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Poetry out loud

Jasmine Jackson of Kinston High School in Lenoir County represented North Carolina at the 2016 National Finals in Washington, D.C.

Click here to watch videos of the 2016 Poetry Out Loud N.C. State Finalists

About the Program

Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word and theater into high school classrooms. Through the program, students can master public speaking skills, increase reading comprehension scores, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. Poetry Out Loud has inspired thousands of high school students to discover and develop deep, personal relationships with great classic and contemporary poetry.

The N.C. Arts Council, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and the Greensboro Public Library, invites N.C. students to participate in the program to gain a deeper appreciation of great poetry through memorization and recitation.

The program starts in the classroom, broadens to the state level and culminates at the national finals in Washington, D.C.

While teachers, students and poetry lovers everywhere can use the NEA’s Poetry Out Loud website and free materials to organize their own contests, the official contest is limited to the programs run by each state’s arts agency. If you are a teacher interested in participating in the official N.C. program, contact Steve Sumerford at You can also register your school to participate by Tuesday, November 1, 2016.

Helpful Links

Further information, including poems eligible for the competition, lesson plans and competition rules can be found at

Contact: Steve Sumerford, NC Poetry Out Loud Coordinator, at (336) 317-3229 or by email at

Media inquiries: Rebecca Moore, Senior Program Director for Marketing, at (919) 807-6530 or by email.

In Collaboration With:

The National Endowment for the Arts

The Poetry Foundation

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation is honored to provide travel support for regional and state finals of Poetry Out Loud in partnership with the National endowment for the Arts.

Casey Goggin of Pinecrest High School in Moore County represented North Carolina and was the 2015 third place winner at the National Finals in Washington, D.C.
Click here to watch videos of the 2015 Poetry Out Loud N.C. State Finalists