On April 25-26, 2017, 53 students out of 310,000 competitors from across the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands will come to our Washington D.C. to compete in the 2017 Poetry Out Loud national finals.
On Tuesday, April 25, the state champions will compete throughout the day in three semifinal rounds from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University, 730 21st Street NW, Washington, DC. Then, the top nine finalists will advance to the finals competition on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, also at Lisner Auditorium from 7:00 to 9:15 p.m., hosted by poet Elizabeth Acevedo and featuring a performance by cellist, composer, and storyteller Ben Sollee. Judges for the April 26 finals include poet and teacher Marilyn Chin, founder of the Pink Line Project Philippa Hughes, poet and collaborative artist Valerie Martínez, poet and teacher Adrian Matejka, and playwright and former artistic director of Lookingglass Theatre Company Andrew White. Both events are free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.
Both days of competition will be available through a live, one-time-only webcast at arts.gov. Schools and organizations that wish to organize a viewing party of some or all of the competition can register at arts.gov, where you can also find tips on hosting your party, promotional materials, and details on other viewing parties around the country. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram using #POL17.
About Poetry Out Loud & The Poetry Foundation
Poetry Out Loud is a national initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Poetry Foundation and the state arts agencies that encourages high school students to learn more about great poetry, both classic and contemporary, through memorization and performance. For many students, what starts in the classroom as an assignment can turn into a lifelong love of poetry, while also providing the opportunity to further develop analytical, memorization, and public speaking skills that serve them well both in and out of school.
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative partnerships, prizes, and programs. For more information, visit poetryfoundation.org.