite and be done with it. After just sitting there and analyzing my poems, I realized that the stories told through these few words mean so much. I had to step out of myself and step into the author's shoes, and with that comes great work."
Kyla Rose Bates
2016 LA POL Champion