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Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest

October 2010 – May 2011
South Carolina High Schools

The South Carolina Poetry Out Loud State Finals were held March 5, 2011. Winner LeeAnn Swager will advance to the National Finals in Washington, D.C., April 27-29. Read more >>


visit the national Poetry Out Loud Web sitePoetry Out Loud in South Carolina

For a sixth year, the South Carolina Arts Commission has partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to bring the "Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest" to South Carolina high schools. The program seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry—recitation and performance.


Contest Timeframe

This year's timeframe is more flexible to accommodate schools’ testing and vacation schedules. Specific deadlines and dates are listed below.


  • Oct. 25: Deadline to sign up for Poetry Out Loud in South Carolina
  • September - October: Materials will be sent to participating schools and classrooms. (Note: Schools and teachers can only receive program kits if they plan to participate in the official competition; otherwise all materials are available online.)
  • September - December: Schools implement classroom and school competitions
  • Jan. 22, 2011: Upstate Regional Competition, Spartanburg
  • Jan. 22, 2011: Midlands Regional Competition, Sumter
  • Jan. 23, 2011: Lowcountry Regional Competition, Charleston
  • March 5, 2011: South Carolina Poetry Out Loud State Finals, Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia
  • April 27-29, 2011: Poetry Out Loud National Finals, Lincoln Theatre, Washington, D.C. 


Contest structure

Poetry Out Loud begins at the classroom level, with winners from each classroom advancing to a school-wide competition and then to regional competitions. Regional winners advance to South Carolina's statewide competition. Ultimately, one student from each state will compete in the national finals in Washington, D.C.



Statewide partners include the Columbia Museum of Art, the South Carolina Department of Education and South Carolina ETV Radio's “Speaking of Schools” Program with Doug Keel, and the The South Carolina Literary Arts Partnership, which includes The Humanities CouncilSC, the South Carolina State Library, and the South Carolina Arts Commission.  Regional partners include Hub City Writers Project in the Upstate, the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts and the College of Charleston School of Humanities and Social Sciences in the Lowcountry, and the Sumter County Cultural Commission and the University of South Carolina Sumter Division of Arts and Letters in the Midlands.


For more information:


Please contact Frances Kablick Keel, program coordinator of the S.C. Literary Arts Partnership, at  (803) 734-8639 for additional information.