Wyoming Arts Council

Poetry Out Loud

The Power of Poetry 

The Voices of Our Youth Command Our Future

Poetry Out Loud inspires high school students to find their voice and the confidence to make themselves heard, using one of the most powerful tools at their disposal—art.

Poetry in education has experienced a Renaissance through Poetry Out Loud. Students are given the opportunity to interact with the words of the masters through recitation, building a relationship with the works and creating a sense of shared ownership branded by their own technique of volume, pitch, pace, and personal point of view. The Wyoming Arts Council proudly hosts a Poetry Out Loud state competition each year, growing steadily since its start in 2005.

About Poetry Out Loud

Through an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts and administered statewide by the Wyoming Arts Council, Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.

High school students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.

2022 Poetry Out Loud State Champions

Bailee Vargas, Fremont County Homeschool Group State Champion
Fremont County

Sidni Tryon, Lovell High School Runner Up, Big Horn County

Briley Farris, Buffalo High School Third Place
Johnson County

How Poetry Out Loud Works

The structure of Poetry Out Loud is similar to a spelling bee. This annual program starts in the fall, with high school teachers using the free Poetry Out Loud teacher toolkit and related materials to teach poetry recitation and run classroom competitions.

Classroom winners advance to a school wide competition. School champions advance to the Wyoming Poetry Out Loud finals, with a chance to compete in the 2023 national competition.

The Wyoming State Champion receives:

  • $200 cash prize
  • $500 for their school to purchase literary materials.
  • An opportunity to compete at the National Finals for college scholarship funds.

Visit poetryoutloud.org for detailed information and to check out POL action across the country.


September 1, 2022  POL Anthology available for the 2022-2023 school year and registration for state competition opens

January 20, 2023 Deadline to register your school for State Competition

February 17, 2023 Deadline to host school competitions

February 24, 2023 Deadline to submit school representative info for State Competition

March 6-7, 2023 Wyoming State Competition in Cheyenne, Wyoming

March 23, 2023 Deadline for state champions & chaperones to register for National Finals

May 8-10, 2023 Poetry Out Loud Finals in Washington, DC

Registration for the 2022-2023 Poetry Out Loud competition opens September 1, 2022

Registered schools will receive free multi-media toolkits which include: a teacher’s guide complete with lesson plans, guidance on classroom contests, evaluation criteria, posters, and customizable contest announcement poster. In addition, teachers will receive updates and support from the WY Poetry Out Loud Coordinator throughout the year.

The anthology and a digital copy of the curriculum guide, the official rules and eligibility, and tips for organizing a school competition can be found on the national Poetry Out Loud website.

For more information on Poetry Out Loud visit the POL website or contact the Wyoming Arts Council. Fill out the Poetry Out Loud Intent to Participate Form.

Read about Wyoming’s Poetry Out Loud winners

Wyoming’s 2022 Poetry Out Loud State Winner
Wyoming’s 2021 Poetry Out Loud State Winner
Wyoming’s 2020 Poetry Out Loud winner 
Wyoming’s 2019 Poetry Out Loud winner 
Wyoming’s 2018 Poetry Out Loud winner 
Wyoming’s 2017 Poetry Out Loud winner
Wyoming’s 2016 Poetry Out Loud winner
Wyoming’s 2015 Poetry Out Loud winner
Wyoming’s 2014 Poetry Out Loud winner
Wyoming’s 2013 Poetry Out Loud  winner
Wyoming’s 2012 Poetry Out Loud winner
Wyoming’s 2011 Poetry Out Loud winner
Wyoming’s 2010 Poetry Out Loud winner
Wyoming’s 2009 Poetry Out Loud winner
Wyoming’s 2008 Poetry Out Loud winner

Contact: Amara Fehring