High school champions from across New Hampshire are gearing up for the 2019 Poetry Out
Loud program semi-final competitions that will take place in the coming weeks. Top performers will advance to the state championship, vying for the opportunity to represent New Hampshire at the national competition in Washington, D.C.
This year, approximately 10,000 students from 42 high schools and high school groups participated in the program which begins at the classroom level and moves on to school competitions, followed by the state semifinals and championship.
New Hampshire’s state championship is scheduled to take place March 15 in Representatives Hall at the State House in Concord, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year.
Students participating in Poetry Out Loud not only learn great poems by master poets, but also sharpen their public speaking and presentation skills, making them stronger candidates for positions both in the workforce and in higher education. Participants consistently report that learning and reciting poetry is an experience that changes their lives. More than 350 volunteers serve as judges, scorers, and in other supporting roles each year, making it an event that brings communities together.
Poetry Out Loud is organized nationally by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, and is led in New Hampshire by the N.H. State Council on the Arts.
There is no cost to compete and all materials are provided to enrolled schools.
A map of participating schools is available from the Poetry Out Loud section of the State Arts Council’s website, nh.gov/nharts.
New Hampshire’s semi-final and state championship competitions are free and open to the public. Locations, dates, and times for the semi-finals are:
Rochester Opera House; Tuesday, February 19, 6 PM
Jean’s Playhouse in Lincoln; Thursday, February 21, 6 PM
Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester; Monday, March 4, 6 PM
New England College in Henniker; Tuesday, March 5, 6 PM
Snow dates and parking information for these events are available at nh.gov/nharts.
Each state’s Poetry Out Loud winner receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, D.C., to compete for the national championship. The state winner’s school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for his or her school. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the National Finals.
New Hampshire’s Poetry Out Loud supporters include the Putnam Foundation – a donor-advised fund of the N.H. Charitable Foundation – and the New Hampshire Learning Initiative. Other partners include the Poetry Society of New Hampshire, Granite State Ambassadors, the Frost Place, Slam Free or Die, the New Hampshire Writers Project and New Hampshire Public Radio.
To learn more about 2019 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud, view the calendar of high school competition dates, or find out how your school can be involved, go to nh.gov/nharts and click on the Poetry Out Loud button. For additional information, contact Julianne Gadoury, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts at 603-271-0791, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts is a division of the New Hampshire Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. It began in 1965 with legislation designed “to insure that the role of the arts in the life of our communities will continue to grow and play an ever more significant part in the education and welfare of our citizens.” Funding for programs is provided through state appropriations, a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Conservation License Plate fund. Learn more about the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts at nh.gov/nharts.