Dear Teachers, Administrators, and Students considering participation in Alaska Poetry Out Loud:

As we enter the 18th year of Poetry Out Loud, we hope you will join us!  The Alaska Poetry Out Loud partnership team at the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council and the Alaska State Council on the Arts is pleased to open registration for Alaska Poetry Out Loud in the 2023-2024 school year!

Poetry Out Loud is 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 across the country. Rather than being a simple exercise in memorization, learning to recite poetry encompasses college and career-ready skills, including structural analysis, interpretation of meaning, point of view, close reading, and the use of higher-order thinking skills.

Each winner at the state level receives $200 and competes in the national finals. The state winner’s school receives $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for their school. At the national finals, a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually. Students and chaperones participating at the Alaska State and National Poetry Out Loud Recitation Competitions receive travel support to Juneau or Washington, DC for competition. Students gather for a competitive and collegial experience with peers, to engage with both poetic voice and civic opportunities in our capital cities.

At the school level of Alaska Poetry Out Loud (AK POL), each school including grades 9-12, public or private, coordinates its own competition. School winners participate in a region-wide competition, with regions to be determined in coordination with the AK POL Partnership Team, following the registration period. We will continue to offer Individual At-large Student Registration when there is not an AK POL School Competition available. The AK POL Competition will work with students to identify a POL Liaison who can support them through the process, and we will also try to connect individually registering students with a local school, or AK POL Regional Competition, as available. We encourage all to participate whether you're representing your school or participating as an individual, participating in POL is made simple and accessible to all.

In 2023-2024 Alaska Regional POL Competitions will include both in-person or video-adjudicated competitions, across the state! The AK POL Regional Competition has been held entirely on-line for the last three years. In 2023, the AK POL Partnership is re-opening the option for schools to come together for in-person AK POL Regional competitions. In order to host an in-person regional competition in 2023, schools and at-large student registrants must:

  • Coordinate within the region to hold the competition according to the Poetry Out Loud Guidelines at
  • Include participants from multiple schools within a geographically defined region.
  • Consult with the AK POL Partnership Team on the definition/designation of an in-person region; regional competition coordinators must report AK POL Regional winners and runners-up to the AK POL partnership team no later than February 3, 2024.

We recognize that the experience of participation in video adjudication and in-person competitions is different for students across the state. This will be our first year back with the option of in-person competition, while at the same time, our skills and capacity to support the AK POL Regional video adjudication has grown over the last three years. To increase the parity of experience for students leading into the Alaska State Competition, each student will be required to recite two poems from the Poetry Out Loud Anthology at the Alaska Regional Competitions—both in-person and via video adjudication.

The Alaska State Finals Competition gathering will be held in person, in Juneau, March 10-12, 2024, and the Alaska State Council on the Arts will coordinate with AK POL State Finalists to book travel for the student finalist and a chaperone, to attend the AK POL State Competition.

The AK POL State Competition will be held on the evening of March 11th at KTOO Public Media’s Studio. As required by the rules of the National Poetry Out Loud Recitation Competition, each student will be required to recite three poems from the Poetry Out Loud Anthology at the Alaska State Poetry Out Loud Finals Competition, in accordance with the Poem Eligibility Rules.

Alaska Poetry Out Loud Registration for 2023-2024

 Deadline to Register is November 1, 2023

 Visit to register!

For the 2023-2024 school cycle, the AK POL program encourages at-large registrations by individual students, as well as school registrations. Both public and private schools are eligible to participate in AK POL. Alaska students currently enrolled in grades 9-12 are eligible to participate in Alaska Poetry Out Loud, with an exception made for 8th-grade students participating in a 9th- through 12th-grade class.

Note: We encourage teachers and families to use the many resources included on the National Poetry Out Loud website at, in working with students who love poetry, whether you register for Alaska Poetry Out Loud, or not. The Poetry Out Loud Anthology, Lesson Plans, and other resources on the site are geared to high school-aged students, but we hope that educators seeking resources for teaching poetry will consider adapting materials as developmentally appropriate for your students.

