Poetry Out Loud State Finals

Poetry Out Loud 2019 Florida Finals

Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry competition for high school students. The goal of the program is to provide students an opportunity to read and recite great poems while enhancing their public speaking and presentation skills. Teachers first use a free resource guide to help their students develop a deeper appreciation of poetry. Each school holds a recitation contest to determine a school champion.

The first time we participated in POL we saw instant–as in, the next day–improvement in student understanding and appreciation of literature.

—Deborah Bright, The Village School of Naples

School champions are then invited to participate in the annual state competition. This year, the competition will be held on the campus of USF St. Petersburg on March 2nd from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. More information

The winner of the state finals is awarded $500 and given an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC to compete in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals. The State Champion’s school library receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials. More than $50,000 in prizes and school stipends are awarded annually at the National Finals in April, with the national winner receiving $20,000 in college scholarship funds.

2019 Finals, USF Tampa

Poetry Out Loud, Florida Champions

Natalie Schimek
2018 Winner, Pine View School for the Gifted, Sarasota, Florida
Natalie Schimeck is the 2018 State Champion. She recited the poems “An Apology for Her Poetry” by Margaret Cavendish; “After Apple-Picking” by Robert Frost; and “Across the Bay” by Donald Davie.

Alexis Schuster
2017 Winner, Winter Park High School, Winter Park, Florida
Alexis Schuster is the 2017 State Champion. She recited the poems “All This and More” by Mary Karr; “Amor Mundi” by Christina Rossetti; and “Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg” by Richard Hugo.

Jarod Atchley
2016 Winner, West Port High School, Ocala, Florida
Jarod Atchley is the 2016 State Champion. He recited the poems “The Way It Sometimes Is” by Henry Taylor; “Poem” by Muriel Rukeyser; and “Holy Sonnets: Death, Be Not Proud” by John Donne.

2019 Poetry Out Loud—Florida Finals

Saturday, March 2nd, 2019
USC Grand Ballroom
University of South Florida, St. Petersburg
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Guests can park in the 5th Avenue Parking Garage located on the campus of USFSP.

Poetry Out Loud is made possible by: