Poetry Out Loud is a nationwide poetry competition for high school students initiated and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. South Dakota Arts Council, South Dakotans for the Arts and South Dakota Public Broadcasting are statewide sponsors of the event. 

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Forms for next year’s competition will be posted in the fall.

In 2009, more than $100,000 was awarded in scholarships to students and grants to schools at state and national levels. These awards included a $20,000 scholarship to the national champion as well as other substantial prizes to finalists in the national competition.

Students from Brandon, Brookings , Harrisburg, Kyle, Mission, Sioux Falls, Sisseton and Tulare were finalists at the South Dakota Poetry Out Loud State Contest on March 15, at Edison Middle School in Sioux Falls. Receiving first and second place, respectively, were: Ruth Haile, a student at Sioux Falls Lincoln High School and Wiyaka His Horse is Thunder, representing Little Wound High school in Kyle, S.D.

polAs the first place winner, Haile received a $200 cash prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the national finals. Her school, Sioux Falls Lincoln, received a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Runner-up His Horse is Thunder received $100 and Little Wound High School was given $200 for its school library.

Eight students qualified for the state event after a preliminary competition. During the state contest, each of these students recited three memorized poems. Cumulative points from all three rounds determined final placements.

A distinguished panel of SD poets and a theater professional were judges for the event: David Allan Evans, South Dakota Poet Laureate; Ray Peterson, SDSU Theatre Department; and Patrick Hicks, a writer and faculty member at Augustana College.

National Poetry Contest: SD Student Takes 2nd Place

Ruth Haile received second place at the National Poetry Out Loudcompetition in Washington, D.C. She competed against 53 students from across the county for the second prize of $10,000. (more)ruth haile image

Listen to Dakota Midday: Paul Guggenheimer talks with Ruth Haile about her second place finish

Poetry Foundation President John Barr, Poetry Out Loud South Dakota State Champion Ruth Haile, and NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman at the Poetry Out Loud National Finals. (More photos on Flickr)

Photo: James Kegley

2010 Original Poetry Winners

pol A contest was held for the third time in 2010 for students writing original poetry.
The three state winners were Leah Alsaker, of Rosholt, Kaitlyn Gilbertson and Emily Schoenbeck, both of Watertown.


(Photo: Kris O'Brien, accepting award for Emily Schoenbeck, Kaitlyn Gilbertson, Leah Alsaker, Kim Davidson and David Allen Evans) 

The South Dakota Poetry Out Loud Coordinator of the Year Award

Coaches who developed strong programs in their schools in the past year were also recognized.. The South Dakota Poetry Out Loud Coordinator of the Year Award went to Kim Davidson, who teaches at Rosholt High School.  She received a plaque and a $500 award.

Receiving honorable mentions and $200 awards were Kris O’Brien from Watertown and Sharon Prendergast from Sisseton.

Contact the
South Dakota Arts Council
if you would like to participate or learn more about this contest.

2006 - 2009
POLSchool Coordinator

Poetry Out Loud Site
Poetry Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
South Dakota Arts Council
South Dakota Public Broadcasting
South Dakotans for the Arts

SD Poetry Out Loud Archives

2006 Poetry Out Loud

2007 Poetry Out Loud

2008 Poetry Out Loud

2009 Poetry Out Loud

2010 Poetry Out Loud

2011 Poetry Out Loud

2012 Poetry Out Loud

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