Poetry Out Loud

Bringing poetry to life through performance

The words of great poets literally come to life in Poetry Out Loud (POL), a literary arts program created by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation. Through MSAC support, students across Maryland are enriched by this national arts education program that encourages the mastery of great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Since 2005, nearly 4.7 million students have competed in Poetry Out Loud nationwide. That's almost 4.7 million students who have learned at least one poem by heart! In Maryland, approximately 129,000 students have participated in the program, learning the power of poetry firsthand.

2021 POL State Competition

2021 Maryland State POL Champion Kate Maerten looks up at the sky in awe of bubbles surrounding them.

Kate Maerten, a 12th grader at Gerstell Academy in Carroll County, was selected as the Poetry Out Loud (POL) Maryland State champion on March 9th during state finals. She was among eight finalists that were selected from 25 Maryland students in eight counties that competed in the statewide competitions. The POL poetry recitation contest is co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and The Poetry Foundation, and administered by U.S. state arts agencies and regional organizations across the country. The Maryland POL competition is produced by MSAC.

Second place was awarded to Paula Yeboah, an 11th grader at Wilde Lake High School in Howard County, and third place went to Harrison Lynch, an 11th grader at The King's Christian Academy in St. Mary’s County. The five remaining finalists were  Aimee Pentermann (St. Mary's County), Colin Benedict (Anne Arundel County), Ellie Heath (Anne Arundel County), Joseph Griffin (Howard County), and Katie Spencer (Anne Arundel County).

 

2020 POL State Competition

2020 Maryland State POL Champion Randolph Smith stands in front of a step and repeat banner with the MSAC Logo.


Randolph Smith, an 11th grader at Concordia Preparatory High School in Baltimore County, was selected as the 2020 Poetry Out Loud (POL) Maryland State champion on March 7th during state finals at Baltimore Center Stage.  He was among nine finalists that were selected from more than 24 Maryland students in nine counties that competed in the statewide competition. The POL poetry recitation contest is co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and The Poetry Foundation, and administered by U.S. state arts agencies and regional arts organizations across the country. The Maryland POL competition is produced by the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC).

Second place was awarded to Maylis Quesnel, a 12th grader at Richard Montgomery High School, Montgomery County, and third place went to Katie Spencer, a 10th grader at Indian Creek School, Anne Arundel County. The six remaining finalists were Joy Campbell (Frederick County), Allison (Faith) Comising (Howard County), Caroline Daley (St. Mary’s County), Ellie Heath (Anne Arundel County), Kate Maerten (Carroll County), and Sanjana Subramanian (Frederick County).

The NEA also produces Poetry Ourselves, an additional, optional competition that allows students to submit an original piece of poetry. The 2020 Maryland State Poetry Ourselves winner is Joy Campbell, an 11th grader at Oakdale High School in Frederick County. In 2021, the Poetry Ourselves competition will be suspended. Students interested in original poetry should refer to our POL Resources for writing competitions available throughout the state.

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Program Contact
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Program Contact
Catherine Frost

Arts in Education Grants Management Associate

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