Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud
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OC Public Libraries is proud to be partnering with ArtsOC to participate in Poetry Out Loud 2021, a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students.

High schoolers will choose their favorite poem from the Poetry Out Loud database of over 1100 entries and create a video of themselves performing a dramatic reading of the poem.

Students are expected to dig deep into the poems and read with drama and emotion to show they understand and relate to them. Up to two poems may be selected, but a separate video for each poem submitted is required.

OC Public Libraries will review the entries and choose a winner, who will move on to the Orange County championship. There are also state and national championships with cash prizes to the winners.

The top three winners of our program will receive Barnes and Noble gift cards, courtesy of the OCPL Foundation.


Eligible Participants: High school students in grades 9-12

Submission Dates: Wednesday, December 15, 2021 – Monday, January 17, 2022

Live workshop for teens:

Saturday, January 8, 2022 at 12 PM

Teens in grades 9-12, mark your calendars and sign up for this guided workshop led by Poetry Coach Marcus Omari. Improve and expand your poetry recitation skills and get an edge on the competition! We're here to help you create your best Poetry Out Loud entry!

Advance registration required. 

Please email ocplteenprograms@occr.ocgov.com to register.

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OC Public Libraries’ winner notified: Monday, January 24, 2022

Orange Country POL Live Finals: Friday, February 11, 2022 (location TBD)

Submissions and questions: ocplteenprograms@occr.ocgov.com


For program details, poem selections, dramatic reading suggestions, and judging criteria: https://www.artsoc.org/poetry.htm




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