Poetry Out Loud


New Jersey Poetry Out Loud is a project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, in collaboration with Count Basie Center for the Arts and a growing list of local partners. Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Poetry Foundation, and the state arts agencies of the United States.

This national program encourages high school students across the country to learn about great works of classic and contemporary poetry through memorization and recitation. The program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Not only do participants share their interpretation and delivery of poetry, but they also vie for awards and scholarships totaling $50,000.

Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 3 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools in every state, Washington, DC, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

In partnership with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, as the lead partner the Basie Center oversees all facets of NJPOL: recruiting schools and community centers throughout the state; expanding arts education opportunities for students; providing professional development for participating educators; and presenting regional competitions and the culminating state competition. A network of regional partners supports these efforts, organizing the Garden State’s 21 counties by geographic region, each established in response to a growing participation base.

Congratulations to the 2022 State Champion Italy Lee, and runner-up Abigail Schwartz!

Watch the Regional Competitions or State Finals can do so at either NJPOL homepage or YouTube channel.

Click here to learn more about New Jersey Poetry Out Loud!