ELIGIBLE POEM SELECTION AND PERFORMANCE TIME FOR REGIONAL COMPETITIONS
? Students must select poems from the official Poetry Out Loud (POL) print or online
anthologies. Those are the only eligible poems.
? Maximum recitation time per poem: About 3 - 4 Minutes
? Two poems must be recited at the Regional Contest level.
? Three poems will be recited at the State and National contest levels. One poem must be
25 lines or shorter, and one must be pre-20th century. The same poem may be used to
meet both criteria.
? Recitation order is up to the student.
TITLE AND ORDER SUBMISSION
? Titles and order of poems must be submitted in advance to school contest coordinator.
? Selections or order may not be changed once submitted.
INTRODUCING THE POEM
? Contestant will identify the poem by title and author and recite from memory.
? Recitation should include epigraphs if included in the POL anthology.
? Student should not make editorial comments before or after the poem.
LIST OF RETIRED, NON-ELIGIBLE 2010 POEMS
? The poems from the “Best Performances” DVD are retired, and not eligible to be used for
competition in the 2009-2010 school year.
? Not all poems on the audio CD are eligible for recitation in POL. Check the list of Retire,
Retired Poems FAQ
Q. Why has a poem been removed from the online anthology?
A. Poems that are particularly popular or ones that have been used frequently in national
competition are retired for a few years to refresh the anthology selections. This way, the Poetry
Out Loud program can highlight new poems for students and their audiences. Judges also
appreciate hearing new performances. All poems appearing from the start of the school year
online and those in the print anthology are eligible for competition this year. We hope you'll find it
rewarding to discover a new poem to recite and share with others. You can track the most
popular poems in the online anthology by keeping an eye on the "poem views" in the upper right-
hand corner of a poem page.
Please note that the poems from the “Best Performances” DVD are also retired, and not eligible
to be used for competition in the 2009-2010 school year.
STRUCTURE OF THE REGIONAL AND STATE CONTEST
Regional Contests will be held in two rounds. Poems are recited one per round, not consecutively,
with each student reciting one poem per round. The second round may consist of a smaller
number of the highest-scoring competitors. Three regional champions will be selected from that
round. All regional champions will proceed to the State Competition.
Three winners from each of the seven Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA) regions will
proceed to the State Competition.
Three poems are required for recitation at both the State Competition and the National
The State Competition will be held in three rounds. Poems are recited one per round, not
consecutively, with the student reciting one poem per round. The second and third rounds may
consist of a smaller number of the highest-scoring competitors. Thre student with the highest
score will be the Virginia State Champion and proceed to the National Competition.
NUMBERS OF POEMS FOR EACH CONTEST LEVEL
Classroom Level: Students memorize and recite at least one poem. School Level: Students must memorize at least two poems. The school champion will proceed to the regional contest in February.
Regional Level: Students must memorize two poems: at least one poem must have been written before the 20th Century and at least one of the poems must
also be 25 lines or shorter. This can be the same poem. (See Teacher's Guide p.
8) Three regional winners from each of seven regions will proceed to the State
State Final: Students must prepare three poems: at least one poem must have been written before the 20th Century and at least one of the poems must also be
25 lines or shorter. (See Teacher's Guide p. 8). The State Final will be held in
Richmond on March 11, 2010 at Theatre IV's historic Empire Theatre.
National Final: Students must prepare three poems as above. National Final will be held April 25 -27 Washington, DC
The Virginia 2010 Poetry Out Loud Recitation Contest is a partnership of The
National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, the Virginia
Commission for the Arts and Theatre IV and Barksdale Theatre.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact
Jeanie Rule, the Virginia POL State Coordinator
Theatre IV and Barksdale Theatre
114 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23220.