A National Poetry Recitation Competition for High School Students
Neil Morgan Auditorium at San Diego Central Library
February 6th at 5:00 pm

San Diego:

The Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, managed in California by the California Arts Council and regionally, by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture in association with Write Out Loud, presents POETRY OUT LOUD, a national poetry recitation competition for high school students. San Diego Regional Finals take place this year on February 6th at 5:00pm. The event is free and the public is encouraged to join our student participants and their families at the Neil Morgan Auditorium at San Diego Central Library. The event will be live-streamed via this LINK https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bn310UsboK8

Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about great poetry—both classic and contemporary—through memorization, performance, and competition. Since the program began in 2005, more than four million students across the country have participated in Poetry Out Loud. For the 2024 Poetry Out Loud, students will present their recitations of works selected from the Poetry Out Loud Anthology of more than 1,100 poems. Performances are judged on criteria including voice and articulation, evidence of understanding, and accuracy. The National Endowment for the Arts and the
Poetry Foundation have created free, standards-based curriculum materials to support Poetry Out Loud including a teacher’s guide, lesson plans, an online anthology, posters, and video and audio on the art of recitation. Write Out Loud offers in person and virtual poetry examination and performance workshops for students.

The Poetry Out Loud competition has been administered locally by WRITE OUT LOUD since 2014. Under WRITE OUT LOUD’s direction, the program has grown from serving one school to eight schools this year. Students compete at the school and/or organization level and regional finalists compete for a chance to represent San Diego at the California State Finals.

At this year’s Regional Finals, poems will be presented by finalists representing: Academy of Our Lady of Peace, Bayfront Charter High School, Canyon Crest Academy, Eastlake High School, Health Science High and Middle College, Otay Mesa High School, Pacific Ridge High School, and Valley Center High School, as well as an independent Write Out Loud group for students whose schools are not participating.

Judges for POETRY OUT LOUD include San Diego Poet Laureate, Jason Magabo Perez; Poet/Creative Writing teachers – Brandon Cesmat, Gina M Jackson and Nicole Lewis, as well as Lamb’s Players Theatre Artistic Director, Kerry Meads and Professional Actor, Steve Smith.

The San Diego winner, who will continue on to the State Finals in Sacramento on March 17-18, 2024, will be announced at the end of the February 6th competition. The winner of the State competition will advance to the National Competition in Washington, DC April 30-May 2, 2024.

Write Out Loud is a non-profit organization founded in 2007 with a commitment to inspire, challenge and entertain by reading literature aloud for all ages. In addition to coordinating Poetry Out Loud for high school students, WRITE OUT LOUD provides the community with eight other core programs serving over 30,000 people annually. These include TwainFest – a free family literary festival each August in Old Town, PoeFest – a celebration of Edgar Allan Poe and literature of the macabre, each October; Stories for Seniors; StoryBox Theatre (kamishibai) for toddlers through teens; Let Your Voice be Heard (a poetry writing program) for grades K-12; Read Imagine Create for teens and adults; Ripples From Walden Pond, a one-man play about Henry David Thoreau; World Kamishibai Forum, serving an international audience. Write Out Loud also provides the community with a full season of Story Concerts.