School Registrants for Poetry Out Loud should hold a schoolwide competition, and work with Regional competition organizers to submit between 1-3 student competitors to the Regional competition, representing your school. The Online registration form will ask questions about teachers participating in Poetry Out Loud at your school and will ask you to identify a POL Liaison to help facilitate communication with the Alaska Poetry Out Loud partnership team.

To compete directly in the Regional level of competition as an Individual At-large Student competitor, please consider the following guidelines:

  • An at-large, individual student participants must identify an AK POL School teacher/liaison/coach, who has agreed to be a point of contact with the AK POL Partnership Team, and
  • If the student’s school is registered for AK POL, the student must participate in the school competition. If more than three, at-large, individual student participants register from any school entity, the school must determine the students who will proceed forward to the Regional level of competition.

Should more than three students register from a single school, where the school is not registered, the AK POL partnership team will consult and coordinate with that school in mounting a school competition. Guidance for organizing a competition at the classroom and school competition is available at: Please note that in the case where a school does not have enough students to hold a classroom or school competition, AK POL’s Regional level of competition will meet the program guidelines for eligibility.

Visit to access the following resources:

  • Online Registration for 2023-2024 Alaska Poetry Out Loud (by November 1, 2023)
  • News and updates on the Alaska Poetry Out Loud Program
  • Information about the Alaska Poetry Out Loud Process and complete timeline
  • Video archive of past Alaska Poetry Out Loud State Competitions
  • Recommended tools and resources for Alaska Poetry Out Loud

 Visit to access the following resources:

  • National Poetry Out Loud Anthology
  • Lesson plans and other Teacher Resources
  • Resources for organizing and judging a contest
  • Video and audio recitations from Student Poetry Out Loud Competitors, Tips on Reciting, and information about what it’s like to compete




Complete Alaska Poetry Out Loud Timeline for 2023-2024

 August – October 31, 2023

 AK POL Registration for schools and at-large participants open

 September 1, 2024

POL online anthology live for 2023-24 school year

November 1, 2023

Deadline for Alaska Poetry Out Loud Registration

Prior to winter break

  • Recommended completion of classroom/school competitions

  • Communication/Coordination with AK POL School Liaisons and At-large Student registrants about in-person and video-adjudicated Regional Competitions.

January 25, 2024

Deadline for submission of video recitations for Alaska Video-adjudicated Regional Competition

  February 1, 2024

Deadline to hold In-person Regional Alaska Poetry Out Loud Competitions

February 1-4, 2024

Alaska Regional Poetry Out Loud Video Adjudication

 February 5, 2024

Announcement of Alaska POL State Finalists!

 February 7, 2024 at 4:00 pm

Alaska Poetry Out Loud State Finalist online meet-and-greet (zoom)

 February 7 – March 8, 2024

Alaska State Poetry Out Loud distance coaching, coordination, and preparation

March 10-12, 2024

Alaska State Poetry Out Loud in Juneau (Competition to be held the evening of March 11th)

March 21, 2024

Deadline for state champs and chaperones to register for National Finals

April 30 – May 2, 2024

Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, DC

What is Poetry Out Loud?

Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a national poetry recitation competition for high school students. By encouraging youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, students can master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. The program and all materials are provided to each partner at no cost.

Participating partners host their own competitions and select a student to represent their school at the state finals. Each year, the state champion advances to the national finals in Washington, D.C. and competes for a $20,000 college scholarship. In order to ensure the safety and health of participating students and staff, the 2021 POL National Finals will be held virtually in lieu of holding them on-site in Washington D.C. as previously planned.


Amanda Filori, Alaska Poetry Out Loud Coordinator
Juneau Arts and Humanities Council
(907) 419-7828 (cell)

Laura Forbes, Arts Education Program Director
Alaska State Council on the Arts
(907) 269-6682 (w) (907) 394-1525 (cell)








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