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.

2013 Materials Order Form

2013 Recording Guide

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with U.S. state arts agencies to support Poetry Out Loud, a contest that encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

Brian Rhoades, a senior at Sioux Falls Lincoln High School, won the state Poetry Out Loud competition last year. Rhoades represented South Dakota at the national finals, Washington, D.C.

Eight students from high schools across South Dakota competed for the title. Rhoades' overall combined score from the three judges set him ahead of the rest to win the competition. In addition to his trip to Washington, Rhoades also won a $200 cash award, and his school library will receive $500 to be used for poetry books.

Rhoades is the son of Laurie and Brad Rhoades and the youngest of four boys. Along with his achievement in Poetry Out Loud, Rhoades also advanced to two national competitions in oral interpretation. He'll attend the National Catholic Forensic League contest in Baltimore in May and the National Forensic League speech and debate tournament in Indianapolis in June. Throughout high school, Rhoades has also been involved in marching band - playing the trombone - and Lincoln High School's Patriot Pride Committee, which promotes student achievement and encourages students to exemplify the true characteristics of a "Patriot," the school mascot.

Second place in the competition went to Alexa Moeller, of Watertown High School. Moeller was awarded $100 cash, and her school library will receive $300 for the purchase of poetry books.

Five teachers were also awarded for their efforts in and out of the classroom as Poetry Out Loud coaches. Bryan Hagg, POL coach and teacher at Sioux Falls Lincoln High School was awarded the outstanding coach award. He received a $500 cash award. Also recognized were Kim Davidson, Rosholt High School; Sharon Prendergast, Sisseton High School; Jenna Jewell, Wilmot High School; and Lou Ann Jensen, Estelline High School.

Poetry Out Loud is a recitation program and competition that urges the teaching of poetry as an oral art form in high schools. Schools that participate in Poetry Out Loud enter students into a preliminary round, from which the state finalists are chosen. Poetry Out Loud was created in partnership by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, with the collaboration of State Arts Agencies. Through Poetry Out Loud, students master public-speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

PHOTO CAPTION: Bryan Hagg (left), Poetry Out Loud 2012 Coach of the Year and Brian Rhoades, South Dakota State 2012 Poetry Out Loud champion, each received awards at the state POL finals in Sioux Falls March 26. Hagg is Rhoades teacher and POL coach at Sioux Falls Lincoln High School.

Program Materials

Poetry Out Loud curriculum materials include the online poetry anthology, a comprehensive teacher's guide, a DVD of National Finals performances, lesson plans, and promotional and media guides. Hard copies of  materials are free for teachers participating in the official program. 

While teachers, students, and poetry lovers everywhere can use this website and its free materials to organize their own contests, the official contest is limited to the programs run by each state's arts agency. If you are interested in participating in the official program, please contact your state arts agency.

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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