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Poetry Out Loud
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Region 6 Northern NJ Poetry Out Loud Contest
National Contest

The Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest is an arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. 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 as a way to foster the next generation of literary readers by building on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the popularity of rap music. Through Poetry Out Loud, students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

State & Regional Contest structure
New Jersey is divided into six contest regions. The Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs together with the Department of Humanities, Bergen Community College, are co-sponsoring the Region 6 Northern NJ Poetry Out Loud Contest for Bergen, Passaic and Hudson Counties in conjunction with the NJ State Council on the Arts and its partners.

Beginning at the high school classroom level, teachers implement a two-to-three week curriculum using free, standards-based materials, including print and online poetry anthologies containing more than 600 classic and contemporary poems, a teacher’s guide, and a CD and a DVD on the art of recitation. Classroom studies culminate with a school contest in which each student selects and recites poems from the Poetry Out Loud anthology. School winners advance to the Region 6 competition. Two competition winners from each region perform at the NJ State Poetry Out Loud Contest, and ultimately, two state winners go on to the national finals. The Poetry Out Loud National Finals take place in the spring in Washington, DC.

The program begins with the school year in the fall. To check for upcoming deadlines or to register your high school for Region 6 go to and follow the links for Poetry Out Loud; for more information on how the school programs are structured, contact Kay Potucek, NJ State Council on the Arts Poetry Out Loud Coordinator, at . For Region 6 contest information, contact the Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs at